This time of year I feel like as much as I am craving holiday flavors and traditional recipes, I am also looking to keep things as simple as possible and I really look to and work hard to stay on track with my eating. No reason to throw everything I work so hard for all year long, right out the door for a month of terrible choices. Between holiday parties and gatherings, events, my yoga teacher training coming to an end, mass amount of holiday orders from our websites, gift shopping and everything else, time is of the essence right now. There hasn’t been much extra time to bake cookies or to make homemade everything, like I always try to. When I was approached by Silk about their new Cashewmilk, I was super excited at the opportunity to try it and report back to you guys.
We all know that I am the queen of homemade nut milks, but I am always on the lookout for store-bought alternatives, both for myself when life gets busy, but also for those of you that don’t have the desire or time to make homemade nut milks. For me, the important things I look for look for are brands whose nut milk products are certified non-GMO, certified gluten-free, are minimally processed, free of artificial flavors and preservatives and don’t contain carrageenan. I also prefer unsweetened nut milks, so I can control the amount and type of sugar used.
Silk’s new Cashewmilk is a really great alternative to both homemade nut milks and if you are looking to make the switch, it is a great substitution for regular dairy milk, with 50% more calcium than dairy milk with only 25 calories per serving (25% less than skim milk)*. It’s so irresistibly creamy and delicious, it’s great over cereal, in your favorite recipes or just on it’s own. The moment I poured the first glass and saw just how thick and luscious it was, I immediately was inspired to recreate my favorite classic holiday drink, eggnog.
How-to Make Nut Milk
I am super excited to share this tutorial with you guys! Many of you have asked for a tutorial on nut milks, since I started the Tutorial Tuesdays Series. I have been making my own nut milks for quite a few years now. Once I realized just how simple it was, I have made a quart of almond milk nearly every single week.
I also love making variations on the flavors, at least once a month I make a quart of raw cacao almond nut milk. It’s the perfect sweet treat for me.
Much like my nut butter post, this is a general overview on how to make nut milks, but really the sky is the limit. If you have a favorite nut – I say MILK IT! As with the nut butters, I recommend soaking your nuts first, but for nut milks dehydration isn’t necessary, so it’s that much easier. Below you will find a chart on soaking times for various milks.
What Nuts Can You Milk?
First of all, let’s just get all the giggles out now. Sooo many amazing innuendos when it comes to nut milks. Oh, and guess what? It doesn’t get old. Everytime I pull my nut bag out. A good laugh is had! Anyhow – I myself have made nut milks from almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and pistachios, but from what I understand the same rules apply no matter what nut you choose, so you can create nut milks from any of the other nuts listed below and likely many others, too. FYI macadamia nut milk is amazing, so rich and full of incredible flavor, but literally it may be the most expensive nut milk you can make. I made a batch for this testing and I kinda wish I hadn’t. It was so good.
How & Why to Soak Your Nuts
Why I Choose to Soak: Most nuts, seeds, grains and beans are covered in natural chemicals – enzyme inhibitors and toxins – that protect them while growing, both from sprouting prematurely and also from predators. These nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens. Once harvested, those same chemicals, the major one being phytic acid – are indigestible to the human body and must be broken down before consumption. When food containing phytic acid is consumed, the acid combines with important minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption which inhibits our digestive systems’ ability to break the nut down properly.
The very simple process of soaking releases these chemicals, helping you to absorb your food’s essential minerals and nutrients. Additionally, by soaking the nuts with the removal of these nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances, the flavor and taste is much more ideal and appealing.
To summarize: Soaking nuts makes them easier to digest and improves their flavor.
How-to Make Homemade Nut Milks
1) Soak your nuts in filtered water for the appropriate time, drain and rinse.
2) Blend your soaked nuts with filtered water, adding in any flavorings you would like.
3) Pour into your nut milk bag and squeeze. Separating the pulp from the milk. Read the rest of this entry »