While store-bought nut milk is certainly convenient, it will never compare to the flavor of homemade nut milk. With an overnight soaking of nuts and a good blender, you'll be able to whip up a batch of nut milk in a matter of minutes that will leave you wondering why you haven't been making your own all along. We've come up with a versatile recipe that can be used for any nut (or a mix of nuts, go wild!) and gives you the ability to adjust the sweetness and consistency to your liking, something you just can say about store-bought.
a nut milk bag or fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth
Put the nuts in a medium bowl and submerge in cold water with at least 2 inches of water above. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to soak at room temperature until the nuts are softened and plump, at least 12 hours but preferably overnight. Nuts can soak up to 24 hours; the longer the soak the better.
Drain the nuts in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Transfer the nuts to a blender and add 3 cups fresh cold water, 1/8 teaspoon salt and the dates, if using. Blend on high until the nuts are completely blended and the mixture is very smooth, about 2 minutes.
Line a pitcher with a nut milk bag (if using a sieve lined with cheesecloth, place it over a medium bowl) and slowly pour the mixture into the bag. Carefully squeeze any remaining milk out of the bag and reserve the pulp (see Cook's Note). Whisk in the vanilla if using. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
The reserved nut pulp can be stirred into smoothies, pancake batter, oatmeal or yogurt for added flavor and nutrition.
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