Big fat thanks to Tribest for this amazing pic of my almond milk
When I first heard that you could make raw milk I thought I was hearing things. Then when I heard you could make it from nuts and seeds I knew that someone had really lost the plot! I was sat in a sauna at the time in the Turkish mountains having a chat with a lovely lady called Sandra who was teaching me a few things raw (this was 6 years B.R. = Before Raw for me!)
I remember her telling me something about soaking nuts and blending and straining and I thought why the hell would you bother with all of that? What a complete faff. I really didn’t see the point at the time and thought that it was all rather a fuss over nothing. Buy a carton. Much easier.
And now I teach at Cookery School why there’s nothing better on earth to put in your smoothies than freshly made nut milk. Nothing.
In fact getting your head around soaking nuts and seeds and what you can do with them is one of the foundations of my Cookery School programme and one of the examples of the strap-line of my business and my blog. You have to bring your food to life!
Freshly made raw nut and seed milk is a living rich enzyme loaded living drink. It’s not just about it being non-dairy. Remember, raw food isn’t just about it being uncooked food either – it’s food that is at it’s highest vibration when you bring it to life!
Why is it better than dairy milk?
I am sure that most of you reading this post will already be on the non-dairy wagon anyhow. And giving up dairy completely was one of the biggest factors in my physical healing and releasing myself from the symptoms of PCOS and losing 9 stones (126lbs). You can read more about my story here. I buy into the fact that the dairy industry is dysfunctional: mass produced anything is not the right way to go. Factory dairy farms can be horrendous places and mix that in with injecting hormones, poor feed, awful conditions and you have the recipe for crap food right there. I read often that puss is the number one ingredient in milk. Second, hormones. And I just don’t want to buy into any of it. I hear great things about the raw milk industry: unpasteurized, locally farmed, wonderfully produced milk from grass fed cows. But I still can’t help thinking that cow’s milk is meant for baby cows and that’s that.
My intention is never to create a vegan army but to inspire you to explore all options open to you: and to explore raw food options. For me personally non-dairy raw is best.
Ok so let’s get on with the recipe!
- 1 litre filtered water
- 2 measuring cups almonds, soaked overnight
- Pinch himalayan salt (or quality sea salt)
- Firstly choose great quality nuts. Try quality suppliers like King of the Raw who spend time sourcing the best products available. It’s difficult to find absolute raw nuts so try your best to source organic and raw where possible.
- Rinse the nuts in clean water and leave to soak in a large bowl overnight. This is the most important step as you want to clean the nut (to get rid of any moulds) and then release the enzyme inhibitors to bring the nut to life!
- In the morning drain the nuts. The soak water will be dark and murky. Do NOT use the soak water (pour this in the garden or use it to water your edible plants at home!)
- The nuts will have noticeably bloated. Take your time to really look at them. They will be plump, veiny and soft.
- Rinse the nuts and leave to soak again in the water for 2-4 hours.
- After the second rinse the nuts are ready to use! And again rinse and discard the soak water.
- Place the nuts in a high powered blender with fresh filtered water.
- The ratio of nuts and water depends on your taste buds and what you will be using the milk for. Try starting with the ratio of 1 cup of nuts to 3 cups of water and build up to 4 or 5 cups of water if you can (especially if you are using this milk in a smoothie! over time you really won’t want it to be that creamy)
- Blend on high speed for around 10-15 seconds or until all the nuts have broken down and the liquid looks like milk. Depending on your blender this may require more time.
- Place a nut milk bag over a large jug. If you do not have a nut milk bag use a pop-sock or stocking (clean and unused of course!) and place firmly over the jug rim. Pour the milk over the bag or stocking and allow the liquid to get into the jug and the bag to catch the pulp. Remove the bag from the jug and squeeze the liquid out gently.
- You will be left with a bag of mushy nut pulp – try to get it as dry as possible by squeezing as much liquid out as you can.
- Do not throw the pulp away! Use it for raw food recipes as a bulker as you would flour. (It’s pretty tasteless and lacking in nutrition but is a fibrous and useful ingredient for raw cookies and cakes.) If you are not ready to use the flour simply store in the freezer! ( I tie the top of the stocking and throw it in for later use!)
- Pour the milk back into the blender jug and add a pinch of himalayan salt and blend for a couple of seconds. This gives the milk a mineral rich ingredient and adds sweetness (yes! weird heh!)
- The milk is ready to use! You can keep it stored in a bottle in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I have read that it lasts up to 5 days. Yuk. It’s likely to stink like crazy before then, separate and go rancid. Always consume within 3 days and preferably immediately.
Separation is normal although it looks weird. Just shake and off you go.
What boosters can I add to superfood my milk?
You can add extra ingredients to superfood your milk or just to give it some sweetness. Here are my top adds:
- Himalayan salt (mineral rich and sweetness)
- Dates (fantastic sweetener)
- Soaked dates
- Date water (from soaked dates)
- Apricot water (from soaked apricots)
- Plum water (from soaked plums)
- Basically any dried fruit soak water
- Cinnamon (especially in winter)
- Turmeric (especially good in winter)
- Vanilla (adds extra taste)
- Udos Oils (adds creaminess and essential omega oils)
- Udos Beyond Greens (great when detoxing)
- Maca powder (great for energy and hormone balance)
- Cacao powder (great to add a pinch – or a heap if making a choccie milk shake)
- Lucuma powder (a small pinch adds a lovely malty richness)
You can also use awesome kit like a soyabella machine (you just put the nuts and water in, press a button and off you go!) it makes awesome vegan milk. So maybe this is a great step if you are making changes and not ready to go fully raw just yet. I have a soyabella and use it in the winter especially when I want a hot milk drink and need a latte. (When using the soyabella machine the milk comes out hot.)
Keeping it juicy & raw