When you say goodbye to normal milk it can feel like your whole world is ending. No more nostalgic childhood milkshakes. No more warm milky lattes on those cold frosty mornings. No more quick cereal fix in the morning. It can feel like drastic changes are needed and routines you may have had for years need to be adjusted. This can be hard, to say the least. But the beauty of it is that as a society we are becoming more aware of these intolerances. Brands are creating new products to suit various needs and cater to a wider market. It’s almost like our voices are finally being heard and our needs are finally being met.
New alternative milk products have been created, however, this poses a different set of dairy-free problems. For their shelf life to be longer, stabilisers and thickening agents are needed, and additional processed ingredients may be added to them. You may have read some words on the back of your favourite almond milk label and struggled to even pronounce them let alone know what they are. You may think you are just buying almond milk or cashew milk, but when you look on the back you see additional ingredients and wonder how that could be good for my body?
Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Maltodextrin (From Corn), Acidity Regulators, Vegetable Gums, Sunflower Lecithin… the list goes on.
If you have a sensitive stomach, you may find your stomach reacts to these additional ingredients, often just as bad as it does to dairy milk… There are brands out there that have alternative milk options with little-to-no ingredients, but they can come with a price tag and some simply cannot afford or justify spending that much.
So where does that leave you now? Unhappy? Upset? Frustrated and probably wishing you could go back to the good old days?
Well, the team at Free From + Allergy want to let you know that you are not alone! There are so many people dealing with these problems daily and we have a suggestion for you. Have you tried making your own nut milks? Now before you roll your eyes and say ‘I don’t have time,’ or ‘it is too tedious’ we want to share with you a quick and simple recipe that you can make ahead each week! It’s not as scary as it seems and can even be a way to get the young ones involved in the kitchen.
Almond Milk Recipe (or any other nut)
- 1/2 cup almonds (can substitute for any other nut)
- 2 cups of water
- Sprinkle of salt
- 1/2 date (if you want to add sweetness)
- Nut milk bag (you can buy this from your local health store, alternatively use cheesecloth or a chux cloth)
- Soak almonds in boiling water for 30min + or until the skin can be easily peeled off (if you have brought a skinless nut skip this step).
- Drain the nuts, peel them (skin should pop off if soaked for long enough) and rinse them.
- Soak nuts in boiling water for 30min+ (note the longer you soak the more milk you will make with it).
- Drain and rinse the nuts again.
- Add nuts, water, salt and date to the blender and mix until creamy and smooth.
- Pour mixture into nut milk bag and squeeze milk out of the bag into a bowl (transfer to a jar afterwards and use a funnel to help reduce mess).
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days (if it has a weird after taste, that is when you know it has gone rancid).
TIP* with the leftover nut pulp, you can dehydrate it and create a nutmeal with it and use for baking later! Alternatively, you can skip the dehydration process and use it in its damp form for baking.
There you have it. It may seem tedious to start with, but after a few goes you will see how simple and easy it is.
Do not let your goodbye to dairy mean goodbye to the foods and drinks you love. This nut milk recipe is a perfect replacement so you can have your childhood milkshakes again. You can have those warming creamy lattes again. You can welcome back your favourite cereal again!