Today’s Make-it-Monday post is a two-for-one. The first part is for making almond milk followed by instructions for making your own nut milk bag.
Supplies: a sturdy blender, a bowl for soaking the nuts, and a nut milk bag. You can purchase a nut milk bag online or from a health food store. Or, you can follow the instructions later in this post to make one. Note that you can also make nut milk using cheese cloth, but a bag is more convenient.
- Soak 1 cup of RAW almonds 8-12 hours in cold water (tap water is fine). This softens the almonds a bit and depending on the condition of the almonds, also allows them to germinate. If you can’t find raw almonds, skip the soaking and just use dry-roasted almonds.
- After soaking, drain the almonds and rinse.
- Add the almonds to the blender with 3 1/2 cups of cold water (from the refrigerator is better).
- Blend the almonds and water on the highest blender setting for about one minute.
- Pour the contents of the blender into the nut milk bag inside a pitcher or bowl to strain out the nut meat. Squeeze the milk through the bag to extract most of the liquid out of the nut meat.
- Turn the bag inside out into a bowl to empty out the nut meat. You can save the ground almonds to use later in muffins, cookies or crackers. I store the ground nuts in a bag in the freezer until I’m ready to use them.
- Flavor your almond milk with a few drops of vanilla and honey if you wish. Chill and enjoy as you would dairy milk!
Nut Milk Bag – in about an hour
For the nut milk bag, you will need:
- a 12-inch x 18-inch piece of cotton gauge (I bought a yard of gauze from the fabric store on sale for $2.50/yd, 50% off),
- 24″ of cotton string (I used embroidery thread)
- all-purpose sewing thread
- a tapestry needle
- sharp sissors
- an iron – yes, you will need/want an iron!
Step 1 – Fold the cloth in half to form a 9″ x 12″ rectangle.
Step 2 – Sew a 1/2-inch (or smaller) seam along one short side and the long side. The open end will be the top of the bag.
Step 3 – Trip the cut edge as close to the sewn edge as you can without compromising the seam ( i.e. trim within 1/8-inch of the stitches).
Step 4 – Heat up the iron, turn the bag inside out and press the seams. Try not to stretch the gauze as you iron. Ironing the seams will make the next step easier.
Step 5 – Sew another seam just inside the previous seam. This will enclose the trimmed edge of the fabric and provide a nice neat edge. This creates what is called a “French Seam“. Normally this would be on the inside of a fancy garment. For the nut milk bag, we’ll keep this seam on the outside so that there are no nooks and crannies for the ground nut meat to hide in.
Step 6 – Time for the iron again. fold the top edge of teh bag to the outside approximately 1/4-inch. Iron the fold flat trying not to stretch the fabric (which i found nearly impossible…). Then, fold this edge over to the outside another 1/2-inch. This will make the casing to enclose the drawstring.
Step 7 – Sew the casing flap to the bag, sewing within a 1/4-inch of the fold line.
Step 8 – Trim away all the loose threads.
Step 9 – Thread the tapestry needle with the embroidery thread or string. Poke the needle through the gauze at the casing and slide the needle into the casing space. Work your way all the way around the casing adn poke the needle back out. You should have teh two loose ends of the drawstring on the outside of the bag along the same side. Tie the loose ends together into a knot.
Step 10 – Your nut milk bag is now complete! Hand wash it gently with dish liquid and hang to dry while you assemble the ingredients for making almond milk. Making this bag took me about 60 minutes, including stopping to take photos.