Soaking nuts overnight activates the dormant enzymes which are highly beneficial for digestion, energy and nutrition. When you soak grains and legumes, the enzymes and its nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids) multiply. There’s so much power and energy when they enter our body. Those hard-to-digest fats in nuts and seeds are converted into fatty acids when you soak them.
How long should you soak nuts? The denser the nut, the longer it will take to soak. Almonds take about 10-14 hours to soak. Hazelnuts would take about 8-10 hours, followed by pecans, walnuts and Brazil nuts at 4-6 hours. Less are required for cashews and macadamia nuts.
Sweeteners and flavorings add flavor to your basic nut milk. For sweeteners, you can use dried whole dates, maple syrup, agave nectar or brown rice syrup. The flavorings could be fresh vanilla bean or vanilla extract, almond extract, spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom or the spice used in making chai, some fresh fruits, raw cocoa powder or carob powder.
After blending, here are two ways to strain your nut milk:
- Through a milk bag – place/insert the nut milk bag onto a wide mouth pitcher and pour your nut milk. Then squeeze out the liquid into the pitcher.
- Or through a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth – pour the nut milk into the strainer. Press the solids in a circular motion with a ladle until the liquid has passed through. Then gather all four corners of the cheesecloth and slowly lift and squeeze the liquid. Although for ultra smoothness of the nut milk, just allow the nut milk to drain without using a ladle.
After straining the nut milk, you are left with an irregular mold of nut pulp. Since nuts are expensive, you can reserve them in making other recipes.
The recipe -
1 cup raw organic almonds or other nuts, soaked for 10-12 hours, drained and rinsed well
2-3 cups filtered water
Combine the almonds and 1-½ cups of water in a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. Pour the almond mixture into the sieve and let drain. Then grab the corners of the cheesecloth, holding it together securely and squeeze the cheesecloth to extract all of the milk.Return the nut pulp back into the blender and add enough liquid to cover the pulp. Blend again adding more liquid to liquefy the mixture if necessary. Strain the liquid and squeeze the cheesecloth to extract all of the milk.Transfer the milk to a covered glass container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Enjoy hot or cold.