Eco Home Living

Published on March 15th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle

2

Make Your Own Milk, No Cow Needed

The dairy industry has decided the world’s not big enough for more than one milk. Ads attacking alternative milks are downright hilarious but tinged with sadness as well. One mocks alternative milk that require shaking. Farm fresh milk requires shaking to ensure the fats get mixed back into the milk but we’ve become so distant from farm fresh that many don’t know that. What we are really seeing here is fear. More people are forgoing cow’s milk because of health concerns and the dairy industry is feeling it. While milk alternatives like soy, coconut and almond milk can be a little more expensive, they’re totally worth  it. But what if you could make your own right in the kitchen? Well, you can and it’s a simple process.

Leave Bessie grazing in the field and make your own milk.

coconut milk

Coconut milk

Choose Your Flavor

This is the fun part. I would guess you could make milk out of most nuts, legumes, grains and coconut. So far I’ve tried soy, almond, rice and coconut with great success.  My favorite has been the coconut since seeing that hardened layer of coconut cream on top proved it’s success.  For some, it may be a matter of replacing dairy because of allergies while for others it’s all about flavors.

{cc photo courtesy of elana’s pantry on Flickr}

milk pitcher

Milk pitcher

Find a Container

I always forget this important detail and usually end up using mason jars. With all the canning I do, there’s always several of these guys hanging out in the kitchen. However, a visit to the local thrift store could round up a pretty glass container perfect for spotlighting your wondrous creation. There’s nothing prettier than a striking pitcher of homemade milk gracing the breakfast table.

{cc photo courtesy of CrazyModKimberli on Flickr}

Okara is left behind after straining soy milk

Okara is what is left behind after straining the soy milk

Choose a Recipe

There are so many milk recipes online because it’s that simple to make, anyone can do it. Most of these milk recipes follow a very similar guideline of about 1 cup nuts to 3-4 cups of water. For almond and soy milks it’s best to soak the nuts over night. This softens them for blending and can also remove any impurities. Remember to drain the water, you won’t use that water for the milk making process. When I first ventured into milk making I looked to Just Hungry since her Japanese cooking drives me mad with culinary desire. I figured if anyone was going to know how to make soy milk, she would. You’ll basically take the nuts, or other chosen item, and blend them with water. I blend and then allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes between pulses. I feel like it helps draw out all the flavor and goodness from the nuts. With coconut, you’ll do this but use one cup of water at a time. You’ll blend and strain and then add another cup to blend and strain and repeat with the third. In the Philippians the various milk from each phrase has it’s own name and purpose.

{cc photo courtesy of FotoosVanRobin on Flickr}

vanilla bean pods

Vanilla bean pods

Add Flavoring…or Don’t

The milks are all delicious but it’s fun to add some flavoring for pizzazz. I go natural with sweeteners choosing local honeys or agave syrup. I also enjoy adding a little vanilla which makes for a delicious treat. My daughter requested chocolate so you can add some cocoa to the sweetener and mix well and then add. Of course you could simply use the milk as a base for amazing smoothies and add fresh fruits or juices. Coconut milk mixed with a little pineapple juice is crazy delicious.

{cc photo courtesy of ted_major on Flickr}

wild rice horchata

Wild rice horchata is basically rice milk

Enjoy

If you have children, have them help with making milk. Children who help in the kitchen are more likely to taste new things and become culinary adventurers. This also can help take the edge off children living with food allergies. While other kids get to drink regular milk, having to forego that item may be difficult but if your child gets to create his own milk life becomes a little more magical.

{cc photo courtesy of kern.justin on Flickr}

Have you given up dairy for a milk alternative? What your favorite milk?





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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at www.viviannelsonmelle.com and www.craftyvivi.com



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