Veganism and a plant-based lifestyle have seen an unprecedented boom over the last few years and with that a rise in the popularity of meat and dairy replacements. Due to this, there’s no doubt that plant-based milk has become more popular than ever over recent years as people look for dairy-free alternatives. Many believe, myself included, that plant-based beverage alternatives are healthier, less cruel and kinder to the environment than their animal-based alternatives.
Whatever your reason for wanting to consume more plant-based alternatives, supermarket-bought nut, soy, rice and oat milk are still a lot more expensive than cow milk and depending on where you live plant-based milk can be 4 times more expensive than cows milk. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be when you make it at home.
If you’ve been following my Instagram stories recently, you’ll know that I’m all about making my own plant based milk. Making your own vegan milk at home is easy, fuss-free, cheap and much more delicious than store-bought varieties. You only need a few pantry staples and some inexpensive, basic equipment. There are actually a couple of ways to make your own vegan milk and whichever way you choose to do it in just minutes you’ll have your own fresh, delicious plant-based milk.
WHY MAKE YOUR OWN MILK?
It’s cheaper! Making your own plant-based milk costs only a fraction of the price of a carton of store-bought alternative milk, meaning you really get to save some money. When I make my homemade milk it ends up costing about a dollar a litre.
It’s better for your health! Shop bought milk is full of additives, hidden sugars and preservatives that keep the milk fresh for a long time. By making your own milk you avoid all these extra additives. It’s also better for your digestion compared to animal-based milk too.
It’s environmentally friendly! While some plant-based milk can be found in glass bottles, most are still sold in cartons with plastic caps that get thrown away after just one use. This trash ends up in a landfill for years, or worse, in the ocean. Even if your plant-milk carton is made from recycled materials, isn’t it better to just generate ZERO waste, to begin with? When making plant-milk at home, the only waste product is the ‘pulp’ which is compostable and actually can be used to make tart bases and plant-based crackers.
It tastes better! If you give making your own plant-based milk a go, you’ll probably never go back to store-bought! Why? Because it tastes AMAZING! Homemade almond milk, for example, is super fresh, creamy, nutty and actually tastes like almonds.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGAN MILK AT HOME
To make plant-based milk you’ll need a blender and a nut milk bag. You can get one here for very cheap on Amazon. If you don’t have a nut milk bag, you can also use a coffee strainer, cheesecloth or large muslin.
Need a new blender? I can’t recommend my own Instant Ace Nova Blender that makes everything from soup, nut butter to instant almond, rice or oat milk and has hot and cold settings click HERE.
Get your organic cotton nut milk bags here
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN MILK AT HOME
First you’ll want to prepare your nuts of choice. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts work best for milk as they have a lovely creamy texture. As a general rule, you’ll need one cup of nuts for 1 litre of milk.
For approximately 1 litre of milk:
- 1 cup of almonds, cashews or hazelnuts
- 3-5 cups of water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Medjool dates (optional- for extra sweetness)
- A pinch of sea salt
Put the nuts in a bowl. Cover with warm water and leave to soak overnight. The next day, drain the nuts and put them into a high-speed blender with 3-5 cups of water. I tend to start with 3 cups and add more as I go to get the perfect desired thickness (I prefer thicker milk). Add the vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt and Medjool dates if using. Blend it all on high for about 3 minutes.
Next, pour the mixture through the nut milk bag into a bowl. Squeeze the nut milk bag until every last drop of liquid is extracted. You’ll be left with delicious nut milk and a nut milk bag full of pulp. Transfer milk to an airtight glass bottle and store in the fridge.
Note that DIY nut milk only lasts 2-3 days before spoiling so make only what you need to avoid wastage.
HOW TO MAKE RICE MILK
Not everyone always has nuts on had and let’s be honest, they are expensive. Rice, however, isn’t! This is the perfect recipe to create your own homemade vegan milk when you’re on a budget but looking for a healthy alternative.
For approx 1 litre of milk:
- 1 cup of uncooked white rice
- 4 cups of filtered water
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 Medjool date (optional)
- a drop of vanilla extract (optional)
Start by soaking the rice. Soak the rice for 2 hours in 2.5 cups of boiling water. The rice should be raw but soft. Drain and transfer into a high-speed blender adding 4 cups of water, salt and dates and vanilla extract if using. Blend on high for about 2-3 minutes until well combined. Taste the milk to see if you need to add more dates for sweetness or salt.
Next, pour the mixture until a bowl through a nut milk bag and squeeze until you get out every last drop of milk. Transfer the milk into a glass mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
HOW TO MAKE OAT MILK
Oat milk is incredibly easy to prepare and actually takes just 30 minutes from start to finish, so if you’re pushed for time I’d recommend making a batch of oat milk.
For approx 1 litre of oat milk, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of steel-cut or whole oats
- 2 cups of filtered water
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 Medjool date (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon or allspice powder (optional)
First, soak the oats by placing them in a bowl and covering them in hot water for 20 minutes. Next, drain the soaking water and rinse the oats in running water. Place the oats in a high-speed blender along with 2 cups of filtered water, salt and the other ingredients you decide to use. Blend for 2 minutes on high. Before filtered taste the milk to see if it needs more sweetness or salt. Filter through a nut milk bag into a bowl, squeezing out every last drop of liquid. Transfer to a tightly sealed glass bottle or mason jar and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Get my favourite organic cotton nut milk bags here
MY FAVOURITE MILKS
Each milk is great for different purposes and they are all so versatile, but I do have my favourites for certain things.
Coffee & Tea: Oat milk- there’s nothing quite like a creamy oat milk latte.
Porridge and Cereal: I love almond, cashew and rice milk in my porridge, I love the contrast of flavour between the nut or rice and the oats and fruit.
In recent weeks I’ve found myself being busier and busier and I’ve been looking for new ways to make my own vegan milk in the fastest way possible. We all live busy lives and most of us don’t have a spare 30 minutes sometimes to make milk-hands up if that applies to you! That’s why I recently decided to try out Almond Cow– a kettle sized appliance that makes any plant-based milk in minutes.
This magical milk maker turns any nut, seed or grain into plant-based milk quickly, efficiently and with no clean-up afterwards. It now takes me just 5 minutes the night before to make fresh-almond or oat milk for the next day. The milk is freshly made every time and you’ll never need to spend money on store-bought milk again- it’s already saved me $70 in just one month. If you’re plant-based and regularly make your own milk, this appliance is a must. Discover it here.
Do you have any comments or questions about how to make vegan milk at home? Leave them below, I’d love to hear from you.
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