Tuesday, May 6, 2014

how to milk your nuts ;-)

Hey there!  Have I got your attention?  ;-) In my last post singing the praises of the Vitamix blender, I promised you a tutorial on how to make your own almond milk.  This will probably make me the millionth blogger out there who has posted such a thing, but hey, I thought I'd do it anyway, because a) I wouldn't be a Culinary Nutrition Expert worth my salt if I didn't share a recipe/tutorial for making nut milk, and b) maybe there's a slim chance mine will be the first one you've come across.  If that's the case, I hope this is helpful!

So - why make your own almond milk?  Well, first of all, like anything else you make in your own kitchen from scratch, you will know EXACTLY what is going into it, and you'll be 100% confident that there are no added (and health compromising) ingredients such as carrageenan, or "natural flavours" in the delicious batch you "milked" yourself.  Secondly - it's delicious!! 

Before I learned how to make my own nut milks, the idea was baffling to me - how on EARTH do you milk a nut?  Well, I'm here to tell you that it honestly couldn't be easier - especially with the help of a high speed blender or a (certain type of) juicer.  In no time flat I'm able to whip up a batch of delicious homemade almond milk (or hazelnut, or brazil nut...the list is endless) - and it literally takes minutes.  Well, okay, that's after you soak your nuts for at least a four hours or overnight - but then it's quick and easy peasy!  

For the purposes of today's post, I'm going to tell you how to make plain almond milk - but once you've mastered this, you can easily start to experiment and add your own flavours to your nut milks.

Ready to milk your nuts?? Okay, let's go! 


1 cup almonds
4 cups water
(This 4 to 1 ratio works no matter what type of nut or seed you are using)


Vessel for soaking nuts
Blender (preferably high speed)
Large Mixing Bowl
Nut Milk Bag 

As mentioned above, start by soaking your nuts - place in a container, cover with water, seal (optional) and place in refrigerator to soak for at least 4 hours or overnight: 

After your nuts have soaked for the desired amount of time, drain and rinse:

Transfer nuts plus 4 c. of water to blender (best results with a high speed blender) - and blend!

Now for the fun part!  Using a nut milk bag (a very fine mesh bag - available in Canada from Upaya Naturals or everywhere on Amazon), strain your blended nut milk into a mixing bowl: 

When you lift the bag, what you've basically got is a nut milk "udder"!   Then all that's left to do is milk your nuts!  Squeeze the nut milk bag to extract as much of the liquid as you can:

And that's about it, for a basic nut milk!  You will end up with a lovely, creamy, almond (or nut of choice) milk to drink plain, to add to smoothies, or use as you would any milk.  Store it in the fridge for 2-4 days, OR you can freeze it in ice cube trays to add to smoothies.  

You'll also have have a fair amount of leftover almond pulp left in your bag:

This can be used in baking (muffins, cookies, etc.) - but if I'm going to be 100% honest - I have yet to try this.  UPDATE! After publishing this post last night, fellow CNE grad Erin Gionet of Fresh Start Wellness brought this delicious recipe for oatmeal almond breakfast cookies to my attention - from holistic nutritionist extraordinaire Sondi Bruner.  I made the cookies last night, and I can now say I've found a fantastic use for my leftover almond pulp! Take some time to check out Sondi and Erin's websites - they have a wealth of nutritional knowledge and expertise to share. Thanks, ladies - a pleasure to know you both! :)

From this point, you can slurp up your fresh squeezed milk as is (it's delicious plain), OR, you can return the milk to your blender and add subtle flavourings such as a tsp. of vanilla extract, maple syrup, or raw honey, and give it another quick spin through the blender to mix.  In the mood for chocolate almond milk?  Add a tbsp. or two of cacao powder. YUMMMMM!

P.S. It is also possible to make nut milks using a juicer - if you're interested in giving this method a try, check out my fellow CNE grad Deborah Khunen's blog for her step-by-step instructions


  1. Thank you Noelle! I want to do this as soon as I can find a nut milk bag.

  2. My pleasure Mimi!! You'll love it! If you can't find a nut milk bag (or nut sack as Meghan T. calls them!) at your local health food store, there's always Amazon - I just added a link to the post above! :) Hope you like it! :)

  3. Love your process shots :) Did you take them yourself with a tripod? Or did someone else help? Mine always come out blurry.

  4. Thanks Sofia! Tripod and remote on 3 second delay. :) I'm surprisingly pleased with the results - it's always nice when things turn out fairly close to the way you envision them - especially when they're "selfies"! :)