Pros & Cons of Homemade Almond Milk and/or Pumpkin Seed Milk.
How do you know you are an urban hippie? You bought a nut bag on amazon.
You bought it so you could stop using the feet of old pantyhose to make your homemade nut milk.
I don’t know how it happened. I never wanted to become this. However I am. I’m an urban hippie. I make my own yogurt. I make my own mayonnaise. I read articles about how to make beauty products, household cleaners and condiments out of sundry combinations of baking soda, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. But I thought I drew the line at nut milk.
I’m not going to be one of those people who make almond milk. You know them. They usually do kundalini yoga, have a rat tail and bumper stickers on their car. They shop at farmer’s markets with shopping bags made out of recycled tennis shoes, call chocolate “cacao,” and drink pour-over coffee at home. Though I do clean my bathtub with Epsom salts and baking soda, and put maca in my smoothies, unless it comes out of my nipples, I am not making my own milk!
Or so I thought.
Then I started reading the ingredients on almond milk packages.
And tasted homemade pumpkin seed milk.
Pros to Making Your Own Nut Milk
- It’s delicious! Like seriously delicious.
- It only takes about 15 minutes of your time.
- You get to “milk” a nut sack.
- quaintly reminiscent of milking a cow, can allow the urban/suburban dweller to pretend to be living off the land.
- Not only meditative, allowing you to slow down for a moment in an otherwise hectic modern urban life, a milk you milked yourself from a sack, is a milk you relish and delight in.
- It’s a whole food. Two ingredients. You can pronounce them both. You know the quality of the almonds and the water.
- It’s fresh. Hasn’t been sitting on a shelf or came out of a factory.
- YOU made it, perhaps with love.
- You skip all the preservatives, additives, and thickeners.
- almonds can be expensive so it makes sense for manufacturers to use more water, making watery “almond milk” and adding thickeners like carrageenan (some studies have shown carrageenan creates inflammation and intestinal damage).
- Store-bought almond milk is bulked up (enriched) with vitamin A, D & Calcium to make it closer to cows milk. (I’ll let you decide if that is a pro or a con, but for me, the further away from the whole food, the less I want to consume it) You can skip the packaging and store the milk in glass (trust me, milk tastes better out of glass).
- You can’t buy pumpkin seed milk.
- Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium and omega-3s.
- You can make almond flour or pumpkin seed crackers with the leftovers in the bag.
- Makes a great gift. Though people will judge you as “one of those people” when you hand them homemade pumpkin seed milk in a recycled coconut oil jar (because you keep all your jars), they’ll also stay in your good graces hoping for more.
Cons to Making Your Own Nut Milk
- It takes 15 minutes of your time.
- You have to patiently “milk” a nut sack.
- Patiently. You can’t be in a hurry and squeeze hard cause you’ll bust the bag. You have to gently squeeze.
- trying to get every bit of milk out of the sack can be a bit of a brain f*^k. It takes a lot of squeezing.
- It only lasts about 3-4 days.
- You can’t just make one big batch, instead you are condemned to gently milking a nut bag every 4 days.
- Homemade milk is not as thick and creamy and has less calcium because it hasn’t been bulked up and enriched.
- You lose out on the fiber and nutrition in almonds & pumpkin seeds.
- Homemade nut milk isn’t any cheaper. It’s more expensive if you opt for organic nuts (but worth it).
- You have to clean your Vitamix or blender. (And the bowl. And the nut bag.)
- You can make almond flour but you have to dry it and grind it (more work and more time.)
So it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the hassle to milk your own, but if you can find the time, homemade pumpkin seed milk is a delightful treat to give yourself or someone you love.
How To Make Pumpkin Seed Milk (or Almond Milk)
- Soak pumpkin seeds overnight (or at least 5 hours) in filtered water.
- Drain them. Discard the water.
- Put the seeds in a Vitamix or powerful blender with 2 or 3 cups of filtered water (depending on how thick or thin you like your milk).
- Optional: add salt / vanilla extract / dates.
- Blend on high for about a minute.
- Stretch your nut bag (or pantyhose [pictured]) over a bowl and pour milk through to strain. Try not to spill it like I did.
- Gently squeeze nut bag, getting as much milk as you can out.
- If you don’t have a bowl with a spout, pour your milk back in the Vitamix so you can easily pour it in a jar (bowl to jar is usually not so smooth).
- Drink it! Put it in coffee! Put it in tea! Put it in smoothies!
- If you are ambitious, you can spread the contents of the bag flat on a cookie sheet and place in your oven for about a day. (don’t turn the oven on). You can either make crackers or place dried content into a grinder and make “flour”.