Making Milk Substitutes
There are many reasons we may use milk substitutes. We may have milk or lactose sensitivities, concerns over the cost, storage requirements or flavor of dried milk products, or maybe we just found ourselves in the middle of a recipe and discovered that we are out! Following are five recipes that can help.
1 ½ cups cooked rice ¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)
3 cups hot water 2 Tbsps mild-flavored oil
3 Tablespoons sugar or honey 3 cups cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Place rice, hot water, sweetener, optional vanilla and salt into blender. Blend at highest speed for 5 minutes. While blender is running, pour in oil and blend another 2 minutes, then add cold water and blend a final 5 minutes. Pour through a sieve into a pitcher and chill before using.
2 cups raw, unsalted almonds 3 Tbsps sugar or honey
7 cups water 2 teaspoons vanilla (opt.)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients into blender. Blend at highest speed for 5-7 minutes. Pour through a nut milk bag or a new, washed, nylon paint strainer into a pitcher. Squeeze bag to extract remaining milk. Refrigerate. Note: Leftover ground almonds can be used in baking.
2 cups raw, unsalted cashews 2 teaspoons vanilla (opt.)
6 cups water 2 tsps cinnamon (opt.)
3 Tablespoons sugar or honey 1/8 teaspoon salt
Place cashews and water in blender and blend 5-7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend another 2-3 minutes. Pour through a sieve into a pitcher and refrigerate.
2 cups oats (steel-cut are best, but rolled will work)
6 cups water 1 teaspoon vanilla (opt.)
3 Tablespoons sugar or honey ½ tsp cinnamon (opt.)
¼-½ teaspoon salt (to taste) 2 Tbsps mild-flavored oil
If using steel-cut oats, soak 20 minutes to overnight then rinse well, drain and place in blender with water. If using rolled, place dry oats in blender, blend until well-pulverized and then add water. Now (either version) add sweetener, salt and optional flavorings and blend for about 5 minutes on high. While blender is running, pour in your oil and blend about 2 more minutes. Pour milk through a fine sieve, nut milk bag or a new, washed, nylon paint strainer into a pitcher. Squeeze bag (if using) to extract remaining milk or press if using a sieve. You may strain a second time if you wish. Refrigerate.
2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 ½ cups boiling water ¼- ½ tsp salt (to taste)
3 ½ cups cold water 1 teaspoon vanilla (opt.)
3 Tablespoons sugar or honey
Pour boiling water over coconut shreds. Let cool to room temperature. Blend 2 minutes on high. Pour through nut milk bag or a new, washed, nylon paint strainer. This is now the coconut milk you would use in Thai cooking or other recipes. Use it as is or turn it into “Coconut Milk Beverage” (a cow’s milk substitute) by returning milk to the blender and blending in the remaining ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate. Note: Coconut pulp can be turned into coconut flour. Instructions here.
General notes: Reduce the blending times by half if you are using a Vitamix or similar blender. Include vanilla if you will use the milk in something sweet or over cereal, omit for making cream sauces, etc. By “new” nylon paint strainer, I simply mean never-been-used-for paint, not that you need to purchase a new one every time you want a batch of milk. 😉 If you have problems with the milk separating, try blending into half of the water at a very high temperature and then adding the balance of the water cold, as in recipe for rice milk. Use all milks within 3 days. Each recipe makes about 1 ½ quarts.