Vegetable based milks are lighter and easier to digest than animal milk. Over the past years they have grown in popularity to become a mainstream product, and are widely appreciated even among non-vegetarians. There are many different types of vegetable milk, for example soya milk, oat milk, rice milk or almond milk to name a few. Vegetable milks are particularly recommended for vegetarians and especially for vegans (who exclude even eggs and dairy products from their diet), as it can be difficult, when respecting these dietry requirements, to take in all the vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain a balanced diet.
Here are two recipes to make walnut and hazelnut milk at home, both of which are not easily available in supermarkets. Both recipes can be made using the same machine used to make soya milk (available to buy online or in specialty stores). If you don’t have access to this machine, a simple blender and colander can be just as effective, not to mention cheaper!
To make roughly one litre of hazelnut milk, you’ll need the following ingredients:
– 1.1 litre of water
– 80-90 g of peeled hazelnuts
Soak nuts in the water for at least 2 hours. Once the time has lapsed blend the nuts and water together in a blender. Filter the resulting liquid through a sieve, preferably lined with a linen cloth or cotton. Make sure you crush the hazelnuts thoroughly in order to extract all the juices. The hazelnut milk is now ready! You can pour it into a sterilized glass bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Do not forget to shake the bottle before use.
You can make several variants of this recipe. To dilute the flavor of hazelnuts, you can make milk with almonds and hazelnuts: use 50g hazelnuts with 35g of almond kernels. To enrich the milk with calcium (extremely important for people who don’t consume dairy products), just add a pinch of calcium powder in the bottom of the bottle before transferring the filtered milk. If you use calcium seaweed extract, for example, where the calcium is obtained from the Lithothamnium Calcareum (a plant), you get a drink which is also suitable for vegans. To sweeten the milk, add a tablespoon of raisins before blending.
To make walnut milk here are the ingredients you’ll need. The method is very similar to that in the previous recipe. To make approximately 1 litre of walnut milk you’ll need:
– 3 cups of water
– 1 cup of shelled walnuts
Leave the nuts to soak overnight in the water. Once softened mash them well and mix them with water to reducing them to a mush like consistency. Filter the mixture through a sieve, preferable lined with a cotton or linen cloth. Pour the milk into a sterilized glass bottle and shake well before use
The options for sweetening the drink are endless: you can mix the nuts with a handful of pitted dates or raisins, you can also add a little agave syrup or stevia, a natural vegetable sweetener very low in calories. To give a little more taste to your milk, you can add some vanilla powder. The milk can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.
Do not throw away the nuts that are left behind after filtering the milk. You can easily reuse them when making desserts, biscuits or even focaccia!