July 15, 2009

Save Money by Making your Own Milk from Nuts

by Guest Author Kathryn Vercillo

The price of milk seems to be climbing rapidly. Non-dairy alternatives like soy milk have always been expensive and now cow milk costs are high as well. Most of us use milk daily in everything from coffee and cereal to baked goods and casseroles. You can reduce your grocery expenses by cutting back on your milk intake. Alternatively, you can start making your own milk to save money. The least expensive type of milk to make is nut milk.

Almond Milk

Almost milk is a terrific substitute for cow’s milk. The nutty taste goes especially well in coffee but it can be used to replace milk in cereal or in any recipe that doesn’t require your milk to be too creamy. The really great thing about it is that it’s easy to make. Here’s the recipe that I use:

Soak one cup of raw unsalted almonds overnight.

Combine almonds with four cups of water in a blender. I usually do this in two parts (half a cup almonds with two cups water, blend and repeat).

Place cheesecloth over pitcher and pour through the cheesecloth. This catches the pulpy part of the almonds. (You can use coffee filters instead of cheesecloth to strain the milk). Add a sweetener to taste. I add a little bit of vanilla extract and a few spoons of honey to my almond milk because I think the natural taste is a bit bitter. Other people add maple syrup or blended fruit.

This makes about a half pitcher of milk. From two cups of almonds, I can get a full pitcher at a price that’s a lot lower than buying a gallon of milk from the store!

Making your Milk Thicker

One of the biggest complaints that people have about nut milk is that it’s not as thick and creamy as regular milk is. You can make yours thicker by adding a banana to the blender when you mix your milk. Alternatively, you can add half of a small potato or sweet potato to the blender to create thicker milk.

Using Other Nuts

You can use this same basic recipe to make milk from other nuts as well. Brazil nuts make really good milk although these are pricey in most areas. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios and macadamia nuts can all be used as well. Some people prefer to use a mixture of nuts. When doing so, you can even add seeds (sunflower, flax and pumpkin are good choices). This is a great way to use up some of the leftover snacks in the house!

Guest post by Kathryn Vercillo. Kathryn is a writer for Promotional Codes which gives away saving codes online, and also publishes a money-saving blog.

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