The Best Plain & Chocolate Milks (Vegan, No Sugar) | picklesnhoney.com

A New Spin on Plain & Chocolate Milk

The Best Plain & Chocolate Milks (Vegan, No Sugar) | picklesnhoney.com

The novelty of saying “nut milk” has not worn off for me. Even on lazy days when I think how nice it would be to buy a carton of non-dairy milk and not have to wash the blender for the fifth time, I just have to say “nut milk” a few times, usually out loud to the dogs, and before I know it I’m happily cleaning the blender like a crazy person.

Do you ever take a step back and crack yourself up, realizing you were talking about milking nuts to your dogs while thinking about the kale you’re going to eat later and the Irish moss gel you have on the counter?

Oh yes, I have decided that Irish moss gel is the key to really good homemade milk. Recently, I shared how to prepare it, and this week I’m going to tell you how to make the creamiest, silkiest nut and seed milk, in both plain and super rich chocolate.

I’ve been experimenting with using a few different nuts and seeds, instead of my usual all cashew or almond. The initial inspiration was to change things up a little flavor-wise, but using a mixture of nuts and seeds is also beneficial because you get a variety of nutrients this way. Today’s recipe has been my favorite combination to date, and it’s an excellent source of calcium, healthy omega-3s, and protein. And since we’re making it at home with real ingredients, we’re skipping the unnecessary “natural” flavors and carrageenan that’s so often used in the store-bought stuff.

The Irish moss may be weird and smelly before you prepare it, but let me tell you—it completely changes the texture of plant-based milk from a bit grainy (yes, even when you use a fancy blender and nut milk bag) to perfectly smooth. The chocolate milk is especially thick because I used soaked dates to sweeten it.

If you miss the taste of whole milk, this will totally hit the spot. And obviously, cookies for dunking make it that much better.

The Best Plain & Chocolate Milks (Vegan, No Sugar) | picklesnhoney.com

The Best Plain & Chocolate Milks (Vegan, No Sugar) | picklesnhoney.com

The Best Plain & Chocolate Milks (Vegan, No Sugar) | picklesnhoney.com

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A New Spin on Plain & Chocolate Milk

The Best Plain & Chocolate Milks (Vegan, No Sugar) | picklesnhoney.com

A New Spin on Plain & Chocolate Milk

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: about 8 cups of milk


Prep Time: 4 hours
The Best Plain & Chocolate Milks (Vegan, No Sugar) | picklesnhoney.com

A New Spin on Plain & Chocolate Milk

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Ingredients

For the plain milk:

  • 1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw, hulled hemp seeds
  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup prepared Irish moss gel
  • pinch of fine sea salt

For the chocolate milk:

  • 4 cups prepared plain nut milk
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 5-6 pitted medjool dates, soaked for 1 hour & drained

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: about 8 cups of milk

Prep Time: 4 hours

Instructions

  • Add the brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts and sesame seeds to a medium container and fill it with water. Cover and allow it to soak for 4-6 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  • Once soaked, strain out the water and rinse the nuts.
  • Add the soaked nuts, hemp seeds, and 5 cups of filtered water to your blender. Blend on high speed for 1 minute.
  • Line a large pitcher or storage container with a nut milk bag (or use a fine sieve) and pour the milk through the strainer. Squeeze and press the pulp to remove as much of the liquid as possible (this will take a couple of minutes). You can discard the pulp, save it for baking, or dehydrate it and then grind it into flour for later.
  • Transfer the nut milk back to your blender and add in the Irish moss gel and sea salt. Blend on high for 15 or so seconds until smooth, then pour into your pitcher or storage container and stir in the remaining 3 cups of filtered water.
  • To make the chocolate milk, pour 4 cups of the prepared plain nut milk back into your blender.
  • Add to it the raw cacao powder and dates, and blend on high speed for 30 seconds or until smooth.
  • Serve chilled, or warm over the stove for hot chocolate!

Notes [2]

Nut milk will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge. It’s best to let the milks chill for a couple of hours after you first make them, as the Irish moss will continue to work its magic.

This makes a lot of milk, so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you’re not like us and going through an obscene amount each day.

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Dear Amanda,
    I read your post about Irish Moss last week (?) and was interested, then today with the nut milk post I delved a little deeper. Almost everything I read, even on the natural health websites where you would purchase this, warned that you should not ingest it on a regular basis. Then I found this post and decided against it entirely:
    Just thought you should know.
    Thanks for the great recipes on your blog.

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Linda, Thanks for your comment. I’m familiar with the criticism of Irish moss you reference; however, I do think it’s important to differentiate between Irish moss and carrageenan, the latter being extracted from Irish moss, but highly processed and concentrated. I’ll quote an article from Meghan Telpner, as she’s well-versed on the subject:

      We can not compare studies on isolated phytochemicals used in higher than natural or normal concentrations as the grounds for avoiding a whole, unprocessed, nature made food.

      Irish Moss and carrageenan – as used in our almond milk, raw desserts or thickened soups and sauces – are not the same thing.

      In some of the blogs written about this concern, they reference medical journal studies such as this one which looks at how exposure to carageenan can induce and sustain prolonged inflammation in the intestinal tracts of lab animals. The studies, however have all be done on carageenan- one active and concentrated component of the whole food that is Irish Moss. There is also no reference to where this carrageenan was derived from.

      Her full article on Irish moss concerns can be found here. I recommend reading it, but as always, we should follow what we feel is right for us.

      1. Thanks, Amanda. I agree that whole foods are definitely better, and that we don’t know the whole story – there is so much conflicting advice! What is it that prompted you, in particular, to go through the effort (and evidently smell!) of preparing Irish Moss and including it in your diet?

      2. Amanda says

        There is so much conflicting advice! There is conflicting advice for just about everything, so at the end of the day, I think we need to remember to think intuitively. Sometimes what works for someone else doesn’t work for us.

        I talked about why I wanted to try Irish moss in my first post, but to recap, it kept coming up in my CNE program and people were really into it both for its healing properties and because it’s a great plant-based thickener (an alternative to corn starch or gelatin, for instance). As far as nutrition, here’s what I learned during my program (copied from my first post):

        Irish moss is great for thyroid health, it helps us to detox from radiation in our everyday environments (as well as for those healing from cancer radiation treatment), and it can be especially beneficial in healing the digestive lining, like in inflammatory bowel diseases, because of its mucilaginous quality.

  2. Jess says

    I actually have a bag of irish moss in the back of my cupboard that I bought from Meghan at the Toronto VegFest a few years ago! I was so stoked on it when I first got it and made a paste that I used to thicken a Mexican hot chocolate (mega yum), but then it got packed away and I forgot about it all together. Maybe it’s time to get over the slimy, sandy, weird factor again (it’s SO strange!) and try your milks 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      Meghan really is the cheerleader of Irish moss! haha It’s definitely weird stuff, but I love it in nut milks and smoothies. Of course, now you have me craving Mexican hot chocolate. 🙂

  3. Wow I’m in love with this idea!!! So cool, I bet the Irish moss really helps with the separation that plagues homemade nut milks too!

    1. Amanda says

      Exactly! There is very little separation when you use Irish moss, which is especially awesome because Aaron always forgets to shake the milk and then I’m left with sludge at the bottom. haha

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