But when I do, it's nut juice!
I am not vegan, and I vacillate between long period of not eating any meat or animal products, and incorporating animal proteins into my diet. Even though I am not vegan, I almost never buy cow milk for the house. We go through a batch of nut juice like the one outlined below almost every day since the hubbs decided to jump on the no dairy bandwagon 6 months ago. He dropped 20 pounds in the first month going no dairy. If that is not an indication of just how inflammatory milk is for the majority of humans, I don't know what is. Full disclosure aside, the cow "milk " products of today (for the most part) are a disgrace to the human heritage of farming and sustainability practices that have propelled us into the "advanced" society that we are. Many mass produced dairy products are but whispers of the original vessels of nourishment now sanitized to meet mass-production minimal standards.
In respect of plastic-free July, we must also take into consideration just how much plastic the dairy industry consumes to meet mass packaging requirements just so it can peddle inflammation to unaware consumers. Dairy farmers also consume mass quantities of water to grow (largely) gmo-crops for feed (another equally lengthy and emotionally draining topic). Now these revolting scenarios lessen with organic labeling, but not as significantly as you would hope depending on your individual animal welfare moral compasses. Not to mention anthropologically speaking humans are genetically have been historically incapable of digesting lactose (prevalent in dairy products). When I took an anthropology class back in 2000, the number was upwards of 70% of the human race. While gene variants and evolution have created pockets of varying degrees of lactose tolerance, the fact still remains that we are in fact not cows, and nutritionally speaking have no need to consume any milk other than human breast milk past weaning. I know, a novel idea considering how much the united states pushes women to breast feed for as little time as possible, and to consume as much milk as possible.
Wow, and all I wanted to do was crack a joke and show you guys how I make my cashew milk in 6 steps! In short, making your own nut juices reduces your plastic footprint, and creates a deficiency in dairy consumerism that will hopefully shift farming practices in the long run. Aside from Step 1, the actual process of making any nut mylk takes only minutes!!
Heeeere we go!
- Soak. Soak 1 cup of your nuts of choice for a minimum of 4 hours. I use Berkey water, and an aggressive pour on my 1 cup of cashews pictured here. The traditional recipe is 1 cup nuts to 4 cups water, I normally make only cashew milk since it breaks down enough that I do not have to strain (laziness is real). I like to fill my vitamix to the brim, which is more than 4 cups so the extra nuts help make the nut juice creamier. I find that my nut juice has a smoother and richer consistency if I soak during the day, rinse, rinse, rinse, store overnight in the refrigerator, rinse again and then move on to steps 3 and 4. That takes more commitment than I have at times. If 4 hours is all you have, 4 hours is all you need. Almost forgot, I get my cashews through Amazon.com! While I try to get all of my dry goods through Thrive, these are more economical to get through Amazon.
- RINSE, RINSE and RINSE some more! If your water runs brown (yes, that happens especially with almonds...nuts are DIRTY!!), or white-ish, continue rinsing until your water runs clear as it appears in the photo for step 1.
- Production. I add pink salt, a bunch of cinnamon (this is Thrive market cinnamon in a reused glass jar), and maple syrup. After looking at this photo I am a little surprised at how much I actually put in. It is not sweet at all. You can substitute for dates (2 to 3), or other liquid sweetener of choice, or omit all together.
- Pulverize. This is the "make or break it step" for all nut juices in my opinion. If you do not have a vitamix I would have to assume that as long as you crank it to a high enough setting for a few minutes you should have similar results. I find if I do not rev these juices to at least to the 4 setting on my vitamix for AT LEAST 2 minutes plus (I have learned to just walk away) at that speed there is still too much grit.
- Boost. Once your mixture has blended into the milky looking goodness that plant juices have to offer, put your blender back to the LOWEST setting, and it is only at this time that you should put in any extracts. Extracts are usually a delicate formulation and the speeds at which your blender operates generate heat that may damage their flavor profiles or nutrient makeup and should only be added at the VERY END of your nut juice preparation. I will always use a vanilla extract, and I have been boosting with a dual-extract reishi from Mountian Rose Herbs to boost immunity! Since we all drink this nut juice, I only use one dropper full, so that it is always safe for littles.
- Pour and enjoy. I always use sightly more than one cup of nuts, and fill up my carafe, and this is the approximate amount I get with every batch. If you are using cashews or shelled hemp seeds, you will find that you rarely need to strain your nut/seed juice. Almonds, pecans and oats definitely require straining through either cheese cloth, or a specialized nut juice bag.
- STRAIN. Not picutred, because it is not necessary when making cashew mylk in this manner. However if you are making any other nut milk, you will need to strain your mixture. There are hemp bags, and some recycled plastic bags that are not as fine, but get the job done, and you can also use cheese cloth. Make sure to strain over a sifter placed over a large bowl. Straining through hemp milk bags and cheese cloth can create issues if you have any hand issues as they do not strain easily, which is where the sifter comes in handy; you can rest your bag in the strainer if you get tired. This is exactly why I make cashew mylk.
Note: Cashews are only considered SIBO friendly at a serving of "10 activated nuts" according to the Monash University's FODMAP app. Activated referring to the nuts being soaked, as you would during any nut mylk preparation. I had not consumed any cashew mylk during my elimination diets, and was able to reintroduce with no reactions. If you are currently dealing with SIBO, and going through your elimination diets, please reintroduce with caution. I also suggest soaking the recommended 10 nuts for 4 hours and consume, deciphering whether or not they will cause issue.
Do you enjoy nut juices? Have any tips and tricks? Let us know!
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