Big fan of walnuts here! Not surprising really since they are one of the healthiest nuts out there.
Perhaps it’s also because I can forage and harvest them with ease in my native country England in the autumn, making them a truly sustainable, local crop for those living in temperate climate zones. (Big shout out for harvesting our own where possible rather than relying on imports and what-not all the blummin’ time).
I’ll tell ya what tho’… it’s those omega 3 walnut benefits that really get me excited. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are so often lacking in western diets despite the fact that they are much needed for optimal health and wellness. Omega 3’s are brilliant for brain health (and a lot of us need all the help I can get with that haha). Omega 3’s are also excellent for the circulatory system and great for anti-oxidant and mineral levels. So let’s have a quick look at some of these benefits and then we’ll make some ridiculously easy walnut milk together.
Walnuts and brain health
I was amazed to find out that walnuts contain melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, promoting healthy sleep (which in turn supports healthy, alert brain function).
Walnuts are high in vitamin E. This super vitamin E anti-oxidant quality means better brain health. Vitamin E is thought to help prevent oxidative stress and damage in the brain. Low levels of vitamin E have even been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega-3 (which is abundant in walnuts) is also known to support brain health in general and improve cognitive function.
Walnuts and support for the circulatory system
Walnuts have the amino acid L-arginine, which is known for supporting the vascular system. The vascular system is better known as the circulation system made up of the vessels responsible for carrying blood and lymph fluid around the body. Arteries and veins within this system transport oxygen and nutrients to the entire body, whilst removing unwanted tissue.
Walnuts for a healthy heart and cholesterol levels
Walnuts are actually one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). Not only does omega-3 support a healthy brain, but ALA is also key in helping the body to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. ALA is excellent for heart health in that it can help to lower blood pressure, prevent heart attacks and reverse atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
In addition to that, according to WebMD.com… “Alpha-linolenic acid is thought to decrease the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain normal heart rhythm and heart pumping. It might also reduce blood clots.”
Making plant-based milk with walnuts
Walnut Milk is one of the healthiest plant-milks out there. It’s ridiculously easy and offers a lovely way to get a very helpful dose of walnuts in your system. Making milk with walnuts also means that they have already been broken down and are much easier to assimilate into your system (although I would equally recommend using them for other plant-based recipes – such Raw Superfood Brownies and the other decadent deliciousness!).
You can soak your walnuts overnight (or for a few hours to soften them). You can also get away with not soaking at all if you’ve forgotten or want to make ‘spur-of-the-moment’ walnut… so there aren’t really any excuses happening here.
You do not need a fancy high powered blender – a cheap inexpensive blender will do just fine.
A nut bag or something similar?
A nut bag is recommended to strain (or some muslin or cheesecloth), which takes only a minute. Nut milk bags are not expensive. The cloth/cotton/hemp ones are harder to clean, so I do recommend a nylon-type nut bag which would last for a very long time (and is super easy to rinse through rapidly after use). See below the recipe for a couple of nut bag link suggestions.
Making your own nut milk at home is not only incredibly satisfying, connecting you with your food at a deeper level, but you are also saving on nasty throw-away packaging and cartons that come with shop bought milk and doing away with the need for additives, gels and binders.
I am often add in a little coconut sugar and vanilla to make it extra posh (but these are entirely optional and can be used according to taste).
Super fast video please watch… OK, let’s go! Please click on my super fast video to see how insanely easy it is to make this milk and let’s make this together!
- 100g (1 cup walnuts)
- 750ml (3 cups approx) water
- Dash of vanilla (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (optional but nice)
- Please see my super fast video guide directly above to see how easy this easy first.
- Soak the walnuts overnight to soften them of for a few hours. You can also blend without soaking (the nuts are just a little harder that's all) if you forget or don't have time to soak ahead).
- Drain and then rinse with water.
- Put into a blending jug and then add about 750ml (3 cups approximately) of pure water and then blend for around one minute. This works in a cheap blender or a high powered blender.
- Strain the blended milk through a nut bag (see links below) and squeeze.
- Pour into a glass bottle, jug or jar. Pop on the lid and then chill it in the fridge.
- UK: Lovetree Products Nut Milk Bag, Professional Filter for Almond, Coconut, Greek Yogurt, Soy Milk, Fruit & Veg Cheesecloth Replacement Reusable Strainer, Strong Nylon Mesh, Inc FREE Recipe E-Book
- USA: 2-PACK Best Nut Milk Bag - Restaurant Commercial Grade by GoNuts - Cheesecloth Strainer Filter For the Best Almond Milk, Cold Brew Coffee, Tea, Juicing, Yogurt, Tofu - BPA-Free Nylon 12”x10" Fine Mesh - Durable Washable Reusable - FREE Recipe E-book
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