How To Make Healthy Nut Milk
Nuts are nutritional powerhouses. In order to capitalize on their nutritional profile and protect ourselves from natural toxins, that protect them but harm us, they need to be soaked and dehydrated or sprouted. Soaking nuts is essential for our health.
Benefits of Soaking Nuts:
- helps neutralize enzyme inhibitors
- increases the potency of nutrients such as Vitamin B
- removes anti-nutrients like phytates, tannins and goitrogens
- makes proteins more available
- promotes the growth of healthy enzymes vital for healthy digestion
- eradicate toxins contained in the colon and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria like lactobacilli which is vital for intestinal and colon health
Have you ever had a terrible stomach ache after eating a lot of nuts?
There are toxic substances that protect nuts from destruction from insects and microbes. The toxins act as enzyme inhibitors in the human digestive process and are bad news for our health, if we eat too many of them without soaking them.
The soak-drain-rinse cycle removes enzyme inhibitors that exist in the skin of the nuts. Enzyme inhibitors are what allows nuts to stay dormant until they are soaked, sprouted, and ready to grow. It’s nature’s way of preserving the life force of the nuts so they can reproduce in the future. This natural protective phenomenon is a good thing for the survival of nuts, but if not neutralized before consumption by humans, it can wreak havoc in our digestive systems when consumed in vast amounts.
Soaking raw nuts makes nuts more digestible and removes bitter flavors without requiring roasting while also increasing the nutritional content of A, B and C vitamins. Soaking nuts in warm salted water activates the beneficial enzymes and neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors making them more digestible.
Soaking them in an acidic warm water solution (I use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar diluted in water) also encourages the production of friendly enzymes and beneficial bacteria, which, in turn, neutralize the phytic acid in nuts that strain the digestive system.
Guidelines For Soaking Nuts
For most nuts, the easiest and convenient thing to do is to soak them right before you go to bed. Then rinse, drain and dehydrate as soon as you wake up. Or soak them before you go to work in the morning and then rinse, drain and dehydrate overnight while you are sleeping. Then they are ready to use for breakfast in the morning!
It is important to not over soak nuts, which can compromise flavor, texture and nutritional value. Some nuts like brazil, hazelnut, and macadamia do not have enzyme inhibitors and need only to be rinsed or soaked briefly in order to soften for blending. Keep in mind; the longer nuts soak the more waterlogged they become.
“Floaters are bloaters.”
Throw out any nuts that float to the top as they are generally rancid. It is not uncommon to have a few floaters every time you soak. One other thing to note is that with some of the soft creamy nuts like cashews and macadamias, over-soaking can remove some of the rich healthy oils that are beneficial for your health.
It is best to store your nuts and seeds in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Nuts can become rancid if exposed to too much light and if they are left sitting around too long.
As for seeds, keep them on shelves or in cupboards. While they do look nice in glass or clear storage jars, it’s best to keep them away from light whenever possible. Hemp seeds are the exception–they are best kept in the refrigerator.
Homemade Nut Milk
Fresh nut milk is pure goodness. There is nothing better than homemade nut milk. Your smoothies will never taste the same when you add your own fresh nut milk.
Making nut milk is very easy: soak, blend, strain, and drink.
Follow the Almond Milk Recipe Below.
3-4 cups pure water*
1 cup almonds, soaked 4-8 hours and rinsed thoroughly
pinch of salt
1-2 T maple syrup or stevia
1 T liquid coconut oil
1 T sunflower lecithin
*Amount of water depends on desired creaminess.
Begin by making basic almond milk (almonds and water).
Add the remaining ingredients one at a time (maple syrup, stevia if you don’t want real sugar in it, salt, coconut oil, vanilla).
Add the lecithin – the lecithin helps prevent the fat/cream of the almond from separating from the water and should not affect the flavor.
Blend ingredients and strain through a chinois, nut milk bag or a cheesecloth-lined strainer.
My favorite Blueberry Smoothie recipe:
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons collagen
1 cup of spinach
1 t vanilla
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
Pinch of salt
Additional Information about the Flavor of Nut Milks:
- Cashew milk- rich and creamy, very good for raw desserts
- Almond milk- creamy and mild, perfect for baking
- Hazelnuts milk- very rich, nutty and earthy, perfect for savory dishes
- Brazil nuts milk- Creamy and rich
- Macadamia milk- rich and thick, good for desserts and raw cheeses
- Hemp seed milk- creamy, thick, nutty
- Pecan milk- nutty, earthy
- Pistachio milk- rich and creamy
- Sunflower seed milk- very nutty and slightly bitter
- Pumpkin seed milk- has a strong flavor
- Flax seeds milk- smooth
PLEASE NOTE: Sprouts can be subject to contamination, which can result in bacterial growth such as E. coli, leading to food-borne illnesses. Always purchase organic fresh products from a reputable source, wash your hands thoroughly before handling foods, and keep sprouting equipment and all kitchen surfaces clean to avoid cross-contamination. Always consume sprouts within a few days, fresh and straight out of the fridge. Some health organizations also recommend consuming them cooked to reduce the risk of infection. I certainly consume raw homemade sprouts and have never had an issue. Decide what is a responsible choice for you and your family.
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