Nothing beats a velvety oat milk flat white or a creamy macadamia nut latte. But hot darn it plant milk can be expensive! Anyway, freshly made vegan milks are hard to beat in terms of flavour.
The recipes I’ve curated are simple, super tasty and can be made using a blender or with one of these incredible nut milk makers. I’ve also included troubleshooting tips and suggestions to help you create a recipe that suits your tastes, whether that’s barista-style or light and nutritious.
Let’s blend some nuts!
Are nut milk makers worth it?
If you’ve read my blog about the best nut milk makers, then you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of these handy machines. They not only produce super creamy nut milk, but they can also make large amounts extremely quickly; some of them take less than a minute! What’s more, there’s usually less clean-up and way less manual effort (save your energy for vegan weightlifting!)
They do come with a price tag but if you’re a nut milk junkie like myself, then they’re worth the investment. You also get a lot more freedom with the flavours and nutrition.
Other essential equipment
Smaller, bullet-style smoothie makers can be used, such as the NutriBullet 600 Series, but you may not get as much milk.
Don’t own a blender or a nut milk maker? Check out my cheat’s nut milk recipe below!
You’ll also need a nut milk bag, such as these ones made out of organic cotton. Alternatively, you could use a clean tea towel but I find these are harder to squeeze the milk out of so will take more effort! Sieves can be used at a push but these are mega slow and won’t produce the smoothest nut milk.
And last but not least, you’ll need something to store your milk in! I love these glass carafes with cork lids but you can store your nut milk in whatever you have to hand.
Is it necessary to soak the nuts and seeds?
Depending on how powerful your nut milk maker or blender is, soaking your nuts and/or seeds may not be necessary. Having said that, there’s no harm in soaking them in advance, particularly since there is some evidence to suggest that this may lead to improvements in digestion and nutrient availability.
If your blender does need a helping hand, then submerse your nuts and/or seeds with water in a bowl or other suitable container and leave them in the fridge overnight or for 4-12 hours. Rinse well before adding them to your blender or nut milk maker.
What's the best nut:water ratio?
Unlike shop-bought counterparts that use thickeners to economise on nuts, preparing your nut milk at home demands a slightly higher nut-to-water ratio for that rich, creamy texture.
Whilst many recipes advocate 1 cup of nuts to 4 cups of water, some people find that 1/2 cup of nuts to 4 cups of water replicates the creaminess of shop-bought milk whilst remaining cost-effective. To adjust the creaminess to your liking, I’d recommend using between 1/4 cup of nuts for a lighter consistency to 2 cups of nuts for thick nut milk that can substitute heavy cream or coffee creamer.
How to make your milk barista-style
There are a few options here and I invite you to experiment with what’s best for you. Many of the shop-bought brands use oil as an emulsifier, which helps the ingredients bind together to achieve a creamy texture. If you’d like to experiment with using oils, I recommend using a neutral oil such as avocado oil or peanut oil. I also like to use flaxseed oil since it contains lots of omega-3s!
Whilst refined coconut oil is neutral, it’s not liquid at room temperature and therefore not the best for plant milk recipes. Instead, you can try using coconut flakes, which add the necessary fat levels to promote a good barista froth. Cashews are also a great addition since they are also very high in healthy, delicious fats.
How to store your nut milk
In a clean, airtight container, your nut milk will stay fresh in the fridge for at least 4 days (I’ve been able to drink mine for up to 7 days). You’ll know if your milk has gone bad when you notice any unusual smell or changes in texture.
Remember to give the container a gentle shake before using the nut milk, as natural separation may occur.
Homemade nut milk recipes
Try out my cheat’s recipe, adapt my basic formula to make the best homemade nut milk or try out one of my favourite flavour combinations listed below!
Cheat's nut milk recipe
If you don’t own a blender or a nut milk maker, not to worry! I gotchu
Simply mix your favourite nut or seed butter (with optional sweetener, such as agave) with water and heat in a pan to ensure the ingredients blend well together. Drink hot or chill to serve
If you do have a blender, this recipe takes less than a minute to make! Just blend it up and voila!
I encourage you to experiment with your own ratios but here’s an example recipe:
1 tbsp of almond butter or nut/seed butter of choice
2 cups of water
Optional sweeteners or flavourings (e.g. 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup)
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth
Heat all ingredients in a pan over a gentle heat, stirring until incorporated
Basic nut milk formula
1/2 – 2 cups of nuts or seeds (soaked if necessary/desired)
4 cups of water
Pinch of salt
Optional: Medjool dates (with stones removed), syrup of choice, vanilla paste, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
- Follow your nut milk maker instructions – this is usually as easy as placing all of the ingredients into the nut milk maker, pressing a button, waiting for around 30 seconds and then pouring yourself a glass of smooth and creamy homemade nut milk!
- Place all of your ingredients in a blender and blend for 90 or more seconds until smooth, creamy and frothy
Hold a fine mesh nut milk bag over a large bowl and carefully pour the mixture into it.
Grip the bag from the top and move your hands downwards to squeeze the mixture into a ball
Gradually twist the bag to extract any remaining liquid
Transfer the strained nut milk into clean storage containers, seal them tightly and refrigerate (it will keep for 4+ days)
1 cup of almonds
5 cups of water
1 pinch of salt (iodised for extra iodine)
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole Medjool dates (with stones removed)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
- Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes
- Take the almonds out of the oven and flip them over before returning them to the oven for another 5 minutes
- Remove the almonds and let them cool completely
- Transfer the almonds into a large bowl and submerse them in water
- Place a cinnamon stick into the bowl and soak overnight or for at least 6 hours
- Drain the almonds and transfer them to your nut milk maker along with all of the other ingredients – follow nut milk maker instructions
- OR drain the almonds and transfer them into a blender with 1 cup of water
- Blend until the almonds have broken down
- Add the remaining ingredients and gradually pour in the remaining water until it reaches the right consistency for your preferences and blend for 1 minute or until it looks creamy
- Strain the roasted almond milk into a large bowl using a cheesecloth or nut milk bag
- Squeeze it well in your hands (as described in the recipe above)
- Transfer the strained nut milk into clean storage containers, seal them tightly and refrigerate (it will keep for 4+ days)
Creamy cashew milk
Cashew nuts blend really well and you don’t have to strain the milk, meaning that you benefit from all of the fibre and nutrients present in the cashews.
1 cup of raw cashews
4 cups of water
1 to 2 tbsp of maple syrup
2 tsp of vanilla paste
Pinch of salt
- Soak the cashews in water for 4+ hours, preferably overnight in the refrigerator
- Drain and thoroughly rinse the cashews
- Add the cashews and the remaining ingredients to your nut milk maker and follow the instructions
- OR add the cashews and two cups of the water to a blender
- Blend for a couple of minutes until the cashews are completely blended (you may need longer in less powerful blenders)
- Add the remaining ingredients, gradually pouring in the last 2 cups of water until you reach your desired consistency and creaminess
- This recipe doesn’t usually require straining but, depending on the power of your blender, you may wish to follow the straining steps mentioned in the recipe above
- Transfer the nut milk into clean storage containers, seal them tightly and refrigerate (it will keep for 4+ days)