Over the past 40 years, global consumption of milk has dropped considerably. Alongside this, the number of people choosing to drink milk made from nuts (known as “mylks” or “malks”), soy milk and even vegetables, like peas, has increased considerably in all markets. Consumers are looking for an alternative to dairy that tastes as good, can be used for different types of cooking and drinking and comes without any of the lactose, ethical or environmental concerns that exist with dairy.
Markets for non-dairy milks of different types vary across the globe, but there’s no doubt that consumption of non-dairy alternatives is growing throughout the world. There’s even a worldwide day dedicated to plant milks! World Plant Milk Day is usually celebrated in August and looks to “celebrate a healthier, more environmentally friendly and kinder alternative to dairy.”
If you can think of a type of nut, the chances are you can buy milk made from it – almond, walnut, hazelnut, tiger nut, peanut, cashew and even tiger nut are common on the shelves nowadays. It’s never been easier and more convenient to seek out dairy alternatives – especially nut milks - wherever you might be. And it’s easy to make your own nut milk at home too.
Why are People Choosing Nut Milks?
They Prefer the Taste
Personal preferences can vary wildly, and some people just don’t like the taste of cow’s milk or other dairy products
Those against the dairy industry suggest that it’s an unethical choice and as a result are looking for an alternative that matches up with their values and beliefs
Commercial farming can have significant impact on the environment, those with concerns around global warming or who want to reduce their own environmental impact may choose to give up dairy. A glass of dairy milk produces almost three times more greenhouse gas than its plant-based alternatives.
Many people are lactose intolerant (as much as 75% of the world’s population, rising to 90% in certain demographics), and as a result choose alternatives to dairy products Health and lifestyle choice – dairy isn’t seen as a healthy choice by some so they choose nut milks as their drink of choice
Plant Based Diets
Veganism is on the rise, as are the number of vegan products on the market and the number of people looking to reduce their meat and dairy consumption Weight loss and calorie control – unsweetened almond and cashew milk have almost half the calories of skimmed milk. They can be a good alternative for those who are looking to control or reduce their calories intake. It’s also a way to reduce sugar intake from the lactose, which again can reduce calories.
Nut Milk Properties
Nut milks are also a good source of vitamin E and are quite often enriched with vitamin D. Enriched nut milk products can come with similar nutritional benefits to cow’s milk so from a dietary perspective, they match up. It’s also pretty low in phosphorous, which can bring concerns of heart and bone disease. Nut milks also aren’t recommended for children and babies, who need the nutrients and calories of dairy products.
But a thing to think about when it comes to nut milks is cost. Quite often, store-bought nut milk can be twice the price of its dairy alternative. Even if you grab a coffee in a café, nut milk often comes with an extra charge. Making your own nut milks at home can often work out cheaper than buying pre-made, and it doesn’t necessarily require any specialist tools to do so.
How to Make Nut Milk at Home
But how to make nut milk at home? It’s actually easier than you might think.
1. You add soaked nuts, water, salt (and any add ins such as berries or cocoa powder) into a blender and blend until it’s creamy.
2. Strain using a nut milk bag or thin towel – you can either discard the pulp or use it in
3. Add to a jar or covered bottle and throw in the fridge.
This is perfect if you’re looking to reduce the amount of processed food in your diet but still keep it convenient for your lifestyle. You know exactly what’s in it, because you made it.
Almond milk is a popular option for many people. It’s relatively easy to find in the stores and most people enjoy the flavour. It contains around one gram of protein per glass, compared to cow milk’s eight grams. The fat in almond milk is considered healthy too.
Watch how to make almond milk in the video recipe below
How to Make Almond Milk from Almond Butter
Making nut milk from raw nut butter is easy – you just add water to your nut butter and blend until it’s the right consistency. This skips the soaking and straining parts of the process, but can work out a little more expensive. You do end up with a richer-tasting milk with this method, so bear in mind you might not want to pour this on your cereal. Add some extra flavourings – like vanilla, maple syrup or salt - to your almond milk if you choose and mix it up.
