The Nut Milks You Don't Know About (and How to Save Money Making Them at Home)

It used to be that skim, 2 percent or whole were your primary choices when it came to milk. But these days, alternative milks made from nuts, seeds, and more are big business — half of all Americans say they’re drinking no-moo juice, with sales increasing 9 percent in 2015, according to research firm Mintel. (At the same time, dairy milk sales have gone down by 7 percent.) And while there are likely plenty of options on your favorite grocery store’s shelves — from old favorites almond and soy to newer ones like coconut, cashew, and macadamia — not only can they be pricey, but whipping them up at home is a fun option with loads of benefits like superfresh flavor, fewer mysterious additives (meaning none), and more protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Here are three nondairy milks you may not find in stores that you can blend in seconds:

Pistachio Milk

Makes about six 3/4-cup servings

1 cup low-salt shelled pistachios (like Wonderful Pistachios Lightly Salted No Shells)

2 cups water + 4 cups water

1-2 Medjool dates, pitted

In a medium bowl, combine pistachios with 2 cups water. Refrigerate overnight.Drain water and rinse well.Blend soaked nuts, 4 cups of water and date in a high-speed blender for about a minute (other blenders will take a little longer, around 3 minutes).Pour mixture into a mesh nut milk bag or double layer of cheesecloth to separate nut pulp from “milk.” Discard the solids and refrigerate liquid for up to 5 days.

 

How to use it: Make pistachio cardamom chia pudding! Mix 1 cup of your homemade pistachio milk with 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom. Whisk well and refrigerate for at least one hour, until thickened. Sprinkle unsweetened shredded coconut on top and serve; makes 1-2 servings.

 

Hazelnut Milk

Makes about four 1/2-cup servings

1 cup shelled raw hazelnuts

2 cups water + 3 cups water

Pinch of sea salt

In a medium bowl, combine hazelnuts with 2 cups water. Refrigerate overnight.Drain water and rinse well.Blend soaked nuts and 3 cups of water in a high-speed blender for about a minute (other blenders will take a little longer, around 3 minutes).Pour mixture into a mesh nut milk bag or double layer of cheesecloth to separate nut pulp from “milk.” Discard the solids and refrigerate liquid for up to 5 days.

How to use it: hazelnut hot chocolate. In a small saucepan over a medium flame, whisk together 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1½ tablespoons sugar, and a pinch of salt with ¼ cup hazelnut milk. As the mixture begins to boil, slowly whisk in an additional ¾ cup hazelnut milk, and blend until hot. Stir in ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract and serve.

Hemp milk

Makes around six ¾-cup servings

1 cup hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts)

4 cups water

Pinch of salt

Blend hemp seeds and 4 cups of water in a high-speed blender for about a minute (other blenders will take a little longer, around 3 minutes).Strain by pouring mixture into a mesh nut milk bag or double layer of cheesecloth to separate pulp from “milk,” or, depending on how you plan to use it (like the smoothie below), you can skip the straining process and use with pulp. Refrigerate liquid for up to 5 days.

 

How to use it: Take your hemp milk to the tropics with an island-inspired smoothie! Blend 1 cup unstrained hemp milk with 1 frozen banana, ½ cup cubed pineapple, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut until smooth. Pour into glass and garnish with additional coconut.

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