From time to time I stick with several plant milk recipes, depending on the season and the ingredients that are available and of course on my appetite. So lately, after about two months of using almost exclusively pumpkin seed milk (during winter we consume a lot of pumpkins and I didn’t want to waste the pumpkin seeds), I’ve become almost obsessed with homemade oat milk. This obsession started one morning that I was about to enjoy my usual morning vegan latte when I realized that there was no milk in the fridge, I had not soaked almonds to make almond milk and the time (6.30 in the morning) was totally inappropriate to visit the nearest organic food store and buy something. What I needed that time was a quick and easy recipe for a plant-based milk that could also work for my coffee.
Luckily, homemade oat milk, along with homemade coconut milk, are cheap and easy to make – it only takes few minutes and minimal effort- and they both have an amazing flavor. Rolled oats is something I always keep in my cupboards, so in less than ten minutes I blended a cup of rolled oats with water, I strained the oat milk and I prepared an espresso, in order to make my precious vegan latte.
One of the things that I really like with oat milk is that it has a neutral flavor, slightly sweet taste, much better than the commercial oat milk varieties and a relatively dense consistency with makes it very satisfying. Moreover, when I simmer it a little bit to make my latte, it becomes thicker, giving to my coffee a nice creaminess without the additional fat and the calories found in the coffee-creamers or the coconut milk.
The remaining pulp in the strainer can be added in our breakfast bowl or it can be incorporated into the dough for a homemade bread, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals, just as oat milk is.
- 1 cup rolled oats (opt for gluten-free if you prefer)
- 3 cups water at room temperature
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or the sweetener of your choice
1. Put the oats in the blender together with the water and blend at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, depending on your blender.
2. Lay a sieve with cheesecloth and strain. Squeeze the cloth to drain most of the liquid.
3. If you want you can add sweetener of your choice and flavor with natural vanilla extract. Store in sterile glass bottle in the refrigerator. You can keep it for up to three days.
During autumn we usually consume a lot of pumpkins in various sweet and savory recipes. Fortunately these blessed fruits, kept in a dry and cool place can remain intact for a long time. So, although in the early autumn their harvest ends, at least for the varieties commonly used in Greece, we can enjoy them as if they are fresh until the end of the winter.
The pumpkin seeds found in the inner part of the pumpkins are between the most nutritious seeds, so we keep them for several uses. Usually I bake them slightly in order to make homemade pepitas for the cold winter nights but they can be also used into making a super tasty and nutritious, raw, vegan seed milk, ideal for our breakfast or smoothies.
Making pumpkin seed milk is ridiculously easy and the outcome is delicious. The great advantage of this recipe is that the pumpkin seeds we use are fresh and therefore there is no need to soak them in water. On top of that, we don’t have to peel them either, as blending is going to do the magic, so the recipe takes less than five minutes overall!
Fresh pumpkin seed milk has a slightly sweet and fruity taste. However, as in every homemade milk recipe, we can add a sweetener of our choice and/or spices to create a more complex flavor. The only condition for success is to have a blender!
My favorite way to consume pumpkin seed milk is along with cereals, raisins, cinnamon and a little agave syrup for breakfast or in a filling smoothie.
- 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds (from 2 pumpkins)
- 2 1/2 cups filtered water *
- 1 tbsp agave nectar or other sweetener (optional)
- we can also add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or other spices
1. Using a spoon remove the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins and transfer them into your measuring cup. You can remove the pumpkin fibers that are mixed with the seeds if you like, but it really is not necessary. This small amount of pumpkin mixed with the seeds will give a distinctive fruity flavor in your milk.
2. Put the seeds in the blender with the water, agave nectar and spices -if you are going to use any- and blend first at medium and then at high speed for 2-3 minutes depending on your blender.
3. Lay a sieve with cheesecloth and strain. Squeeze the cloth to drain most of the liquid. Keep in sterile bottle or jar in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Note: This is the amount of water I use to achieve a relatively rich consistency but you can add half more cup of water according to your taste.
When I think of vegan milk, nothing can be compared with the freshness, nutrition and taste of the milk we can make at home with fresh raw nuts and seeds! Moreover, I prefer to make my own vegan milks, since it’s super easy and the relatively cost is much lower compared to the store-bought plant-based milks.
The only thing one will need in order to prepare vegan milk at home is a blender – just a regular blender, not a special-super-high-speed device.
This time I decided to make my own pistachio milk and to be sincere I was quite reluctant at the beginning since I had never tasted something similar. Of course I love pistachios and especially the varieties that grow in Aegina, a small island very close to Athens -these must be the best pistachios of the world – and thus I thought that pistachio milk couldn’t be anything but delicious! To spice up things I added some cardamom and a little agave nectar for extra sweetness.
Well I just want to say that pistachio milk may become my favorite! Its texture is rich and creamy, it has a mild sweet and somehow exotic taste while its aftertaste brought to mind freshly cut pistachios and the fragrance of the atmosphere after the first autumn rain.
I have to mention that this recipe was based on the idea of Sotiris and Lory two amazing guys I met in the Cooperative and Solidarity Economy festival. They live in Aegina and they grow their own organic pistachios. I should thank them a million times for their idea and for the delicious, fresh, organic pistachios they offered to me, with which I made this recipe!
- 1 cup peeled, raw pistachios
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 ½ tbsp agave syrup or raw coconut sugar (optional)
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- Soak the peeled pistachios for 4-6 hours in water.
- Strain the nuts and put them in a blender with 3 cups of filtered water.
- Break the cardamom pods and add them in the mixture.
- Blend for 3-4 minutes on medium to high speed.
- Line a colander with a damp cheesecloth and strain the milk. Squeeze the cheesecloth to get as much milk as possible.
- Add sweetener such as agave nectar according to your taste.
- Keep in a sterilized glass bottle in the refrigerator. Because it has not been pasteurized, it cannot be preserved more than 3 days.
Note: You can omit cardamom and agave nectar if you want a plain flavor, but if you like something more complex and exotic give cardamom a try! The pistachio pulp can be used in sweet recipes such as cookies, raw energy balls and baked goods.