As well being a good freezer staple to grab in a pinch, you can also make a number of different things from your almond milk once you’ve whipped a batch up. Here’s how to make buttermilk from almond milk, or should we say, how to make vegan buttermilk.
How to Make Buttermilk from Almond Milk
1 tablespoon (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pour lemon juice into a jug and add soy milk up to 250 ml
Allow to sit for a minute, where it will thicken and curdle into your vegan buttermilk. You can make fluffy dessert cream from almond milk too – there are a few different methods for how to make whipped cream with almond milk, depending on what your preferences are. You can mix it with coconut milk/cream, add sugar and vanilla flavouring or thicken up with agar and cornstarch.
While almond milk is probably one of the better known nut milks you can make at home, there are lots of other lesser-known types you can make too. There are a ton of recipes online for how to make macadamia milk, how to make peanut milk and even milk from tiger nuts.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK LAST?
You can keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days or up to 1 month in the freezer. Although we’re talking about nut milks, did you know that you can make your own soy milk pretty easily too? It can be frozen and stored in the same way (how long does homemade soy milk last: about the same amount of time as almond milk FYI). Homemade almond milk does taste best fresh, and might need a little shake before drinking in case the ingredients separate a little.
HOW TO MAKE OTHER TYPES OF NUT MILK
If you’re wondering how to make walnut milk, how to make hazelnut milk or how to make cashew
milk; it’s exactly the same. All you need to do is soak, blend and strain to delicious home-made nut milk. Did you know you can even make almond milk from almond butter? It turns a day-long, hands- off process into just minutes. The great thing about making your own nut milks at home, is that although it probably takes a day (taking into account for straining etc), it’s all pretty hands-off so you don’t need to keep an eye on it throughout.
Coconut milk is slightly sweeter and thinner than cow’s milk but provides plenty of nutrients. It contains fibre, vitamins C, E and B along with magnesium and calcium. It’s lactose free but doesn’t contain much in the way of protein. If you usually get your protein fix from milk, then you might need to think about increasing your protein intake from other sources.
How to Make Cashew Milk
Cashew milk contacts calcium along with vitamins A, E and D. It’s really low in calories but has relatively small amounts of nutrients and protein. One thing to look out for with cashew milk is that it often comes sweetened – so if you’re trying to keep an eye on your calorie and/or sugar intake, either look for a different type of nut milk or look for an unsweetened version.
It’s one of our favourite types of nut milk to drink and make. It’s super creamy, and like a lot of the other nut milks available, can be mixed with lots of different flavours for variety.
So, how do you make cashew milk? It’s exactly the same as the steps above for almond milk, it’s so easy. And how
long does homemade cashew milk last? It lasts 3-4 days in the fridge, and around a month if you
decide to freeze it.
Tiger Nut Milk
Finally, let’s talk tiger nuts. First of all, they aren’t actually nuts. They’re tubers – like sweet potato – but are smaller in size. They’re striped, hence the name tiger. They come from a plant called yellow nutsedge (cyperus esculentus). Tiger nuts are about the size of a marble and are chewy with a taste that’s a little reminiscent of almond or pecan.
In case you’re not familiar with tiger nuts, they rose to popularity a couple of years ago as a superfood rich in magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin E. They’re also filled with resistant starch fibre that can help you feel fuller for longer, so some say that tiger nuts can help you to maintain a healthy weight. There’s even rumours of it being an aphrodisiac when drunk, with lots of articles online for how to make tiger nut drink with dates. You can make tiger nut milk at
Overall, nut milks have a number of health benefits, are readily available to buy and easy to make at home. It’s no wonder that their consumption is on the rise as people seek out alternatives to consuming dairy, whether that’s for health reasons, ethical reasons or just personal choice.
Geranium's Rasmus Kofoed has decided to stop serving meat at the restaurant currently ranked number two on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. But the Danish chef isn't yet willing to go purely plant-based.