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Walnut Milk
GoodLiving

Walnut Milk 

All you need are walnuts. Other optional ingredients just up the flavor. All photos by Nathalie Krull

Have you ever tried nut milk? Creamy, delicious, and unadulterated nut milk? The homemade kind, not the kind from the grocery store that has all the extra additives to keep it shelf stable. As people are becoming more aware of the environmental and ethical issues of food production, particularly of animal food production, nut milks are gaining popularity. Most nut milks on the supermarket shelves however, contain many less than desirable ingredients. Preservatives, along with sugar, salt, flavorings, gums, and emulsifiers, are all added to the final product, and presented to you as a healthy option. I personally would like to limit the amount of ultra- processed foods in my life. This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, but simple recipes like this one certainly help. So, give it a shot, and make it fresh, you will not only taste the difference, but you will also avoid all of those extra unnecessary ingredients. 

You can make nut milks with any kind of nut. I particularly love to make walnut milk. It’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and cholesterol free…It actually helps lower cholesterol levels. Walnuts have greater antioxidant activity than any other common nut. Walnuts contain many nutrients including Vitamin E, melatonin, magnesium, plant compounds called polyphenols, and omega fatty acids that are important for reducing inflammation. Walnuts are rich in nutrients and deliver healthy fats, much needed for optimal brain health. 

It may be just a coincidence that the shell of a walnut looks like a tiny brain, but research suggests that walnuts are indeed good for your thinker. They are linked to better brain function, including improvements in memory, learning skills, and anxiety-related behaviors. They contain Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega fatty acid that is tied to brain health. ALA is an essential fatty acid, because the body can’t make it, and it’s needed for normal human growth and development. Some other sources of ALA are flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and fish oils. Unless you are consuming some of those foods regularly, you may not be getting enough. Did you know that because walnuts have such a high amount of omega fatty acids, they can go rancid? Rancid oils can make you sick, and cause inflammation in the body, among other more serious problems. I personally store all of my nuts in a drawer in the freezer to keep them fresh. I also love how frozen nuts taste: super cold, and crunchy. 

If you haven’t tried walnut milk before, try using it in a smoothie, in cereal, drink a glass with a peanut butter sandwich or a chocolate chip cookie, or my personal favorite way, in a matcha latte, or a turmeric ginger latte. It’s so creamy, delicious, and simple to make, you’ve gotta give it a try. 

Easy-Peasy…You’ll need:

Ingredients:

  1.  1 cup organic raw walnuts
  2. 4 cups high quality filtered water
  3.  ¼ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon (optional)
  4.   2-4 dates (optional) I use 2 dates to add a slight sweetness
  5.   1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

Let’s get to it…

Directions

What is simpler than nuts, water and spices?

First you will need to soak your walnuts in some water overnight. I place my walnuts in a mason jar fully submerged in water and covered with a cheesecloth or a lid overnight. Next strain and rinse your walnuts. Place them in a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients: 4 cups water, cinnamon, 2 dates, and vanilla.

Blend for one minute or until smooth. Make sure you really blend it well. You don’t want to under-blend and then have it be too chunky. Now strain it through a fine mesh strainer, a nut milk bag, or you can use cheese cloth. I personally use a fine mesh strainer, and a spoon to scrape the inside back and forth to help with the flow. 

You can strain the blended walnut mixture through cheesecloth or a small
sieve. Be sure to use the pulp by adding it to baked breads or oatmeal

Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days, remember there aren’t any preservatives. It will likely separate while storing in the fridge (which can look pretty gross), just shake it before you use it. The leftover walnut pulp is a delicious little nut porridge. I often add a dash of maple syrup to it and gobble it right down for a treat. You could easily add it to oatmeal, homemade bread, or some other cooking concoction. It’s yummy… Don’t throw it away!

You are cooking amazing healthy food that makes an amazing healthy difference. I hope you love it. Wishing you good luck and good health on all of your cooking adventures.

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