The buzz surrounding alternative milks has officially reached fever pitch. Whether you prefer almond, macadamia, coconut, oat, hemp, or any other type of substitute milk, you are definitely on trend; sales of non-dairy milks are up a whopping 61 percent in the last five years, and drastically climbing into the billions in sales each year.
Which got us thinking a bit more about the alt milks we’ve been drinking. Our social media editor Alyssa was recently staying at a friends house in California where, every day, her friend made her own alternative milk. When Alyssa got back to our New York office, she kept talking about (in a shocked tone) how organized and “adult” her friend was by virtue of the fact that she could make her own nut milk every night in preparation for morning ahead. And we were all equally shocked by it, too. Until I started thinking about it even more, and how, honestly, the alternative nut milk industry has tricked us into thinking non-dairy milk is an ordeal to DIY.
I too thought it’d be difficult and expensive; until I ran into this one recipe on CAP Beauty. CAP Beauty just so happens to be my very favorite shop, created by my very favorite wellness gurus (who also wrote my new favorite wellness book High Vibrational Beauty—this epic recipe is in their book, on page 250!)… so I knew it had to be good. As with all things CAP, the recipe is healthy but simplified, easy enough for everyday use.
Wondering why you should be making your own non-dairy milks when you could just buy them? Turns out, certain alternative milks contain tons of stabilizers to ensure they remain shelf stable for a few weeks, or even months. When you make them at home, they have zero—none, zilch, nada—stabilizers. They’ll last for a shorter amount of time than a store-bought version would, but this recipe makes close to four cups, which is a smaller amount than something store-bought. The shelf life is around three to five days, so drink up!
Also, pricing is a factor. Certain milks can be cheaper when you buy them versus when you make them, sure; but high-quality versions like coconut or oat can run quite pricey. This recipe features only five ingredients (one of those being water) and the cost-per-use over time averages less than what you’d pay for a store option.
Anyway, we’re rambling here. Let’s get to the meat of this story, the recipe, so you can get to DIY’ing at home.
You’ll need the following tools: a blender (ideally high powered to really blend everything finely), a nut milk bag, a large bowl, and a carafe in which to store your milk.
- 1 cup organic raw nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, or hazelnuts are all options CAP recommends, but feel free to use hemp seeds or oats here; you can even mix and match nuts)
- 4 cups filtered water
- A splash of vanilla extract
- 1 pitted date
- 1 tablespoon coconut butter or coconut oil (for richness)
Place nuts in a large bowl, cover with filtered water, and let them soak overnight. (The overnight soaking will activate the nuts so they are easier to digest.) In the morning, rinse and drain the nuts, and add to a powerful blender. Add water, vanilla, a pinch of salt, the date, and coconut oil (only if using; the vanilla, salt, date, and oil are optional). Blend on high speed for 30 to 60 seconds. Strain through a nut bag, pour into your carafe, and store in the fridge.
Notes: Feel free to play with your water ratio, as less water will yield a thicker, more cream-like milk. If you are making a seed or oat milk, there is no need to soak overnight. Feel free to immediately jump to blending step. As for all the strained nut extras, don’t throw them out. Add them to your morning smoothie or turn them into flour. Not sure which milk to make? Here is a handy guide to what alternative blend is right for you.