Plant based milks (in a nutshell)
Like many people I am trying to ditch dairy for environmental and wellbeing reasons - hoping it helps to clear my skin. The not having milk or yogurt part was a breeze, the not having cheese, well that is a work in progress still. I blame Comte and a lack of willpower, and when there is a tasty vegan option to that I will be one happy lady.
Environmental reasons go beyond the impact of cattle farming and back to the single use plastics we use for milk, so i am making an effort not to use tetrapaked mylks - because those cartons are crazy difficult to recycle and that only adds to the whole “we are fucking this world right up” issue.
Making your own milks is super simple, super satisfying and you know exactly what has gone into them, no hidden “stuff”, you can make them as healthy (or indeed unhealthy) as you like.
In simplest form my method (often at 6am pre teaching) goes 1 cup soaked nuts/seeds/oats, drain the water they were soaked in, add 4 cups water. Blend for a minute. Pass through nut mylk bag. Enjoy.
However, I am aware that some folk like a little more detail….
Buy raw nuts/seeds/oats. (Difficult with cashews)
Soak the nuts overnight. (a cup)
Drain and rinse the soaked nuts.
(Remove skins from dark skins nuts by rolling between tea towels - hazelnuts/brazils I am looking at you.)
Blend the nuts with fresh water. usually 4 cups water to one cup nuts for one minute
Add lecithin if you like (emulsifies the milk to stop it separating - this is a game changer and makes the milk really creamy )
Strain the nut milk through a nut mylk bag, piece of muslin, clean tea towel
Sweeten, if desired - agave, honey, cinnamon, vanilla are all great options
Chill, drink, enjoy.
Repeat once a week for nut milk happiness - milks last up to 5 days in the fridge.
I like to make a concentrated version - so only 2 cups of water added, this means that I make a cream, then I can add hot water just before you drink to make hot lattes. Flavour wise, you can be as creative as you like, add in fresh fruit for mylkshakes, cardamon, rose petals, matcha, and of course everybody loves cacao - try with hazelnut mylk and vanilla for something nutella-esque.
If you a super short on time in life/keep forgetting to soak the ingredients all is not lost - try hemp hearts or oats which can be used straight from the pack unsoaked but the result is never quite as good as soaked (or soak these guys for just 30 minutes).