UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2020
Hey, DIY-ers, this one is for you. Have you ever wanted to make your own vegan milk, free of gums, chemicals and GMOs? Look no further!
Today, we’re walking you through how to make your own plant-based milk with just water, a blender or processor, and your choice of hemp seeds or coconut.
But first, we need to have a little talk about almond milk.
The Problem with Almond Milk
We know what you’re thinking. If we’re talking about vegan milk, why did almonds not make the cut in our recipe? After all, this super popular, plant-based alternative to dairy milk can be found in virtually every grocery store. It seems to be a perfect choice of nut milk.
Well, we agree that almond milk is a solid alternative when compared to dairy milk. Yet when compared to other vegan milks, it misses the mark.
Why is that? You may not know, but the almond trade is actually detrimental to the environment
Water-wasting Farm Practices
As it turns out, growing almonds takes a TON of water. In fact, Mother Jones estimates that one almond takes about 1.1 gallons of water to grow! So, how much water is being used to grow multiple almonds?
The Sustainable Restaurant Association estimated that it takes 1, 611 US gallons of water to produce 1 liter of almond milk, in an interview with The Guardian. That’s crazy, right? But it gets even worse.
What’s more, about 80% of the world’s almonds are grown right here in sunny California. What’s the problem? Well, we barely made it out of a drought that lasted over 7 years (it officially ended just last year). Yiiikes! We need to be more water-conscious.
Upheaval of Natural Land
Unfortunately, the almond-production industry’s effect on the environment extends past water-waste. In order to create room for almond farms, sometimes companies destroy vast acres of natural lands.
The University of San Francisco’s Office of Sustainability also explains that companies plow these natural lands not only for new crops, but also for entire irrigation systems to meet the exhaustive water needs of almond-farming. That’s not only a lot of leveling of land; that also means lots of digging and unearthing.
Now before you run to your kitchen to drain out your almond milk jug, remember to practice conservation! Finish your jug as you would normally. If you are able to switch from almond milk to another alternative afterward, go for it. You could also look for more sustainable almond milk brands. Always vote with your dollar.
According to the Huffington Post, coconuts use up less water when compared to almonds, so purchasing coconut milk is a great alternative. In addition, our very own Co-Founder Dave Sandoval recommends hemp seed milk. (Yes, hemp seeds can be used for milk AND oil.)
Making Vegan Milk
All right, enough talk! It’s time to make some milk. We called upon the expert advice of our Co-Founder and consulted the Minimalist Baker blog for our recipes.
What You’ll Need:
- About two cups of shredded coconut, or 1 to 2 whole fresh coconuts
- 3-4 cups water (depending on the desired consistency, more water will make it a little more thick)
- Optional sweetener ingredients: 1 to 2 dates, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and/or coconut sugar
- Purium Twist: MVP Sport (Chocolate or Vanilla), Epi-Genius Kids or Rice Bran Solubles (a couple teaspoons should do, but this will change according to taste)
- Blender of some sort
What To Do:
- Mix your water with your coconut and optional ingredients in your blender of choice. If you opted for 1 to 2 coconuts instead of shredded coconut, simply scrap out the inner white parts (you may include the meat if desired, but not the brown part).
- Blend on high speed.
- Drain your mix using a nut milk bag, cheese cloth or even a very thin towel.
- Add additional amounts of your extra ingredients if needed.
Boom! Congrats on your homemade coconut milk!
We LOVE using Epi-Genius Kids for a creamy, chocolate milk. Rice Bran Solubles also complements the milk with a velvety, nut buttery finish.
Hemp Seed Milk
To make hemp seed milk, the instructions share similarities. Again, we used Minimalist Baker’s recipe paired with our Co-Founder’s advice.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 to 2 cups hemp seeds
- 3 to 4 cups of water
- Optional sweetener ingredients: 1 date, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and/or coconut sugar
What to Do:
- Add your hemp seeds into water and soak them for about 3 to 6 hours.
- After soaking, blend the mixture with your favorite add-ins.
You may strain your hemp seed and water mixture if needed. Don’t be afraid to mix things up with MVP Chocolate Vanilla AND Chocolate for a decadent tasting milk.
Looking to shake things up? Create a batch of both milks and mix them together for a smooth, creamy finish.
Do you have your own way of creating these homemade milks? Did you try one of the recipes? Tag us on Instagram or let us know in the comments.
Thanks for the recipes! While not refuting the claims that almonds are water hogs, I live in California and am painfully aware that the coconuts I purchase are shipped refrigerated from Thailand or the Philippines, with the bulk of all coconuts grown in Asia. Unfortunately there’s a big environmental cost to coconuts as well. Happy to try out hemp, and loving flax milk as well.
What about oat milk?
That would be a fun milk to make too!