making plant-based milks.

plant-based milks
In the interest of simplifying, I rarely cook with or use plant-based milks, but sometimes water or other liquid just won’t do, so it’s time to make some milk. Making plant-based milks is really not that complicated, it just takes a little time and forethought. The result is a cheaper, fresher, healthier version of what you can buy at the store, which often contains added oils, preservatives, and flavor/texture enhancers.

making plant-based milks.

Today I’m going to share my four favorite plant-based milks, but the method is essentially the same for any grain, seed, or nut. Blend 1 cup of dry, soaked grains/seeds/nuts with 4 cups of filtered water in a high-speed blender like the Vitamix. Strain through and then “milk” a tea towel to remove the pulp. Serve or refrigerate. Different grains/seeds/nuts will of course result in different flavors, so experiment to find your favorite and feel free to add natural sweetness and flavor by adding in a date or two, a splash of pure vanilla extract, a little cinnamon, or whatever makes you happy!

making plant-based milksmaking plant-based milksmaking plant-based milksmaking plant-based milks

That’s all there is to it! So be creative and see what plant-based milks you enjoy the most. Here are my favorites:

rice milk.

rice

Many recipes for rice milk use pre-cooked rice, but 1) I’m lazy and always looking for the fastest way to do something (who has time to cook the rice first??), 2) I rarely have leftover rice that doesn’t already have other seasonings mixed in (cumin flavored rice milk anyone??), and 3) I find the end result to be too thick (like a rice smoothie…it’s not pretty). Sooo…if I need a little rice milk, I soak uncooked rice the night before, rinse and drain in the morning, and blend with fresh water.

rice milk.
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup soaked brown rice
  • 4 cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Blend together until smooth.
  2. Strain through a tea towel.
  3. "Milk" the tea towel to get all liquid through.
  4. Serve or chill.

oat milk.

oats

Occasionally (read: frequently) I forget to plan ahead and I need milk but haven’t soaked any rice, so oat milk made with rolled oats saves the day. You can of course also make oat milk with whole oat groats or steel-cut oats, but then it’s best to soak the grains.

oat milk.
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 4 cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Blend together until smooth.
  2. Strain through a tea towel.
  3. "Milk" the tea towel to get all liquid through.
  4. Serve or chill.

coconut milk.

coconut

Making coconut milk is best accomplished with hot water, making it difficult to use right away if you’re needing a chilled beverage. However, if you’re cooking with it anyway (like this delicious creamy wild rice and carrot soup) or have time to chill it, this is a very rich, creamy option with a pronounced coconut flavor. Once you chill coconut milk it will most likely separate and the coconut fat will solidify. Just shake/stir it up before use.

coconut milk.
 
Prep time
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 4 cups hot filtered water
Instructions
  1. Pour hot water over coconut in blender and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Blend together until smooth.
  3. Strain through a tea towel.
  4. "Milk" the tea towel to get all liquid through.
  5. Serve or chill.

banana milk.

banana

OK, so really banana milk is just like a really thin smoothie, but it’s so good. Honestly, if I want milk to drink, this is the only plant-based milk that I think really tastes good. The others are great for cooking, baking, and topping cereal, as the flavor gets lost in whatever they’re used with. But banana milk is heavenly all by itself. Be sure to use fully ripe bananas. I like to use frozen bananas and occasionally substitute coconut water for regular filtered water for a little added sweetness and flavor.

banana milk
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas (fully ripe, fresh or frozen)
  • 4 cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Blend together until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately - banana milk quickly turns an unappetizing brown.

plant-based milks

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go make something delicious with all of this milk! What are your favorite plant-based milks?

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