Non-dairy milks are increasingly popular and can be made with a single variety of nut or a combination. Using half and half of almonds with something more expensive, such as macadamias or pistachios, makes it a little more affordable. The pulp can be used to make a gluten-free Almond, Banana and Coconut Loaf with Dark Chocolate.
1½ cups raw almonds
4 cups hot water
pinch sea salt
½–1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
maple syrup or honey to taste
Place the almonds in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold tap water. Leave on the bench for 12–24 hours.
Drain and discard the soaking water and rinse the almonds well. Place in a blender or high-powered food processor with the hot water, salt, vanilla and maple syrup. Blend on high until very smooth. This will take at least 2 minutes.
Place a sieve over a large bowl and line with a double layer of damp muslin or use a nut milk bag.
Pour in about 1 cup of milk and firmly press through with the back of a spoon until the pulp is quite dry.
Scoop the nut pulp from the sieve into a separate bowl and continue straining the remaining milk in batches.
Transfer to a jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Makes about 4 cups
Cook's tip: Make sure the nuts are fresh – rancid nuts are very unpalatable.
Don’t use roasted or salted nuts – raw nuts will give you a creamier, richer result.
The soaking process is important – the enzymes are activated making it more nutritious and the soaked nuts will give you a smoother, creamier texture and a higher yield of milk.