You might think that a nut milk bag doesn't belong in a minimalists kitchen. I had a similar thought at one time. But, friend you are so, so wrong. It has replaced my juicer, cheese cloth, and coffee maker. Read on folks - read on.
A couple of months ago someone emailed me about finding a nut milk bag made out of a natural fiber. They were only finding synthetic ones. After searching I came across Gaia Guy. I have to admit I had a synthetic one from my PZW days. I didn't use it very often... mostly because I melted it. Alas, the problem with synthetics.
Justin kept complaining. He said he couldn't tell whether or not our straws were really clean. So, I got glass ones. Now he can "See the clean!" As a bonus they come with straw scrubbies. Something we desperately needed.
I have to say the thought of using a glass straw kinda terrified me, but it's awesome. A very luxurious experience. Now we have bamboo straws for tiki parties, glass straws for classy occasions, and stainless steel straws for drunk off your ass occasions. Straws for everyone!
Back to nut milk bags - juice, cheese, coffee!?
That's right friends. A juicer is an enormous piece of machinery, and I already have a food processor AND a blender. I just can't deal with another pulverizing counter top machine.
you can read more about my minimal kitchen here.
I have a really nice blender. Probably the pride and joy of my kitchen. That thing works miracles. Instead of juicing I place all of my fruits and veggies in the blender with water. I pulverize it until my hearts content and then strain using a nut milk bag. All of the pulp stays in the bag and you're left with juice!
Before you compost the pulp google recipes you can make with it. I can recommend these veggie pulp "meat"balls!
I have used the bags to sprout millet to make rejuvelac. But, I have never actually made sprouts. It is next on my list though. I love sprouts! I'm always so excited to get a Mr. Cali at my sandwich shop around the corner; because, it is loaded with sprouts.
I will make sure and give you a full update on my sprout making experience.
I don't have a coffee maker. Thankfully, I don't need one! I put 1/4 - 1/2 a cup of coffee grounds in my nut milk bag. I place the bag in a 32oz mason jar and pour piping hot water from my tea kettle. I leave the jar on the counter while I sleep and I wake up to coffee!
Real cheese or vegan cheese - a nut milk bag completely replaces cheesecloth. I have made ricotta and cashew cheese with this. It is brilliant. It's also very easy to clean.
A nut milk bag is basically a giant tea bag. Justin loves it when I make sweet tea. But, I stopped because it was so difficult to make it using the three small tea balls we had. Thanks to the nut milk bag I put 1/4 cup of loose leaf tea inside. I place the bag inside of an old milk bottle and pour piping hot sugar water on top.
After it steeps, remove the nut milk bag and place the jar in the fridge. Put the tea leaves in the compost, wash the bag, and you're done. Viola! A giant batch of sweet tea.
In a pinch you can even use one of these bags to bring home goodies from a bulk bin. I have definitely done this when there are lots of bulk items on sale, and I needed to stock up.
Soups, stews, wines, ciders, simmering liquid of any sort is often enhanced by a sachet of herbs or spices. Throw your mixture in a nut milk bag that can be reused over and over again. Let the sachet simmer and remove it when it's time to serve. The nut milk bag keeps it conveniently bundled for easy removal.
If you're in a pinch for making nut milk or nut cheese, you can put your nuts in the bag and boil them. It will soften the nuts without the time it takes to soak. It also conveniently acts as a colander. One less dish to dirty is always an A+ in my book.
And, then you can obviously use it for nut milk too! Did you know that store bought almond milk has less than 1% of almonds in it? That's crazy. Why not make it yourself? It's so much cheaper and far tastier.
I remember the first time my mom brought home almond milk. She's also allergic to dairy. She was very excited to have found a non-dairy milk with half the calories of soy. I tried it and hated it. It tasted horrible.
If you've had store bought almond milk, don't be turned off. Homemade is very, very simple. And, tastes SO much better.
- 1/2 Cup of Almonds
- 3 Cups of Water
- 1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup
Soak 1/2 cup of almonds at least 8 hours. Rinse the almonds and put in a high power blender with the water. Blend for one minute. Add the maple syrup and pulse several times to combine. Strain through a nut milk bag.
That's it! It's so simple. Now you'll have almond pulp left over. Save the pulp! You could try making these raw brownies which are sooo delicious.
Nut milk doesn't keep very long in the fridge. It typically lasts 3-4 days. So, I like to freeze it. I'll freeze them in an ice cube tray (2 tablespoons). Once they're set I store them in a mason jar in the freezer.
I can easily remove the perfect amount for a recipe or I can use it for my favorite trick....
In the morning I will fill a 16oz mason jar with the almond milk ice cubes and then pour my coffee on top. Iced coffee to-go! As, the ice cubes melt, I'm left with a delicious iced almond milk latte. Boom. Sometimes, I'll have it with a brownie.
Who knew so much magic existed all from a nut milk bag!
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