Pasteurized dairy products simply don’t make it onto the menu of a raw and vegan diet, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo milks and cheeses completely. Traditional dairy ingredients can be replaced with those made from raw nuts. When it comes to milk, almonds reign supreme, but a variety of nuts, including almonds, cashews and walnuts, can be used to create cheese substitutes. And, with the purchase of a nut-milk bag and a cheesecloth, these items are relatively easy to make at home. For a unique and sweet spin on almond milk, try this recipe for coconut-almond milk from the blog Beard + Bonnet.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 3 1/2 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking
- 1 can raw coconut cream
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 to 3 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
Place the almonds and coconut flakes in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak overnight. In the morning, drain the soaking liquid and rinse the almonds and coconut until the water runs clear. Combine the soaked almonds and coconut with the filtered water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, about two to three minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag. Return the strained milk back into the blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until combined. Add salt or sweetener to taste preferences.