Nut milks like almond milk, cashew milk and coconut milk are becoming increasingly popular as plant-based alternatives to dairy milk. Making nut milk at home can save money compared to buying pre-made nut milk from the store, and allows you to control the ingredients. A common question for those wanting to make their own nut milk is whether you can use a juicer to make it.
How Nut Milk is Made
The basic process for making nut milk is:
1. Soak the nuts (almonds, cashews, etc) in water overnight to soften them.
2. Drain and rinse the nuts.
3. Blend the nuts with water (and any other ingredients like dates, vanilla, etc) in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy.
4. Strain the nut milk through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to separate the milk from the nut pulp.
5. Store the finished nut milk in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake or stir before using.
Can a Juicer Make Nut Milk?
A juicer extracts juice from fruits and vegetables by crushing and squeezing the produce at high speeds to separate the juice from the pulp. This is great for making fruit and vegetable juices, but most standard juicers are not designed to make nut milks.
There are a few reasons why a standard juicer is not the ideal appliance for making nut milk:
Not Powerful Enough
Nuts and seeds require a more powerful motor and blades to break down and blend smoothly compared to juicing fruits and vegetables. Most juicers do not have strong enough motors or blades to fully blend nuts into a smooth milk. The nut pieces will likely still be too coarse.
The mesh screens in most juicers are designed for separating fruit/veg juice from pulp, not for separating nut milk. The mesh is too coarse to properly strain nut milk, and will let too much pulp through resulting in a gritty texture.
Juicers operate at very high speeds which can generate heat from friction. Excess heat can degrade nutrients in nut milks. Juicers are not designed to run as long as necessary to make nut milk, which can take 2-3 minutes of blending.
Small Feed Chutes
Juicers have relatively small feed chutes that make it time consuming and challenging to feed entire nuts and seeds through. You would have to pre-chop nuts very small to fit in the juicer feed tubes.
Not Designed for Thicker Liquids
Juicers are engineered to handle watery fruits and veggies. Thicker nut milk can potentially clog up the juicer.
Best Appliances for Making Nut Milk
Instead of a juicer, a high speed blender is the best appliance for making smooth, creamy nut milks efficiently. Here are the best options:
High Powered Blender
Blenders like Vitamix or Blendtec have very strong motors and sharp blades that can blend nuts into perfectly smooth milk. They can run for longer blending times without overheating. The pitchers have wide openings to easily fit nuts.
A food processor with a good motor can also blend nut milks, especially smaller batches. It may take longer compared to a high speed blender.
An immersion or stick blender can work in a pinch, but again will be slower and result in a less smooth texture compared to a standalone blender.
|High Speed Blender||– Very smooth milk texture
– Large batches
|Food Processor||– Good for small batches||– Longer blending time
– Less smooth texture
|Immersion Blender||– Convenient
– Easy clean up
|– Longest blending time
– Grittier texture
Tips for Making Nut Milk in a Blender
Here are some tips for successfully making nut milks in a high speed blender:
– Always soak nuts overnight before blending. This softens them for a smoother blend.
– Use raw nuts instead of roasted for maximum nutrients.
– Add water gradually and blend in stages to get the desired consistency. Thinner for drinking milk, less water for thicker milk like oat milk for coffee.
– Blend for at least 1 minute for very smooth milks with fine nut particles.
– Strain for at least 5-10 minutes through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to remove fine pulp.
– Store nut milk in the refrigerator and shake before use to remix any separation.
In summary, while it may seem convenient to try making nut milk in a juicer, it will not produce optimal results. A high powered blender is specially designed to yield smooth, creamy nut milk by thoroughly blending the nuts and seeds with water. With the right blender and technique, making your own almond, cashew or other nut milk at home is easy and delicious!