This Pantry Item Solves All My Nut Milk Problems
Wave goodbye to your carton of almond milk for good.
Dairy-free milks have become a staple in my fridge – but even as an alternative milk fan, it’s rare you’ll find me sipping on a tall glass. I buy cartons of oat or almond milk simply to splash in my coffee or tea, and against the label’s recommendation to consume within 7-10 days of opening, I’m often quietly pouring from an open carton long after it’s certified fresh. (“Best If Used By” means the product’s taste is no longer optimal after a time frame, while “Use By” means the food becomes less safe to consume as time passes. So if you, too, push label recommendations, keep this in mind.)
But then I found a solution I didn’t know I needed: Joi, a versatile, one-ingredient nut base. Currently offered in Cashew or Almond, jars of Joi are filled with a smooth paste that’s thinner than creamy peanut butter, but thicker than water. The base can be used to make fresh nut milks by blending a ratio of 1 to 2 tablespoons of Joi to 1 cup of water in 30 seconds. The milk itself lasts up to 7 days in the fridge, and the beauty of the product is that you can make as much or as little as you want. And you can adjust creaminess, sweetness and flavorings to your exact liking.
What’s even better is that the jar of Joi is shelf-stable, even after opening. Almond lasts for 18 months in the pantry, and cashew for 12. Since the product can safely standby, fresh nut milk can be prepared in minutes whenever you need it. And, if you’re like me, you can save precious fridge space with a smaller bottle than the carton you’d be grabbing from the supermarket. You also cut down on single-use plastics – one jar of Joi contains 27 one-tablespoon servings – and avoid food waste by preparing only what you’ll use.
Overall, using it is quicker than making nut milk from scratch, and offers all the benefits of homemade. Plus, it tastes great. Because the jars contain just one ingredient, the nut itself, the resulting milks taste pure and simple, and feel cleaner than their bottled counterparts.
The paste can also be used directly in smoothies, desserts, dips or any dishes that call for a velvety texture and nutty flavor. Just know, however, that Joi isn’t necessarily a replacement for your go-to spreadable nut butter. Even simpler butters contain oil in addition to nuts to thicken the product. Joi on its own is too thin to reasonably spread on toast and pick up without dripping.
But as far as nut milks go? I’m immediately replacing my collection of half-finished bottles for this satisfying, little jar.