5 Minute Walnut Milk A Healthier Alternative to Almond
Nut milks are amazing – they are versatile, provide protein, are a great addition to smoothies or lattes and thankfully don’t carry the same allergen risks of commercial dairy milk (barring a nut allergy or severe autoimmune condition, of course). They’re perfectly paleo, vegan or pegan if you wish.
Best of all – you can create them! Any way you want. You call the shots. You decide what’s in your milk, and you don’t need to raise a cow and be up at 4:30 a.m. milking it. When you’re done making a nut milk, you now have the ingredients for a flour (instructions below).
Frankly, the so-called health food industry – or Big Food clamoring to get the health-conscious market dollar – is getting downright ridiculous and incorrigible. Just when you think you finally get the affordable convenience of buying a nut milk from the shelf, you find out most of it is just filler and has the addition of highly inflammatory ingredients like carrageenan, used as a thickener. Of course they need to use thickeners – they’re mostly water and you can tell when you see the paltry protein content on the nutritional label.
Worse yet, almonds – “milked” or not – aren’t even raw – not even when the label says so. They are allowed to be irradiated or gassed and that’s never disclosed, so it’s hard to say how much nutrition we actually get from them. Plus, almond prices are expected to soar due to our precarious bee population, coupled with drought and monoculture issues in the Western U.S. – making real almond milk harder to obtain. Additionally, almond milk causes more digestive issues in some people than other nut milks (could it be the irradiation or fumigants?).
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Let’s talk about walnuts
Recently, walnuts were discovered to have a positive impact on gut bacteria. Usually, probiotics take all the credit for that – but not anymore. Other types of foods are just as important for feeding good bacteria colonies in the gut. Walnuts are good for the liver, a great vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids, good for inflammation and brain health, and nuts are able to help reverse metabolic syndrome.
Additionally, they are great for the heart with their arginine content and support glutathione reserves in the liver – the master detoxifier. Just a daily handful of walnuts can reduce weight and heart disease and a daily handful can reduce your blood pressure, aid bones and support anti-cancer ability.
My recipe differs from others in that I make a more concentrated form so that I can use it more as a cream if I want or add water for smoothies, recipes and to get more bang for the buck. Plus, I used a Nutribullet which is too small to fit in all the cups of water necessary. But, this proved to be less work! I didn’t have as much milk to strain through cheesecloth.
Homemade Walnut Milk Recipe
Servings: 2 cups heavy milk, can be diluted for more.
Time: About 5 min plus soaking
Soak one cup of walnuts in a bowl of water making sure walnuts are covered by one inch of water. Soak overnight or for at least 3 hours. Lay out cheesecloth, blender, large mason jar and mesh strainer.
When you’re ready to make the milk, drain and rinse the walnuts a couple of times. Pop them in a blender for 2 minutes with 2 cups of water – or about 30-40 seconds in a Nutribullet.
Place mesh strainer over the jar and cover with cheesecloth and begin pouring a bit at a time. When there is too much pulp, gather the cloth in a sack and gently squeeze out the remaining liquid. Put the pulp aside and repeat the process with the cloth until the liquid is all done. At this point you can either store in the fridge as a somewhat heavy milk or dilute with more water to taste.
Keeps for 3-4 days.
Save the pulp from the cheesecloth. Spread on some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 hours at the lowest setting. Use a grinder mill to powderize the baked pulp. Voila! Gluten-free flour that can be used like almond flour.
This milk does benefit from the addition of a sweetener and/or vanilla. Original recipes call for honey, which is fine, but I prefer maple because of how the flavors pair, the lower glycemic index, the minerals and the anti-inflammatory benefits of maple. Soaking the walnuts makes it a snap to blend and removes most of the irritating components of nuts.
So, I hope you enjoy the benefits of walnut milk and flour in your recipes and drinks. Have you tried making a nut milk before? Please share any tips below!
This article (5 Minute Walnut Milk A Healthier Alternative to Almond) can be republished with attribution to Heather Callaghan and Natural Blaze.com, keeping all links and bio intact.