TIME: 20 - 30 MINUTES (not including soaking time); SERVES: 3 1/2 CUPS
Adapted from Julia Turshen’s, ‘Small Victories‘
Even if you don’t have a lactose allergy, this “milk” is delicious in both hot or iced drinks. You can use any nut or seed you prefer, but like Julia Turshen, I’m a big fan of hazelnuts. Feel free to add different flavorings as well: a bit of cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and some of your favorite sweetener makes a yummy Horchata-esque beverage, or a delicious base for chai and coffee drinks. Roasted and pressed nut milks are traditional in many cultures; I encourage you to experiment with nuts/seeds that can be grown locally & organically in your region.
*Rather than purchasing roasted nuts, look for raw nuts that have been kept in cool temperatures—a rancid, roasted nut is one of the worst kitchen surprises.
1 cup raw nuts or seeds of choice (hazelnut, almond, pumpkin, etc.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spread the nuts/seeds on a baking sheet and roast until browned—but not burnt—and fragrant, about 12 minutes (8 minutes for seeds). If you hear them popping, give them a quick stir.
Transfer toasted nuts/seeds to a quart jar and add enough water to cover by at least 1” (the nuts will soak up the liquid). Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Drain the nuts/seeds and discard the liquid. Place in a blender with 4 cups fresh, cold water and process on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Drain the nuts/seeds in a “nut milk bag” or cheese bag over a bowl. (Pro-tip: tie and let hang from your kitchen faucet—it can take a while to strain). Squeeze out the remaining liquid by twisting the bag from the top down. Compost the leftover nutmeat or spread outside for the squirrels.
Add optional seasonings at this point. Keep in a quart jar in the fridge, and drink either warmed or iced. Shake well before use.