From our contributing writer, Autumn Todd. Contact us via facebook if interested in contributing!
I, personally, am a little creeped out by the rBGH and antibiotics (to treat the issues from the growth hormone) found in milk, so I usually buy organic raw milk or some type of almond milk. But I wanted to try something different and I ran across an article about raw, home-made nut milk. It seemed easy enough, so I bought some nuts and got started. You don’t have to use the specific nuts I did, get creative and come up with your own combinations.
For my delicious drink, I chose an assortment of nuts including brazil nuts, almonds, and filberts (hazelnuts). Each type was raw and unsalted, and purchased in bulk (it saves money). I was amazed to find out about all of the extra health benefits of nuts – I knew they were good for you, but this ‘milk’ is exceptionally healthy!
Brazil nuts are high in calories (not a bad thing) and full of awesome vitamins and minerals. The high-calorie content comes from the type of fats in the nuts, but again, this is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing. This type of fat is called mono-unsaturated fatty acids (like oleic acid) and these help lower ‘bad cholesterol’ and increase HDL, or ‘good cholesterol’. A diet rich in mono-unsaturated fat helps prevent coronary artery disease. Brazil nuts have an exceptionally high amount of selenium in them which helps with liver disease and cell damage because of the antioxidant power. Cells are also protected by vitamin E, which brazil nuts have. Trace elements of copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc are present in brazil nuts which can help with blood disorders and cell growth.
Almonds are a long time favorite of mine, and they should become one of yours soon. Almonds offer heart health support too, but they also have vitamin E and manganese. Known as our body’s own calcium channel blocker, manganese allow veins and arteries the chance to expand, allowing better blood, oxygen, and nutrient flow. This helps provide a double barrier of protection against cardiovascular disease. Just lovely really.
Filberts – ha, whatta name, right? – or, you know, hazelnuts. (I so enjoyed ‘filberts’ my whole way through the store.) It’s called a filbert because it’s more enclosed than a hazelnut – that’s all. Anyway, the good stuff. These little nuts help create a healthy blood lipid profile, decreasing the chance of heart disease by increasing your good cholesterol from their mono-unsaturated and essential fatty acids (are you seeing a trend here with good nuts?!). While these nuts also boast some vitamin E, their richness in folate makes them a special treat. Folate is an important vitamin in preventing certain types of anemia, and neural tube defects in newborns. Filberts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins too, such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6
Why not drink up the goodness? Check out my sweet little filberts.
If I haven’t yet won you over with the pure joy of these nuts, well, I’m not sure what else to do. Perhaps the fact that this nut milk is a breeze to make might win your heart. Start with soaking the nuts. The reason nuts never go bad in your cupboard, jar, or pocket is because of special enzymes that keep the seed from sprouting. When you eat the nut, you eat that, and when you eat that, you keep your own digestive system from breaking the nut nutrients down. We need to absorb the nutrients, so give ‘em a little soak. Anywhere between six and eight hours is generally a good time period, but be sure to rinse the nuts well afterwards. You’ll notice that your water is, well, disgusting looking from the enzymes (and dirt) floating around. Better in there than in you, right?
Now, a warning: the consistency is not the same as milk (but I guess more like skim milk), because it is not milk as you know it. You can play with your own measurements of water in the blending process to find what works for you. Just so you can’t say I didn’t tell you.
Raw, Home-Made Goodness: Nut Milk
•nut milk bag (I used a ‘jam bag’ technically but I’ve read that clean panty hose works, too)
•clean jar for storing
•1 full cup of soaked raw nuts
•3.5 cups of filtered water (for blending)
•2 cups of filtered water (for soaking)
1. Fill up a measuring cup with 1 cup of nuts. If there are spaces in between the nuts, fill a little more.
2. Add 2 cups of filtered water. Leave nuts for 8 hours.
3. Rinse and drain nuts.
4. Blend soaked nuts and 3.5 cups of filtered water.
5. Pour mixture into a nut milk bag inside of milk jar.
6. Squeeze to make sure all liquid is out. Store in fridge. The nut milk lasts for about 4 days.