I am constantly looking for ways to decrease the number of packaged and processed foods that make their way into my cart as the DIY version is likely a healthier option and more environmentally friendly (less packaging and trash!). Milk alternatives are great for us lactose intolerant folks but it’s nearly impossible to find a brand that fits my “whole food” criteria so I try to make them myself. Bonus–it is so easy to make your own and they taste delicious!What are my “whole food” shopping rules you might ask? They are pretty simple and work well to crowd out any non-food ingredients! I pretty much ignore the front of the package as it tends to be advertising and, instead, I grab a packaged food and head straight for the ingredient list. Then, I ask myself the following two questions:
- What ingredient would I use to make this food product at home? For example, if I were looking to buy a jarred tomato sauce I would only purchase a produce that contained olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, herbs and spices.
- Can I buy all of the ingredients in the grocery store? If I can’t it is likely because it is not a whole food ingredient.
When I am counseling clients I recommend that they swap one packaged food for a DIY item at a time. Today we are making our own milk alternatives and you will be amazed how simple it is once you master this blueprint recipe.
DIY Milk Alternative
1 cup raw nuts, seeds or unsweetened shredded coconut
6 cups water, divided
In a glass jar, combine your nut/seed or coconut with 2 cups of water. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours (overnight works well).
Pour the contents of your jar into your blender and add the remaining 4 cups of water. Puree into the blender until the nuts/seeds or coconut is pulverized.
Enjoy as is or strain through a cheese cloth.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
If you choose to strain your milk you can save the sediment and dry it out to make nut flour that can be used in another recipe for as a smoothie or oatmeal add-in!
Add Flavor: vanilla, cinnamon, turmeric and cardamom are just a few ideas of spices and flavors you can add to you milk. Bonus: they all pack some medicinal punch as well!
What is your favorite DIY nut milk flavor?