Inspired by the “I am Grateful” cookbook from Cafe Gratitude, I made my first batch of homemade nut milk today. You can use a variety of different raw nuts but I chose to use almonds (should be soaked overnight and rinsed) and hazelnuts (which contain no enzyme inhibitors and therefore don’t need to be soaked). Put the nuts and and twice the amount of water in a blender (i.e. one cup nuts to two cups of water). Blend for about thirty seconds. Next you can either use a nut milk bag (which are surely a little easier to deal with and available at www.purejoyplanet.com) or I used cheesecloth, which can easily be found at Whole Foods or a kitchen supply store. I lined a strainer with the doubled cheesecloth and poured the mixture slowly in, letting the milk drip into a bowl underneath. After most of the mixture has poured through, collect the edges of the cheesecloth and fold together to make a little pouch. Squeeze out the excess liquid. Ta-da! You have fresh, yummy, raw nut milk with no additives.
Cafe Gratitude also offers a great recipe for vegan ice cream. Return the nut milk to the rinsed blender and add 1/4 cup of dates and 1 tbsp of lecithin (for each cup of nuts you used in your milk). Next add vanilla and/or raw cacoa powder and you have a yummy treat!