How to Make Sustainable, Nut- and Oat-Based Milk at Home

Non-dairy milk is better for the environment — and you can make it home! Learn more.


May 7 2019, Updated 10:54 a.m. ET

make your own milk
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There are so many reasons to start making sustainable milk at home. Often, making milk at home can be cheaper in the long run because it means buying the nuts or oats in bulk. (More bang for your buck!) Non-dairy milk is also healthier, as it’s less fat and often higher in protein. But conventional, mainstream milk from the store shelves isn’t a catch-all alternative in this way. 

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Do-it-yourself milk also likely has more health benefits, as though “mainstream milk” is often advertised as healthy, the ingredients are mostly watered down and bogged with additives and gums until the health benefits are near-gone.

Take almonds for example. One cup of almonds possesses 20 grams of protein. Silk milk claims to use 30 almonds for its half-gallon carton and yet, there is only one gram of protein in an 8-ounce glass.

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If you make your milk at home, you can control how many almonds you use. Additionally, since you’re not throwing additives, gums, and other unnecessary nutrients into the mix, you know exactly what you’re getting. Nut-milk brewed at home not only has more protein, it’s just generally better for you.

And that’s not even taking into consideration the low impact benefits of making milk at home. When DIY-ing milk, nearly everything can be bought in bulk: almonds, cashews, and even oats can be purchased in bulk, without packaging and be brought up the register in a glass jar or other non-plastic container. The only other ingredients are also low waste: maple syrup (buy it in a glass container), sea salt (glass), honey (glass), dates (loose), other seasonings (glass).

Keep reading for three DIY milk recipes made from either nuts or oats!

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What you’ll need:

Each of these milk recipes will require the following tools:

  • Cheesecloth or nut straining bag
  • Strainer
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • How To Make Almond Milk


  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 cups water 
  • Maple syrup to taste
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    Add 1 cup of almonds into a mason jar and fill the rest of the jar with water. Soak the almonds overnight. The next day, drain the excess water from the jar and discard it. Add the almonds and 2 cups of (new) water in a blender, blending the mixture for two minutes. Place the strainer over a mixing bowl, then line the strainer with your cheesecloth or fine-mesh nut bag. Strain the mixture into the cloth or bag, then twist it tightly, “milking” it as if you would a cow. The milk will separate from the meal as you twist and milk and the strainer will catch the meal. Discard the meal or use for another recipe. Sweeten to taste with maple syrup and store in the fridge.

    How To Make Cashew Milk


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups water
  • Maple syrup to taste 
  • 2 dates
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    Add 1 cup of cashews (raw and unsalted) into a mason jar and fill the rest of the jar with water. Let the cashews soak in the water, in the fridge, for two hours. Drain the excess water and discard it. Rinse the cashews, then add them into a blender with 3-4 cups of water depending on how creamy you prefer the consistency. Blend the mixture for two minutes. Add in two pitted dates and blend again, until there are no more visible chunks of nuts or date. Strain the cashew-water mixture into a mixing bowl using cheesecloth or a fine-mesh nut bag. Place a strainer over the mixing bowl, then line the strainer with the cloth or bag. Twist it tightly, “milking” it. The milk will separate from the meal as you twist and will catch through the strainer and into the mixing bowl below. Sweeten to taste with maple syrup and store in the fridge, where it should last for three to four days.

    How To Make Oat Milk


  • 1 cup organic oats (rolled, steel cut, or oat groats)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 dates or 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, cinnamon, or nutmeg
  • Add oats of choice to a mason jar, then fill the rest of the jar with purified water. Let oats soak for at least 30 minutes, but up to 12 hours. Drain and rinse the oats, discarding the excess water. Put the rinsed oats in a blender along with 3 cups of purified water, sea salt, spices of your choice, and dates or honey. Blend for 2 minutes. Strain in a cheesecloth or fine-mesh nut bag. The meal can be used for smoothies or for oatmeal cookies, otherwise, discard. Store the milk in the refrigerator, where it will last for 3-5 days. Shake well before using.

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    This article is part of Green Matters #EarthAfterEarthDay, a campaign to remind readers that preserving the Earth is just as important after Earth Day as it is on the annual holiday. To help you keep up your sustainable habits year-round, Green Matters is hosting a giveaway for a $500 gift card to Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal delivery kit. Purple Carrot is also offering all Green Matters readers $30 off their first order by clicking here.

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