Have you tried making your own homemade nut milk? It’s super delicious with plenty of nutty (surprise!) flavor and can be extra creamy, depending on how much water you add to the nuts before blending. You can make it sweet with the addition of dates or keep it unsweet by adding nothing at all (which is good for when you plan to use homemade milk for savory dishes).
(If you want to skip the reading and simply see how to make the Hazelnut Milk, visit this video.)
Why Make Your Own Milk When You Can Grab It Off Grocery Store Shelves?
I definitely keep one or two shelf stable store-bought plant-based milks on hand just in case I run out of refrigerated plant milk and need some milk STAT. But it's a lot of fun to make nut milk at home and making it at home means you only get what you add — nuts and water, nothing else!
Below are seven reasons to try DIY nut milk.
You'll avoid excess packaging that comes with store-bought milk (better for the planet!).
Between the blending and the squeezing, it should take you no more than 10 minutes to create your own nut milk.
It only requires 2 ingredients — water and milk.
You can customize it with more ingredients of your choice like a pinch of salt, cinnamon, or dates for a sweet touch.
Minimal ingredients means no fillers or additives like added sugar or emulsifiers like locust bean gum, guar gum, or carrageenan.*
You can make unique blends like hazelnut almond or pistachio Brazil nut.
It's empowering and fun to make your own milk!
*What are emulsifiers and are they bad for you? In the case of carrageenan, maybe. Certain types of carrageenan have been linked to cancer. For this reason, many plant-based milk brands have removed carrageenan from their milk, replacing it with safer options like locust bean gum, guar gum, or gellan gum. Locust bean gum comes from the carob plant; guar gum comes from guar beans; and gellan gum is made by bacteria. While these thickeners have been classified as safe for most consumers, some folks experience gastrointestinal discomfort when they consume them. Some plant-based milk is made without the thickeners. If thickeners concern you or if you feel they may be the culprit in your GI discomfort after consuming plant milk, make sure to check the ingredient label before purchasing plant-based milk from the store. Personally, the thickeners don't bother me and I like thick milk for matcha lattes, therefore, I'll purchase the plant milk with thickeners for lattes. When I'm using plant milk for baked goods, I opt for homemade milk or any type of unsweetened plant-based milk. I find that most plant milks work just fine for baking. That said, if you're making a plant-based buttermilk (1 cup plant milk + 1 tablespoon of acid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar), I do find that soy milk works best for curdling like traditional buttermilk.
What You'll Need to Make Your Own Nut Milk
To make your own nut milk, you'll need nuts of your choice, water, and an optional pinch of salt. If you want to make sweet nut milk, dates or date paste work well or a touch of pure maple syrup.
Equipment you'll need is a blender and nut milk bag or tea towel if you don't have a nut milk bag. A high speed blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec, does a great job in making the creamiest milk, but other blenders can also work well. It just may require more blending and scraping from the sides of the blender to blend the nuts completely.
For separating the liquid from the nut pulp, you'll want to squeeze the milk over a bowl with a spout or a wide-mouthed jug.
After adding the nuts and water to the blender, blend until creamy smooth then pour the milk into a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer and strain the liquid from the milk. Most nut milks keep in the refrigerator for approximately 5 days so make sure to only make enough for that time to avoid wasting your efforts and ingredients!
Instead of ditching the nut pulp, spread it out thin on a parchment-lined baking sheet and dehydrate it on the lowest setting of your oven (170 to 180 degrees F) for 3–4 hours, tossing one or two times in between for even dehydrating. Once it's completely dry, use it to make granola or grind it into a nut flour and use it in baked goods, like muffins, or for morning pancakes.
10-Minute Hazelnut Milk
Hazelnuts are packed with mood-supporting nutrients, like vitamin B6, folate and magnesium, bone-supporting calcium, blood-supporting iron, and immune-supporting zinc, selenium, and vitamin C. One half cup of hazelnuts has 8.5 grams protein and 5.5 grams fiber. The protein and fiber will mostly be left behind in the pulp when you make nut milk, which is why using the pulp in other recipes is important. No need to waste good quality plant-based protein and fiber!
I’ve tried this milk two ways — with raw hazelnuts and with roasted hazelnuts. Both ways are delicious, but I personally feel that roasting is unnecessary and raw results in the yummiest flavor and creamiest texture for this milk.
Hazelnut milk is perfect for lattes, oatmeal, granola or used in baked goods. Here's how to make it! If watching a video is your thing, then check out the video on how to make hazelnut milk here.
Serves: 4 (makes approximately 24 ounces)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
1 cup raw hazelnuts, soaked in water for two hours then drained and rinsed
3 cups fresh water
2 pinches salt (optional)
How to Make
Blend the soaked hazelnuts, fresh water and salt together in a high speed blender until creamy then strain in a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer. Store the liquid in glass jars in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Add-ins for flavor:
1–3 pitted dates or a tablespoon or two of date paste for sweetness. A dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
A teaspoon of vanilla for a hint of vanilla.
Add any of the above ingredients during the blending process.
For nut-free, try the same process with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Or, try a combination of them both! (I've tried half and half and they're very tasty together.)
Also, the recipe above results in a pretty creamy and thick texture. If you want a thinner consistency or want the quantity of hazelnuts to result in more milk (cost savings!) then add an extra cup of water for 4 cups of water to 1 cup of hazelnuts.
Have you tried hazelnut milk? What did you think?