Photo by Amanda Nicklaus
Recently I watched a comedy bit about the overwhelming amount of milk choices offered in coffee shops, and while it was quite exaggerated, humor is rooted in truth: there are a lot of plant-based alternative “milks” available in coffee shops and grocery stores, and trying to make a decision can turn into a much more complicated choice than necessary.
What’s more, often people choose plant milks because they believe they are healthier than cow’s milk, but if one reads the nutrition label on cartons and bottles of plant milks, they will see a lot of extra ingredients added, including cane sugar. If you are like me and are not trying to get your daily sugar dose in your milk, you might be frustrated at the offerings of your local co-op or grocery store. There’s good news, however: it can be incredibly easy — and cheap — to make your own plant milk.
How to Affordably Make Hemp Milk
There are plenty of seeds, nuts, and other plants you can try your hand at: soy, coconut, almond, cashew, macadamia, rice, oats, flax, even quinoa and pea. But my favorite, and one of the easiest to make from scratch, is hemp milk. Hemp milk has more healthy fats and proteins than many other plant milks (and no, it cannot get you high—hemp seeds do not contain THC). It has a slightly nutty flavor and creamy yet subtly chalky consistency.
And hemp seeds are incredibly affordable: 12 ounces of hemp seeds can cost between $10-15, which is a lot of milk: about 12 cups, which is a much better deal than the standard plant milk quart-sized carton which is about four cups of milk. So if you buy hemp seeds in bulk, you’re getting an even better deal.
Hemp Milk Recipe at Home
Hemp milk is amazingly easy to make: just mix hemp seeds and water in a 1:8 ratio respectively in a blender for at least one minute. If you want it creamier, strain it through cheesecloth to catch any residual seed particles. That’s it! You can also make it sweeter if you do like your milks sweetened, and the beauty of it is that you can control what type and how much sweetener you use; monk fruit or maple syrup is generally healthier than refined cane sugar.
Sometimes when homesteading and trying to accomplish ambitious DIY goals, we overlook the simplest things, or think that something is much more complicated than it is and save it for special occasions. I’ve bought hemp seeds twice in the past couple of months and have used hemp milk nearly every day! Before making my own, I was buying a couple of cartons of hemp milk almost weekly. It is so empowering to find simple swaps to make and cut down on your weekly grocery budget. Plus, it tastes so much better knowing I’ve made it myself, and that it is always fresh! Making hemp milk is just one more way to feel connected to the earth and all it has to offer.
Amanda Nicklaus is a writer and aspiring urban homesteader based in Minneapolis. She spends her free time trying new recipes, going to farmers markets, and writing about everything she learns. Read all of Amanda’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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