by Cat, Dec 2011 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
When I need to avoid dairy (even raw), I used to use commercial soy milk and soy yogurt. But no longer – I believe that most soy products are not very healthful, especially commercial versions which contain undesirable ingredients. Instead, I make almond or coconut milk.
The method provided here for Almond Milk, can be used for any nut or seed milk. See also Sunflower/Pumpkin Seed Milk (3).
Many nuts and seeds will make a type of yogurt, although most sources agree that cashews work the best. See ‘References’ below for links to recipes and cultures.
- Includes: 1. Almond Milk (example)
- See also:1. Beverages Menu; 2. Soaking & Sprouting Nuts & Seeds; Other Sites: Sunflower/Pumpkin Seed Milk (3)
Almond Milk (example for Nut & Seed Milks)
This is far easier than you would think, and tastes better than commercial almond milk. This recipe is adapted from instructables.com (1) and wikihow.com (2), both of which sites have great photos of the process. Per instructables.com: 1 pound raw almonds makes 1 half-gallon milk. Use about 3 cups water for every cup almonds, after soaking.
I bought sprouted almonds because they are more nutritious than raw almonds, but if I were going to do this for a long period of time, I’d sprout my own, as raw almonds are about 1/3 the cost of sprouted almonds. See Soaking & Sprouting Nuts & Seeds for instructions.
NOTE: if using this milk to make almond yogurt, blanch almonds by pouring boiling water over them in a strainer, then rinse. Blanching removes unwanted bacteria from the surface of the almonds.
Makes 1 quart. Store almond milk in a jar in the fridge. Made without vanilla and honey, it provides 136 calories, 2.25 g net carbs, 2.5 g protein, 12 grams fat per cup.
Nut milk can be used to make cultured milk products such as yogurt (see References, below, for links to other sites). I don’t care for Almond Milk Yogurt because of its texture, and it takes a lot of almonds to make a tiny amount of milk. I do like Coconut Milk Yogurt as it cultures similar to dairy milk.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 cup shelled raw or sprouted almonds
- filtered water
- 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract (optional)
- raw honey (optional)
- quart jar
- Shell almonds, but don’t remove the skins. If you want to sprout them first, start that process 2 – 4 days before you want to use them. If making yogurt or kefir from the milk, place almonds in a strainer and pour boiling water over them, to blanch.
- Transfer almonds to a quart jar and add water to cover, plus extra to allow for swelling. Let rest on counter overnight (8 – 12 hours).
- Pour off water (discard). Add more water and remove any loose almond skins (Skins still on the almonds will be removed after grinding and straining). Drain again.
- Add 3 cups filtered water to softened almonds in blender. Blend, then strain through cheesecloth into quart jar. Add filtered water, as necessary, to fill jar. Dry almond pulp and use in recipes for extra fiber.
- Optional: Add vanilla and/or honey and blend again until thoroughly mixed.
Testing 1/10/11: Made as indicated, except no sweetener because I intend to make yogurt. Used sprouted almonds and blanched them before soaking. I removed the skins from about half the almonds, then gave up because it was too much of a chore. Since this is filtered to remove the bulk after blending, the skins get removed from the milk anyway.
I’m a dairy lover, so this milk is a little thin for my taste, but it tastes good.
- Sunflower/Pumpkin Seed Milk: wholelivingdaily.wholeliving.com/2010/11/dairy-free-soy-free-yogurt-step-1-sunflower-pumpkin-seed-milk-food-allergy-recipe-challenge-23.html
Nut/Seed Milk ‘Yogurt’
The following links provide instructions for making a yogurt-type product from almonds.
- RenegadeHealth.com: renegadehealth.com/blog/2010/04/07/how-to-make-almond-milk-yogurt
- VeganEpicure: veganepicurean.blogspot.com/2010/02/almond-milk-yogurt-version-one.html
- Living Without: livingwithout.com/recipes/homemade_nut_milk_yogurt-1717-1.html
- Rhios Raw Energy: “raw food info .com/recipes/cultured_foods.html” (bad link: may contain malware)
- YouAreWhatYouEat: grayson-youarewhatyoueat.blogspot.com/2008/12/recipe-nut-milk-yogurt.html
Seed Milk Yogurt:
Whole Living Daily:wholelivingdaily.wholeliving.com/2010/11/sunflower-seed-milk-yogurt-vegan-dairy-free-soy-free-and-nut-free-food-allergy-recipe-challenge-24.html
And the following are about different cultures for nut milks:
- GI ProStart Yogurt Culture (giprohealth.com/giprostart.aspx) This is a true yogurt culture and contains L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus and L. Casei and is dairy and gluten-free.
- Body Ecology’s Veggie Culture (bodyecology.com/vegetable-culture-starter.html): Contains L plantarum, L. lactis (3 subspecies) & Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp. cremoris. This is not a yogurt culture, but it will culture nut/seed milks at warmer-than-room-temperature of 95 F.
- New Chapter’s All Flora Probiotic: (whole-food-vitamins.net/organic.php?product=New%20Chapter%20All%20Flora%20probiotic%20formula): Contains L. rhamnosus, L acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. salivarius, L. helveticus, B. breve, B. infantis, and B. longum. Cultures at 95 F but doesn’t get thick like yogurt unless you thicken it with (organic) cornstarch.
- Vibrant Innergy Probiotic Blend (vibrantinnergy.com/node/26): Contains L. salivarius and L. plantarum-OM (a unique culture that ‘requires a very special culturing process’). It cultures at room temp, but continues to culture slowly after refrigeration.