How To Make Vegan Milk From Almond Oat Flaxseed Coconut And Hazelnut

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Making delicious plant based milk that is non-GMO, environmentally friendly, additive free and less expensive than the options you find in the grocery store has never been easier. All you need is a couple key ingredients, a blender, a strainer and about 10 minutes of your time. 

Are you wondering which kind of vegan milk to make?  Some vegan milks are more environmentally friendly and healthier than others, so let's look at some of the key contenders in the plant based milk category, discuss the pros and cons, and how you can make your own milk with the best organic ingredients. Almond milk and soy milk have been the most popular for many years, but there are other great alternative milks like oats, flaxseed, coconut and hazelnut. 

Just use a blender, then strain your mix into a bowl using a fine mesh stainless steel strainer, nut milk bag, cheese cloth or a very thin towel. Strained milk can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days. Shake before serving.

 


Almond Milk

Almonds are one of the most consumed nuts and they are an excellent source of healthy fats and proteins. It is not surprising that vegans especially love to snack on them regularly. It would seem like almond milk would be a good choice for those of us who choose not to consume animal products. Unfortunately, the commercial almond trade is a huge contributor to land degradation and uses massive amounts of water in production. It is estimated that growing one almond takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce. So, your average 1 liter container of almond milk from the grocer took about 1,611 US gallons (6,098 liters) to produce. Even if you choose to make your own almond milk, you’ll find that most recipes yield about 5-10 almonds per cup of milk. So that is about 5.5-10+ gallons of water used to produce that one cup of almond milk. 

Additionally, the amount of pesticides used in the California non-organic almond industry are causing soil infertility and health effects on farm workers and local residents, let alone the effects on end consumers.  So if you buy almonds, be sure to buy organically grown almonds, and stay away from non-organic almonds.

Furthermore, like most milks, commercial almond milk is often treated by ultra high pressure homogenization (UHPH) to increase shelf life, which changes the structure and valuable nutrients that we want in the almonds.  So it would be much better to blend up your own almond milk in your own kitchen and avoid high tech UHPH.

Although non-organic commercial almond milk isn't an environmentally friendly option, organic almonds contain very high amounts of Vitamin E.  About 1 ounce of almonds contains about 37% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin E, which is a great antioxidant and can aid in reducing stress and inflammation in the body. 

The take away - eating raw, organic almonds in their most natural state, is the healthiest, most environmentally sustainable option, IF you are young and have strong teeth.   But almonds have caused many a broken tooth, especially as we get older, so If whole almonds are hard for you to chew, then go ahead and use organic raw almond butter and make your own organic almond milk every once in a while, but please don't let the pulp of these precious nuts go to waste. Use what is left after making your milk for a topping to your morning oatmeal or for a delicious dessert.

Almond Milk Recipe 

What You’ll Need:

What To Do:

  1. Soak the almonds for 12 hours, then strain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Blend on high speed until creamy - about 1 minute.
  3. Strain the blended milk.

Soy Milk

Soy products have long been a substitute for lactose intolerant individuals or vegan diet followers, but there are some very worrying issues with non-organic or GMO soy based products, and soy beans in general. 

We do not recommend soy milk because it can cause stomach and intestinal problems, allergic reactions and thyroid problems in some people.

One study raised concerns for the consumption of soy-based products by children of the breastfeeding age, due to endocrine disruption caused by the herbicide residues (glyphosate) found on soy products. 

Besides the health concerns, commercial soybean production is also a big contributor to land and soil degradation.  Our diet can affect the environment in many ways, so it's best to eat in a way that is sustainable to Mother Earth.

Click here to learn more about how to bring soil back to life

Coconut Milk

Coconut has been relied on throughout history for many reasons, including it's nutritional and medicinal properties. The coconut palm is known as Kalpavriksha, or the all giving tree in ancient Indian literature. Coconut contains microminerals and nutrients, which are essential to human health. Scientific research has shown coconut to be antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, and immunostimulant. Coconut is known to regulate blood sugar and to support the brain, digestion and heart. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconuts may benefit cholesterol levels.

If you're concerned about nut allergens and you're looking for a more tropical taste to your vegan milk, then coconut milk is a healthy option to try.

The delicious taste, texture and the bonus of healthy fats that are found in coconut milk are what most people love about this delicious dairy free milk.  

Coconut Milk Recipe 

What You’ll Need:

What To Do:

  1. Mix the water with the coconut in your blender.
  2. Blend on high speed until creamy - about 1 minute.
  3. Strain your milk.

For coconut cream, add 1 tsp coconut oil.

Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnuts are a good source of vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber to help digestion and good fats to support heart health.  These delicious nuts have excellent anti-oxidant activity that fights inflammation too.
 

Hazelnuts are a delicious nut and they are especially¬†tasty when roasted. If you prefer that roasted flavor, make sure to roast them on low heat between¬† 92¬ļF to 118¬ļF (33¬įC¬†to¬†48¬įC)¬†for about 15-30 minutes so that the nutrients are not harmed.¬† Turn¬†the nuts in a glass baking dish every few minutes until you have reached your desired toasty taste.¬† Use a little more water to make roasted hazelnut milk.¬†However, if you want to get the most nutrients out of your hazelnut milk, use raw nuts.¬†¬†

Hazelnut Milk Recipe

What You’ll Need:

What To Do:

  1. Place hazelnuts in a jar and cover with water and allow to soak overnight.
  2. Strain the nuts, rinse, and add to a blender with 2 cups filtered water.
  3. Blend on high speed until creamy - about 1 minute.
  4. Strain your milk.

Tip:  Add a little sweetener to roasted hazelnut milk to balance out the bitterness.

Use your hazelnut (or almond) pulp left over for a delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse by blending with a ripe banana, 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder, 1 Tbsp coconut oil, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt. It's a divine dessert and guilt free too!

    Flaxseed Milk

    Most commonly, flaxseeds are found as brown or yellow varieties and come as whole seeds, ground meal or they are made into oil. The brown colored seeds are known to have more antioxidants than the yellow. There are several health benefits to incorporating flaxseeds into your diet, due to the healthy soluble fiber, protein and fatty acids they contain. They are second only to chia seeds for their omega-3 fatty acid, ALA.   

    Flaxseed Milk Recipe

    What You’ll Need:

    What To Do:

    1. Add water and flax seeds to a blender.
    2. Blend on high speed until creamy - about 1 minute.
    3. Strain your milk.

    Oat Milk

    Oats contain soluble fiber, which makes you feel less hungry for a longer time.  Oats have been linked to lowering cholesterol levels if consumed regularly. They are naturally a bit sweet, which means you won't need any extra added sugar. With a similar amount of effort required to making oatmeal (very little), it is very affordable and easy to make you're own oat milk at home.   

    Oat Milk Recipe

    What You’ll Need:

    What To Do:

    1. Briefly blend the oats and water in a blender.
    2. Strain your milk.

    Tip: Do not soak the rolled oats beforehand or blend them too long because this will make the milk slimy.  Just measure the dry rolled oats and blend them the shortest time possible until they are creamy.  Do not use a nut milk bag for oats because this will also give you slimy oat milk, so just use a stainless steel fine mesh strainer for the best home made oat milk.

    Use the oat pulp left over for pancake batter by blending with a ripe banana, 2 eggs (optional), 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt. 

    More Ideas For Your Homemade Vegan Milk

    • Add vanilla or cinnamon for flavoring.
    • Add a pinch of salt.
    • Add 1 tsp coconut oil to make a great coffee creamer!
    • Add dates, honey or maple syrup for a sweeter tasting milk.
    • Always use your leftover pulp for cereal or one of our¬†recipes.

    Try healthy grains, nuts and seeds for a delicious plant based dairy free milk! 

     

    Resources:

    Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet https://healthy-happy-now-tips.myshopify.com/admin/articles/395785404471

    Nutritional Value of Commercial Protein-Rich Plant Products https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29500810/

    Bioactivities of alternative protein sources and their potential health benefits https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28804797/

    Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21771462/

    Development of Non Dairy Milk Alternative Using Soymilk and Almond Milk https://www.foodandnutritionjournal.org/volume6number1/development-of-non-dairy-milk-alternative-using-soymilk-and-almond-milk/

    Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31130604/

    [Nutritional value and functional properties of flaxseed] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22888664/

    Development of Non Dairy Milk Alternative Using Soymilk and Almond Milk http://www.foodandnutritionjournal.org/volume6number1/development-of-non-dairy-milk-alternative-using-soymilk-and-almond-milk/ 

    Ultra high pressure homogenization of almond milk: Physico-chemical and physiological effects https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814615009553

    California state and county officials falling short in evaluating use of agricultural pesticides https://www.ioes.ucla.edu/article/california-state-and-county-officials-falling-short-in-evaluating-use-of-agricultural-pesticides/

    Prepubertal subchronic exposure to soy milk and glyphosate leads to endocrine disruption https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28017703/

    Amino Acid Composition of Novel Plant Drinks from Oat, Lentil and Pea https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32260282/

    A Hazelnut-Enriched Diet Modulates Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Gene Expression without Weight Gain https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31354906/



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