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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

not your typical nut-milk

Ah, another homemade nut milk recipe. It seems like I find a new one almost every other day - cashew, walnut, hazelnut, & almond of course, but what about pecans?


Frankly, I think nut milks are a wonderful alternative to animal milk - containing a decent amount of fiber & plenty of healthy fats from their naturally occurring oils. So I say, keep the recipes coming.


On another note, homemade nut milks are free of additives that are often poured into those dairy-free selections found on store shelves - we're talking guar gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan, natural flavors, the list goes on. Over time, these preservatives/flavorings can wreak havoc on our gut microbiome, which is especially important to steer clear of if you suffer from digestive issues such as IBS/IBD, allergies, glucose intolerance, etc. Consuming these chemicals, especially on a regular basis, can often lead to inflammation, pain, bloating, and/or the onset of more severe digestive issues such as the ones listed above (1, 2).


Quite honestly, this is a mere glimpse of the potential side effects associated with food additives - let me know if you'd like to read a more in-depth article on these chemicals individually.


Aside from the health benefits of making our own nut milk, we can't deny that creating something from scratch is quite rewarding. It leaves a warm, grounded, & often fulfilled feeling inside - at least for me anyways. I think it brings us closer to the things we put into our bodies, connecting with our food, & thus ourselves, on a deeper level.


That being said, if cooking up food from scratch is new for you, a delicious nut milk recipe is an easy place to start fostering that connection. It won't take more than 5-10 minutes, & doesn't require any cooking! you truly can't beat it. On the flip side, if you're an experienced cook-from-scratch chef, this recipe is still one to try - it's quite tasty.


A few notes: I frequently make my own nut milk, but had never tried a recipe with pecans. turns out, they're a delicious dairy alternative, & if you're reading this during the holidays, it makes for a lovely drink to sip on during the cozier months. I'd encourage you to give the pecans a try - but as with any nut-milk recipe, you can use whatever nuts/seeds you have on hand.


Notes on soaking nuts: For easier digestion & a creamier blend, soak 1c of nuts in 4c of room-temp water for 12 hours. This may seem like a big undertaking, but it's actually quite easy - before bed, mix the two together in a large bowl & let it sit overnight. In the morning, blend everything together & enjoy your lovely morning drink!


Alternatively, you can speed things up by letting the nuts sit in HOT water (I use a kettle) for 1-4 hours. The time is variable, but for a good rule of thumb, the longer the nuts can soak (I personally wouldn't exceed 12 hours), the easier they will be to digest as this breaks down the phytic acid barriers around plant-derived foods. This increases our ability to access the plant's powerful nutrients, which is especially important for those with a more compromised digestive system.


Other nut/seed examples:

- cashews

- walnuts

- hazelnuts

- almonds

- hemp/pumpkin seeds

- flax/chia seeds


Other spice blends to try:

- nutmeg/allspice

- cardamom/vanilla/cinnamon

- cinnamon/ginger/vanilla


I N G R E D I E N T S


1c soaked pecans

4c water

3 tsp cinnamon

2-3 Tbsp maple syrup

2 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp clove

1/2 tsp sea salt


S T E P S


Place all the ingredients into a blender & mix. You can strain the milk with a cheesecloth if you prefer a smoother consistency. But if you're like me & don't mind a little grit from the nuts, straining is not necessary - go ahead & pour it into your storage container. Store for up to 1 week.


kenn


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