Registered Nutritional therapist Shirley Ward shares with us the nutritional benefits of making your own nut milks. We know it's better for the planet, and it's better for your body aswell...
There are so many “ready-prepared” nut milk drinks available now you may wonder why you should bother to make your own? Well you may change your mind when you take a quick look at the ingredients in some of these milks! Sugar, salt and artificial preservatives can be found in some and weirdly even the better quality nut milks may contain only 2% nuts!
Making your own milk is quick and easy, you’ll know exactly what it contains and the nut content will be much higher! Various nuts work well for making milk – brazils, hazelnuts and cashews, I’m using almonds but try different nuts, each contain different vitamins and minerals..
ALMOND MILK RECIPE
You will need:
· 1 cup of raw (non-roasted) organic almonds
· 2 cups of filtered water
· 1 Agnes milk bag
· Jug or bowl
· Food processor or jug blender
First soak the nuts overnight in water – just enough to cover them. Why do you need to soak over night? This helps to remove a substance called phytic acid, which binds to minerals like zinc (a key immune system mineral) and iron (needed to carry oxygen to cells) and can inhibit absorption of them. Also I’ve found soaking the nuts beforehand produces a “creamier” texture milk.
Then discard this water and rinse thoroughly before putting nuts into a processor/blender. Add the filtered water (a teaspoon of raw honey can be added at this stage if you prefer a sweeter milk (optional). Blend on high speed for a couple of minutes – the water should now be white and opaque.
Wash hands well before the next step. Put the milk bag in a bowl and carefully pour the contents into this. Close the bag and knot tightly. Keeping the bag inside the bowl squeeze the bag by twisting from the top downwards until all liquid removed. The nut milk should keep for 2 to 3 days if kept refrigerated in a sealed container.
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF ALMOND MILK
A good source of vitamin E which aids skin healing, is a stress-protective antioxidant and a good source of essential fats to support heart health. Being lactose-free it tends to be easier to digest than dairy milk.
ZERO WASTE TIP : The beauty of making your own milk is nothing needs to be wasted. Don’t discard the ground nuts in the bag as this is a good source of protein and fibre which promote satiety and good fats linked with joint support and mood balance. They are great to add to porridge/smoothies or adding to home-made granola/scones.
Shirley is a Registered Nutritional Therapist (MBANT CNHC) who delivers nutritional consultations, corporate workshops and seminars through her nutritional practice Down To Earth Nutrition