How to Make 4 Alternative Milks

Need an alternative to everyday lactose milk? Your options are endless and super easy to make at home!

There are lots of dairy-free milk alternatives on grocery store shelves, but did you know you can easily make your own at home? Whether it's to save money, have control over the ingredients in your diet or avoid additives found in many store-bought alternative milks, you can make your own dairy-free milk with just a few simple ingredients. Just gather nuts, oats or coconut and soak, blend and strain your way to your own dairy-free homemade milk.
 

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1 Almond or Cashew Milk

First, soak nuts. 
 

Regardless of the nut of choice, the basic formula for nut milk is the same: 1 cup raw nuts to 3 or 4 cups water. All nuts also benefit from soaking prior to being blended, as pre-soaking creates a creamier result.

For almond milk, place 1 cup raw almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water to about 2 inches above the almonds. Allow to soak overnight or for up to 2 days. The longer the nuts soak, the creamier the milk they'll produce. If soaking for longer than overnight, change the soaking water once. For cashew milk, soak 1 cup raw cashews and follow the same steps as almond milk.

When ready to make the milk, drain and rinse the almonds, discarding the soaking liquid.
 

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No matter what nut you choose, be sure the nuts are raw, unroasted and unseasoned. Roasted, salted or seasoned nuts will negatively impact the flavor and texture of the milk.

2 Blend the Almond or Cashew Milk

Place drained, soaked nuts in a blender with 3 or 4 cups of very hot filtered water — the water should not be boiling. If you don't have a blender, a food processor can be used, though a blender creates a smoother texture.

If desired for flavor, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt and about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons liquid sweetener such as agave nectar, stevia or honey to the blender.


 

Blend on low speed for a few seconds to combine. Increase speed to high and blend until creamy and smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture will expand some as it blends, so be sure to not fill the blender to the top to start.
 

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Adjust the amount of water to create the desired milk consistency, with less water yielding a thicker milk and more water yielding a thinner milk. Nut milk made with 4 cups water is about the consistency of skim dairy milk, while 3 cups water creates a consistency more similar to whole dairy milk.

3 Strain the Almond or Cashew Milk

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel to remove any nut bits. If using cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, place it over a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour the milk from the blender over it. Carefully gather together the corners of the cheesecloth or towel and lift up. Squeeze into the mixing bowl until all liquid is extracted.

You can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. Shake milk before using.
 

4 Oat Milk

First, soak oats.
 

Place 1 cup old-fashioned oats in a bowl and cover with cold water to about 2 inches above the oats. Allow to soak for around an hour. Drain and rinse the oats to remove some of the oats' starch. Be sure to discard the soaking liquid.
 

5 Blend the Oat Milk

Place drained oats and 3 cups filtered water in a blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.
 

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If using a high-powered blender, you may only need to blend the oats for about 10 seconds. Blending too long can break down the oats too much and make the milk gloppy.

6 Strain the Oat Milk

Strain through a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel to remove any oat bits. If using cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, place it over a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour the milk from the blender over it. Carefully gather the corners and lift up. Squeeze into the mixing bowl until all liquid is extracted.

Once strained, stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt and about 1 to 2 tablespoons liquid sweetener such as agave nectar, stevia or honey, to taste.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. Shake milk before using.
 

7 Coconut Milk

First, soak coconut.
 

Coconut milk takes just two simple ingredients to make: unsweetened shredded coconut and water.

Place 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut in a blender. Add 4 cups very hot water. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the coconut to soften. Do not drain or discard the water.
 

8 Blend the Coconut Milk

Blend at low speed a few seconds, then on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until creamy and well combined.
 

9 Strain the Coconut Milk

First pour coconut mixture through a colander into a pitcher or bowl to get most of the coconut bits out. Then strain again through cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel to remove any remaining smaller bits.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Shake before using.
 

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Coconut milk isn't just for drinking! You can use it in recipes too. It makes a great replacement for low-fat canned coconut milk.

About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebookTwitter or Google+.