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How to make milk

Written on Monday, August 29, 2016 | 10:28:00 AM



These non-dairy milks are delicious. Add them to smoothies, porridge, breakfast cereals, baked goods and soups, or just drink them! They can taste strongly of their core ingredient or sometimes a little bland, so improve the flavour by adding vanilla extract and/or agave nectar, maple or rice syrup, or dates (added to the blender before blitzing). I always add a pinch of good-quality sea salt flakes to enhance the flavour, but this isn’t necessary.
The milk keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and it’s normal for it to separate, so just whisk before serving.



NUT MILK :
Soak skinless raw almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts in water for 8–24 hours to plump up and soften. Drain, rinse and replenish the water once or twice during soaking. Blitz together 1 part soaked nuts to 2 parts water until very smooth and creamy – at least 2 minutes on full power. To make really smooth nut milk, strain through a piece of muslin, a nut bag or a clean piece of cut-off tights and squeeze out the milk. Dilute to taste.
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) nuts yields about
- 700 ml (24 fl oz) milk.



SEED MILK :
Soak raw hemp, sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds in water for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse well. Blitz together 1 part soaked seeds to 3 or 4 parts water, depending on how thick you like your seed milk, until very smooth and creamy – at least 2 minutes on full power. To make really smooth seed milk, strain through a piece of muslin, a nut bag or a clean piece of cut-off tights and squeeze out the milk. 
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) seeds yields
- 650–800 ml (22½–28 fl oz) milk.



OAT MILK :
Rinse 100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) rolled (porridge) oats in cold water, cover with just-boiled water and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Alternatively, soak overnight in cold water. Drain, rinse and transfer to a blender. Add 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) cold water and blitz until smooth. To make really smooth oat milk, strain through a piece of muslin, a nut bag or a clean piece of cut-off tights and squeeze out the milk. Return the milk to a clean blender, blitz and strain again. Repeat if necessary for ultra-smooth milk. 
Makes about 650 ml (22½ fl oz).



RICE MILK :
Toast 60 g (2¼ oz) brown or white rice (brown produces more flavour) in a dry frying pan until fragrant and starting to brown. Cook according to your usual method until tender. Drain off any water and transfer to a blender with 650 ml (22½ fl oz) cold water. Blitz on high power until smooth and creamy. Push through a fine sieve to remove any stray rice grains and add more water if too thick. 
Makes about 600 ml (21 fl oz).



SOYA MILK :
Cover 85 g (3 oz) dried soya beans in 600 ml (21 fl oz) boiling water. Leave to soak for 12 hours, changing the water (cold water is fine) at least once. Drain, rinse and transfer to a blender. Add 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) cold water and blitz until smooth. Strain through a piece of muslin, a nut bag or a clean piece of cut-off tights and squeeze out the milk. Blitz again until completely smooth. Transfer to a pan and gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar and leave to cool. 
Makes about 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups).



CONDENSED MILK :
In a heavy pan, combine 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) non-dairy milk with 80 g (2¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar and a pinch of fine sea salt flakes. Very gently simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced to about 350 ml (12 fl oz). This could take 1 hour. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. 
Makes about 350 ml (12 fl oz).

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