Afraid of raw milk? Can't find it? Don't get frustrated - nut milk is your answer. It is indispensable in the raw kitchen, particularly if you're dairy free. You can use it any way you would use dairy milk: on your cereal - I love it on my raw granola - in smoothies, as a base for soup, or as a tasty drink on its own.
The boxes of nut milk you find on natural foods store shelves are not raw - even if they're labeled "organic." For nut milk to be shelf stable it has to be cooked. And some brands are sweetened with sugar and contain other non-raw flavoring ingredients to boot. Luckily, if you keep a supply of soaked nuts on hand, it's a breeze to make your own, and it costs a lot less, too.
Almond milk is my favorite, but you can use just about any type of nut or seed - cashews, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and even hemp seeds. Use the lesser amount of water for a thicker nut milk, and the greater amount for a thinner nut milk, and sweeten it to your liking. It will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 4 days.
1 cup raw nuts or seeds, soaked
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract, or ¼ teaspoon alcohol-free almond extract (optional)
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar, or 1 or 2 Medjool dates, pitted (optional)
In a high-speed blender, combine the nuts with 3 to 5 cups water and blend until the nuts are ground to a pulp. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or through a nut milk bag (see Sources, page 239) and press or squeeze out all the liquid. Reserve the nut pulp for another use (add it to your raw granola for a creamy porridge.) Add the vanilla and honey if using.
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