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Hot Chocolate for Health – Making Nut Mylks

Posted on November 2nd, 2015

cinnamonNo, ‘mylk’ is not a spelling mistake! It’s just spelled that way so that you know it’s not dairy….

If you have a cow’s milk intolerance – and if you ever get yourself tested for food sensitivity, cow’s milk, along with gluten,  is the most likely to be flagged up – then you will be looking for a substitute… as indeed I was.  However, it has been no hardship since discovering how easy it is to make delicious nut and seed ‘mylks’.  My favourite is probably still almond mylk, though I also love coconut, and hemp seed.  Oh, I mustn’t forget hazelnuts.  Mmmm….

There are several ways you can make these rather than buying expensive shop versions… and you also then avoid the additives that the shop ones always include, such as additional sucrose as an emulsifier, or pasteurisation, which kills most of the enzymes.

  1. If you soak a soft nut or seed, such as shelled hempseeds, or cashews, and you have a high speed blender, you can simply add the strained seeds or nuts to the blender jug, add filtered water and blend to a smooth consistency. Its best to add less water at the beginning, so that you have a smooth cream, and then add additional water to the thickness you prefer.
  2. If you are using a harder nut or something with a shell like almonds that you don’t want to have to peel, you can blend with water and then strain to get a smooth milk. The best method is with a nut mylk bag, which you can purchase quite cheaply – you pour the contents of the jug into it over a bowl or another jug, let it drain, and then squeeze as much of the moisture out as you can. Save this for use in raw cake or biscuit making, or freeze to use another day.
  3. You can make your own almond or other nut butter by simply whizzing up dry organic nuts  in a powerful food processor and leaving it going until the nuts release their oil and turn into a butter.  You will need to scrape the bits from the sides from time to time, and keep processing for at least 15 minutes, by which time it will all get quite warm, but not hot enough to damage any enzymes.  Store the butter in a glass jar in the fridge, and as well as using it as a spread, you can add a tablespoon of it to some filtered water in a blender, and blend up to get almond mylk – a double bonus!Soyabella nut milk maker

In my view, the easiest method is to get a Soyabella! This marvellous piece of equipment is like an electric kettle, with a grinder attached to the lid, on to which fits a metal container which is like a sieve. You soak your nuts and/or seeds overnight, and place in the metal container, which you attach to the grinder. You fill the jug with filtered water, pop the top on, and press the button to grind. It stops after a few seconds. I usually do this 2-3 times to get the most out of the nuts. You then lift off the top again, let any liquid in the metal container drain out, and then you have the blended mylk already prepared in the jug…. So easy to prepare and clean!  As you can see on this short video (with added accompaniment from Alfie the labradoodle!)

Once you have your mylk, you can use it to make lovely hot drinks for those colder days and nights that are on their way! I like to add to a chai tea – or you can make your own chai by boiling up a piece of cinnamon, a touch of chili, cardomon, and nutmeg.  Then you can stir in some superfood powder like cacao, reishi mushroom, and sweeten with a drop or two of stevia, xylitol, or to help a bad throat, some carob syrup or Manuka honey. Or you can add a herbal tincture – I have been using the Wood Aven tincture from our lovely friends at Raw Ecstasy’s Herb Alchemy as a general health tonic, which seems to have staved off a snuffle and the effects of flying.  Finally stir in your nut mylk and you have a superfood hot chocolate that will supercharge your health at the same time!