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How To Make Your Own Plant-Based Milk At Home: 3 Easy Recipes

A guide to making your own nut- and grain-based milks at home.

Nut milk recipes: A person's hand holding a mason jar filled with nut milk

(Photography: Erik Putz, Prop styling: Madeleine Johari, Food styling: Ashley Denton)

Before they were sold at grocery stores, plant-based milks had been around for centuries and were staples in various cuisines. Take soy milk, for example: In China, where this beverage originated, it’s not uncommon to make your own to use in cooking or to drink for breakfast. Coconut milk also has a long history, and is a key ingredient in Filipino dishes, Thai curries, Vietnamese desserts and Caribbean stews.

There are also other plant-based milks that have been around for only a few decades, like oat milk. It was first commercially developed in the early ’90s by Swedish scientist Rickard Öste, who was looking for a dairy-free alternative for people with lactose intolerance and allergies.

Besides producing fewer greenhouse gases than dairy, plant-based milks also offer health benefits. Nuts, grains and seeds (such as almonds, cashews, oats and hemp) are sources of fibre; soy is high in protein; and coconut is packed with antioxidants and medium-chain fatty acids, which can support digestion.

Tri Ngo and Hang Vu from Rustle & Still, a Toronto café, say they opt for coconut milk in their desserts and coffee-based drinks because they love its depth of flavour and texture. It also adds a creaminess that you don’t get from whole milk. In other words, their preference isn’t intentionally vegan; that just happens to be a benefit.

Making your own plant-based milks allows you to adjust the flavor and texture to your liking— and most are quite easy to DIY. With a few staple ingredients and tools, you can make dairy-free milk to use in all sorts of cooking and baking. We asked three Canadian food-business owners who regularly make their own for their recipes and tips.

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Blender
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Large bowl

Almond Milk

A handful of whole almonds against a white background

(Photography: Erik Putz, Prop styling: Madeleine Johari, Food styling: Ashley Denton)

Give this homemade almond milk from the folks at Greenhouse Juice Co. a spin. Get this almond milk recipe.

Oat Milk

A small pile of rolled oats against a white background

(Photography: Erik Putz, Prop styling: Madeleine Johari, Food styling: Ashley Denton)

Spice up your oat milk with a pinch of sea salt, a dash of vanilla, maple syrup, or even a little cinnamon. Get this easy homemade oat milk recipe.

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk recipe: a handful of cashews laid out on a white surface

(Photography: Erik Putz, Prop styling: Madeleine Johari, Food styling: Ashley Denton)

Raw unsalted cashews are key to good homemade cashew milk, says Ashley Wittig, founder of Honey’s, a plant-based ice cream shop in Toronto. Get this easy cashew milk recipe.

Gear Guide

Three powerful blenders that can be used to follow nut milk recipes at home

Ready to make your own plant-based milk at home? Here are blenders that can power through nuts and grains at every price point.

  • KitchenAid K400 Blender, $199, This powerful KitchenAid offering uses texture pre-sets to blitz tough ingredients like nuts and ice.
  • Oster Versa, $273, Oster’s high-performance blender offers an affordable alternative to its pricier counterparts.
  • Vitamix A2500 Ascent, $769, With the sturdiest blades and fastest motor, Vitamix’s pricey-but- worth-it reputation is well-earned.

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