I eliminated cows milk from my diet about 2-3 years ago, but I do eat small amounts of yogurt or cheese occasionally. Everything in moderation is perfectly fine in my opinion. I replaced cows milk with almond or hazelnut milk and my brand of choice is usually Alpro. I also love coconut milk and I use it with porridge and in everyday cooking. Yum! When I was sent the Vitamix Pro 500* to try, I was really excited about making my own nut milks. It is much cheaper and you know exactly what goes into it. No additives, no added sugar, just fresh, delicious homemade milk! I was also sick of running out of nut milk, so this is life changing for me :) Soo... how do you make nut milk? It's super easy!
You can actually make almond, coconut, cashew or hazelnut milk from raw, dry nuts in 1-3 minutes. You don't even have to measure anything, if you don't have time for it. I throw a handful of nuts (or cococonut flakes) into the Vitamix, add a couple of ice cubes and some water and blend it all on high speed. If you use the milk in porridge, smoothies or desserts etc, you don't have to strain it at all and you get all the goodness and fiber from the nuts. If you want to drink the milk super smooth, you can strain it through a cheesecloth to get a silky, light liquid. If you don't strain the milk, it will still taste absolutely delicious, but the pulp will be there, making the milk a little bit thicker (no actual bits of nuts though). That's how I like it anyway :)
If you like to be prepared and want your nut milk even smoother you can soak the nuts in warm water overnight. They will be much easier to blend and if you don't own a Vitamix, I would definitely advise to soak the nuts. It really helps. You can also sweeten the milk by throwing in a couple of dried dates, which can be soaked too. Add some vanilla bean paste, if you like vanilla flavour, or raw cocoa powder, if you like chocolate milk. The possibilities are endless! So far, I've made coconut, almond and cashew milk and all of them, were absolutely delicious! It saves a lot of money too.
The photo above shows unstrained coconut milk. As you can see, it is quite frothy on the top, which I don't mind at all. To make coconut milk, you will need 2 cups (480 ml) of water and 1 cup (75 g) of shredded coconut or coconut flakes. You don't have to be precise with the measurements though and smaller amounts of coconut and water will work too. It will always turn into milk :) Just throw the ingredients into the container and blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes. If you want it cold, use some ice cubes. The high speed of the blender heats up the liquid and ice counteracts it.
Almond and cashew milks are my favourites and the recipe for them is exactly the same. Again, you don't have to be precise with the ingredients, but Vitamix recommend this ratio: 3 cups (720 ml) of water to 1 cup (140 g) of raw almonds or cashews (soaked overnight). I tend to use a glass of water and a handful of almonds and it works every time. You can flavour the milk as well, to suit your taste. I like to add 2-3 dates and vanilla bean paste. This milk only takes 45-60 seconds to make if you soaked the nuts overnight, or 3 minutes if the nuts are dry. Both ways work perfectly. If you don't strain the milk (I never do), give your jar or bottle a shake before each use. Sooo simple! You can store it in the fridge for a week. PS. Cashews don't have to be strained, they just make the creamiest milk ever!
You can read my introduction to Vitamix Pro 500* HERE. I am obsessed with it! It makes healthy eating super easy and I can't recommend it enough. My other blenders don't even compare to it. I will be sharing more recipes in April and May, including juices, smoothies, healthy ice cream, soups and more. You can also follow my food diary here: www.instagram.com/theblackpearlbfood where I share all my meals every single day.
Do you make your own nut milks?
*I was sent the Vitamix for a 6 month trial period.