Moving from dairy to dairy free never seemed like a massive change in our household. Firstly, we knew that it would only be mum and I making the switch - trying to convert dad was going to take a lot more effort. But all of a sudden we were faced with having to find alternatives which we enjoyed in all of our foods. We needed something that tasted great in our warm drinks, that was good with cereal and didn’t alter the result of any of our baking.
At this stage, all I knew was that I didn’t want dairy anymore - as a naturally lactose intolerant person I had been denying the obvious switch for years. However, sick of the horrible symptoms and encouraged by the fact I wouldn’t be transitioning alone, we threw out the dairy milk (well, leaving a little for dad - ruining the dramatic effect) and started the testing process of finding the new soulmate to our morning cereals and afternoon cups of coffee - albeit decaf.
That’s when we fell in love with nut milk. Nutritious, low in calories and low in cholesterol. Not to mention the wide variety of different nuts to choose from, each with their specialised flavours and benefits to suit you and your priorities. Now supermarkets are usually pretty good at offering dairy alternative milks in their long life aisle, but other than oat milk and almond there is so much nutty-goodness left to be discovered.
The benefits are endless, but most importantly it embraces a lifestyle that we are all about here at Live Lively. It’s financially more affordable, gives us freedom and variety, while encouraging a healthy mindset towards food and the understanding of our foods contents. As they all say, we are what we eat, and we must make every decision today with an awareness of our future self tomorrow. What better way to embrace this then by having homemade alternatives to our originally store-bought items.
With minimal ingredients and time or effort required, it’s easy to throw together these simple nut milk recipes. An assortment of flavour variations await when the creative cook in you hits so you can enhance your already delicious milk with some health-boosting spices and natural flavours. We’ve also included some sneaky essential oil additives from our Isagenix range to show you just how versatile these amazing products are.
A Quick Note about Soaking:
Now that I’ve got you all excited, I hate to be a bit of a buzz kill and slow your nut milking process down a notch. Soaking is an important process for most nuts, seeds and grains as they are covered in natural chemicals, enzyme inhibitors and toxins aiming to protect them during their growing process. Although simple, the process of soaking your nuts (jeepers - I just scared all the men off) releases these chemicals ensuring the efficient absorption of the nut’s essential minerals and nutrients into our bodies while also enhancing the flavour!
Here are some nut/seed options to play around with: Cashew, Hazelnut (must be peeled), Almond, Macadamia (which is gorgeous with strawberries), Pistachio (de-shelled), Pecan, Sunflower Seed, Pumpkin Seed. Don’t bother with flax seed or sesame seed - tried it, really not worth the wait!
Hazelnuts are usually pretty easy to peel - as long as they behave. Simply toast them in the oven on a baking tray then rub them between paper towels. The easiest option is actually to boil them for a few minutes with a heaped teaspoon of baking soda. Strange - yes - but works surprisingly effectively as the skins should slip right off.
Don’t be afraid to mix nuts or seeds for a unique combination. Be creative. I dare you.
Cashews don’t require soaking. However we would recommend to place the other nuts and seeds in a sealed jar or container covered with water and left in the fridge overnight to soak. Trust me, it’s worth it and easy to get into the routine of every Saturday night before a meal prep.
Here are our top flavour combinations:
There is a reason why the three wise men gifted Frankincense. For a healthy skin boost and a sense of peace, add a few drops of the Isagenix Frankincense Essence Oil and you seriously won’t regret it. Pistachio and date with a few drops of this? Tastes like ice-cream and even my dairy-free ass can handle it. That was a shit joke.
SWEETENERS: we recommend raw local honey, medjool dates, maple syrup or coconut nectar.
FLAVOURS: the world really is your oyster, shuffle through your spice drawers and play with some spice combinations such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, the list could go on. Matcha is also an awesome combination with a lovely green hue, however just be weary of the caffeine content if you’re trying to avoid it.
OTHER: garnish it up with chia seeds, or try coconut water instead, maybe top with some dehydrated berries for a pop of colour.
A Note about Nut Bags: (all remaining men retreat)
We source our nut milk bags from a place called Nuttz. This is a great online shop where you can also stock up on your favourite nuts usually at a cheaper rate than your local supermarket. However, there are some great alternatives to these milk bags, including hosiery (obviously un-used), a coffee plunger, or a fine mesh sieve lined with a double-layer cheesecloth.
The Basic Recipe - makes about 3 cups of deliciousness!
1 cup of nuts of your choice, 1/2 cup if using seeds
3 cups of water
Drain your soaked nuts/seeds and place into a nutribullet or Isablender alongside the 3 cups of water and any other flavourings. Combine these ingredients on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Place your nut milk bag of choice over a medium sized bowl, pouring in the contents from the blender. Lift the nut milk bag, twisting the top of the bag tightly to press out the milk while leaving the remaining pulp in the bag. For almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans, you have the option of putting the contents of your nut milk bag back into the blender with 1 cup of water and combining these on high for about a minute before straining again. This is because these nuts are slightly more pulpy. For thinner milk, add more water. For smoother/less gritty milk, repeating the straining process with a more gentle pressing action until your desired texture is achieved. Carefully transfer your creation to an airtight jug or jar and store in the refrigerator. This is keep for up to a week depending on the nut/seed type, so is perfect for a Sunday meal prep!
Remember to shake your nut milk well before use. Don’t be afraid when your pecan milk separates faster than the others, this is common within minutes of sitting undisturbed.
Looking for a quick nut milk fix? Go cashew milk. It’s easy, soft and doesn’t require the patient waiting of soaking. Also, it produces less pulp so is more efficient when it comes to clean up time.
These nut milks can be used in anyway that normal milk is. These are especially perfect in smoothies, hot chocolates, coffee or tea lattes. For something a little stronger on one of those days, grab a shaker with your favourite spirits for an amazing cocktail.
Also, don’t forget to save the pulpy goodness left in your nut milk bag! This is great fibre which can be easily used in recipes so you are obtaining the full health benefits of the nuts and seeds in your diet! I have listed some delicious recipes below. Or you can easily make nut meal by dehydrating the pulp by laying it thinly on a baking sheet and placing it in the oven for a few hours at 40 degree Celsius.
Recipes using nut pulp:
I really hope you enjoy these lovely recipes and experimenting with different nut/flavour combinations. Creativity and experimentation is so much fun in the kitchen, especially when we’re playing with such healthy and nutrient dense ingredients. Please share any of your favourite flavour combinations on our social media pages and let us know what type of recipes you would love to see in the future.
From our home to yours,
Hi there! Thanks for checking out the Live Lively blog. I am so excited to share my passion for productivity, personal growth and wellbeing!