In this blog, I want to share with you how to make your own nut milk.
I will be using almonds in this example, but you can use hazelnuts or cashews instead. All you need to do, particularly with almonds, is to remove the skins.
Please click here to watch my video tutorial:
According to Ayurveda, almond skins are very astringent, which means they can be quite drying. One of the real benefits of almonds is that they are very lubricating and oleating, making them great for the skin in particular. We want to maximise what we call their Vata pacifying qualities.
How to de-skin the nuts
There are two choices to take the skins off. First option, soak the almonds overnight in cool water. The next day, take hold of the end of the nut and give it a squeeze. The de-skinned almond will then pop out really easily! By soaking the almonds in cool water over night, they take on the energetic coolness of the water and replace it for the more heating properties of the skins, which will then be removed anyway. The skins are also full of tannins, which make them astringent. The almonds are then really plump and hydrating for us.
The second option is good if you don’t have time to soak overnight. Simply take some hot water and immerse the almonds. In about 30 minutes they will have swollen up, so you can once again give them a little squeeze and they will pop out of their skins.
How to make the nut milk
To make the nut milk, take 50 grams of almonds and 200ml of water.
Put them in a blender – if you have one – and blitz it up, then squeeze the mixture through a cheesecloth or sieve and into a jug. The cheesecloth or sieve will collect an incredible pulp which must not be left to waste! It can be used in muffins, cakes and pancakes… Whatever you want, really!
Meanwhile, in your jug will be your delicious almond (or cashew or hazelnut!) milk. You can enjoy it straight away, but if you have made too much, the nut milk can be kept for a day (or two days maximum) in the fridge. In Ayurveda, we tend to not keep things much over 24 hours. This is because we like to make them fresh and enjoy them fresh!
What are the health benefits of nut milk?
From an ayurvedic perspective Almonds are awesome for the nervous system, helping to calm frayed nerves. They are are also wonderful for the skin and the reproductive systems. They give lustre and strength to these tissues. Nut milks are far lower in calories than cow’s milk, with some studies estimating nut milk has 80% fewer calories overall. Furthermore, many nut milks have equal (or more) levels of both vitamin A and D, while some even contain fibre, a nutrient absent in cow’s milk. Almond milk also contains enough 20–45% of your daily calcium requirements per serving, which is important for bone health as well as proper functioning of the heart and muscles. Almond milk is a wonderful milk alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, a condition where people are unable to digest lactose (the sugar in milk). Indeed, it is also perfect for those who avoid dairy milk on religious, health, environmental or lifestyle grounds.