Wow! Once you’ve tasted the original flavor of homemade nut milk, you’ll never go back! I’ve always been curious to compare flavor and nutrition in nut milks. Today’s experiment was to compare seven nut milks made with the same easy recipe – see it below. I used Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Coconut flakes, Hazelnuts, Hemp seeds, and Pumpkin Seeds. The results were amazing, and I hope you find them helpful. For yummy flavor additions, see my recipe post: Spike Your Nut Milks! Nothing is thrown away in these Nut Milks. Save the pulp and use it cup for cup in any recipe that calls for almond meal, such as my High-Protein Paleo Fruit Nut Breakfast Bars!
Homemade nut milks are super-easy. You’ll need a blender or food processor. The better your blender, the smoother your nut milk will be. When you discover the savings in time and money, plus the added nutrition in homemade milks, you’ll join millions of pure food-conscious healthy flavor-lovers and become a BlendTec or VitaMix owner. There are many fine blenders, but these two are the only true superblenders I know of.
Alternative nut milks are now a mainstream popular food, one of the fastest growing grocery segments, and sales are booming. One reason is because dairy allergies are on the rise. In addition, many people would like to reduce their animal footprint. Another reason is profit. Alternative milks are one of the highest mark-up items on grocery shelves, and manufacturers are racing to corner a share of the market. That’s another reason why I was curious to compare various milks in flavor and nutrition. See descriptions and nutrition info below.
And the winners are:
Best mild flavor for cow’s milk substitute: Almond, Coconut, Brazil, Cashew
Most fabulous rich taste on my grain-free granola: Brazil Nut
Creamiest soft texture: 1st place: Cashew, 2nd place: Hemp
Highest Superfood nutrition: 1st place: Hemp, 2nd place: Pumpkin
Deep, dark flavor that will make you swoon: Hazelnut Milk with chocolate
Most versatile taste: Coconut
Lowest price: Coconut
Highest in Protein: Hemp
Lowest in Protein: Coconut
Most versatile mild flavor with high protein: Almond
Least expensive: Coconut
Most expensive: Hazelnut
Almond Milk – has a lovely mild flavor and is one of my favorites. Almond milk is relatively high in protein. The flavor is pleasing, rich, and satisfying. I used soaked and toasted almonds. You can also use soaked, raw almonds that are still wet. Or soaked and dehydrated almonds. Almond milk is a perfect substitute for anything you’d use cow’s milk for, either sweet or savory dishes. Delicious plain, on granola, in smoothies, milkshakes, creamy savory dishes, or desserts. Almonds are often quite expensive.
Brazil Nut Milk – Creamy, luscious flavor, and so mild that you could easily use this in any recipe calling for dairy milk. Brazil Nut Milk is amazingly delicious plain, in milkshakes, quiches, smoothies, flavored nut milks, and yummy with cookies. Brazil nuts have a higher fat content, and are cheaper than some other nuts. It would have been my favorite flavor – except I can’t choose between this, Almond, Cashew and Coconut – all fantabulicious!
Cashew Milk – This was the creamiest and richest, and sexiest texture, with a heavenly natural sweetness. Cashews have a natural softness that lends itself to this smooth beverage. Cashew milk is perfect to drink plain, in milkshakes, smoothies, and especially anything with a sweet flavor. In savory dishes it will lend an unusual rich, sweet quality that’s distinctively different from cow’s milk. I did not soak the cashews. Unlike other nuts, cashews, have already been partially soaked before selling. I gently toasted them, which brings out the sweetness. If you use raw cashews, you’ll get a milder flavor, and just as creamy smooth. Cashews are medium priced to expensive, depending on your source.
Coconut Milk – Easy, delicious, subtly sweet and inexpensive. No wonder coconut milk has been a staple food in Asia for centuries. It was thinner and not quite as creamy as the cashew milk, since 1/2 cup shredded coconut is much lighter and has much less bulk than 1/2 cup cashews. Coconut milk has a faint flavor of coconut, and is delicious plain, in milkshakes, smoothies, as a cow’s milk substitute, and of course with cookies. Shredded coconut is cheaper than any other nuts tested.
Hazelnut Milk – Strong, surprising, with deep sexy undertones. This has a more masculine flavor that’s tall, dark, and handsome. Hazelnut milk is surprising for some people to drink it alone. And with its distinctive taste I would not use it as a cow’s milk substitute in cooking or smoothies. However – get ready to melt with sensual pleasure when you taste hazelnut milk with chocolate. OMG – this is something to die for! I use hazelnut milk in coffee drinks, hazelnut chocolate milk, Mayan coffee, Nutty chocolate cream pie, and chocolate hazelnut pudding. This one is a keeper! My hazelnuts were soaked and lightly toasted. Raw hazelnut milk would not be my favorite – I prefer the toasted flavor with chocolate! Hazelnuts are quite expensive.
Hemp Milk – has a luscious creamy texture. Its flavor is delicate and distinctive. Hemp Seeds are a genuine superfood, one of Nature’s perfect sources of nutrition. Hemp Seeds are a complete protein with a beneficial balance of amino acids. They are high in proteins, essential fats (such as Omega-3), vitamins and enzymes, while being low in sugars and carbs. Since hemp milk is SO easy to make, I suggest you try it. The nutritional benefits are so great, that it is an important part of my diet. I use hemp seeds in smoothies, snacks like Chocolate Hemp Bars, Hemp Mayo, and as a substitute for cow’s milk.
Pumpkin Seed Milk – Another superfood nut milk with a pleasingly mild, nutty flavor. Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses concentrated in a very small package. Pumpkin seeds are rich in a variety of nutrients including protein, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc. They also contain plant phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can boost health. I use pumpkin seed milk as a cow’s milk substitute, and in everything from smoothies to granola to quiches. Most people like its mild, special flavor. And if they don’t you can always cover the flavor subtly with a yummy addition – see my recipe post: Spike Your Nut Milks!
I chose the most common nut milks. But don’t let that limit you. You can use this recipe for macadamia, sunflower, pecan, sesame, walnut milks, etc. All of them are delicious.
Start with 1/2 cup nuts and an empty blender.
Put 1/2 cup nuts and 2 cups water into the blender.
Blend for one minute. Then blend for another minute.
Pour the blended milk into a nut milk bag.
Squeeze! Save the pulp to use in any recipe as a substitute for almond meal.
Pour yourself a nourishing glass of nut milk and enjoy!