drinks

Vegan Macadamia Nut Milk

Vegan Macnut Milk

Cup of Macnuts

Macnut Milk Paste

On our farm, we have hundreds of macadamia nut trees (or macnuts, as we call them, for short). It’s a full-time job in itself to harvest (all by hand, mind you) and keep the trees maintained, but it’s well worth it to have a steady supply of these super nutritious nuts– rich in protein, antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin A, iron, omega 7/palmitoleic acids, and monosaturated fats (the healthy kind that actually helps you build up your metabolism and burn off bad fat). Not to mention, macnuts help lower cholesterol and boost your skin, bone, brain, and heart health. Adding just a small handful of macnuts to your daily diet will do wonders for your body. And they’re so creamy and tasty, I’ve found that even kids in Hawaii will gobble them up like candy and reach their hands out for one more before you’ve even had time to crack another.

So of course it makes sense that one of the first, and most valuable things I learned when I arrived at the farm was how to make a delicious milk out of macnuts. It’s quick and easy, compared to other nut milks, because there is no straining necessary. Macnut milk is great all on its own, but it’s also delicious in coffee, tea, cereal, and anything else that you might normally add a vegan milk to. And depending on what is available to you, you have the option to use raw macnuts right out of the shell, dehydrated, or even roasted macnuts– which all offer a different flavor sensation, from milder to richer. My personal favorite is to use the most freshly harvested nuts, when the nut meat is rich and oily almost like a coconut. I can even say that I’ve nearly converted dairy-drinking visitors to the farm, who admitted that they could give up cow milk were they to have fresh, delicious macnut milk to drink everyday. Now, if only I could keep the whole world supplied… So, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, here you go!

The recipe will make approximately 4 cups of milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of macnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup sweetener (honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, etc)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of water (1 cup for initial blend step, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups for secondary blend step)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Vitamix (or a strong blender)
  • Large mason jar (4-6 cups)

Directions:

Place all the macnuts into the Vitamix with just enough water to slightly cover the nuts (approximately 3/4 cup to 1 cup water). Blend the nuts for about one minute, adding a little more water as needed in order to allow the nuts to blend into a fine paste. Another option to help blend the macnuts is to add a tablespoon of coconut oil, which will also give the milk a richer flavor. Once the macnuts are completely blended, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, as well as your favorite sweetener to taste and re-blend. Once the paste is complete, add in the remaining water (start with 1 1/2 cup) and blend until the paste is evenly distributed into a milk. Add extra water (anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 cups) depending on your chosen thickness. Then taste and add any extra sweetener to your liking, or you may choose to use no sweetener at all. The milk may be slightly gritty depending on how finely the nuts were blended when initially making the paste, which is why it is important to focus on blending the nuts well first before adding the extra water– but it does not need to be strained. If the grittiness bothers you at all, you can let the milk sit for a minute before pouring it out of the blender, as some of the grit will settle to the bottom. You will also notice that the milk will be very foamy at the top.

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Lilikoi Concentrate (Passion Fruit Juice)

Lilikoi juice concentrate

It’s a constant mission on our farm of abundance to find a way to preserve all of the fruit that we can’t consume on a daily basis.  So, in an effort to make sure nothing goes to waste, much of the time, this means making big batches of fruit concentrates for juice, dehydrated fruit leathers, raw cakes, frozen treats, and much more. Passion fruit (or as it is called in Hawaii, lilikoi), is one of the best concentrates to have on hand because just a little bit goes a very long way. With its very tart, unique, and potent flavor, it adds a lot of dimension to anything it is added to. You can also just have some handy to add small amounts with water and sweetener to create a simple juice just for drinking.

In order to make the concentrate, the seeds will be separated from the juice itself. Once processed, you will have one jar of each– one of pure juice, and the other of the seeds, which can be used for different purposes. While the directions are pretty simple and self-explanatory, for anyone who is not accustomed to preserving or working with this fruit will hopefully find it helpful.

The juice concentrate can remain refrigerated for a couple days if unused, but after that, I would highly recommend it be kept in the freezer until needed to preserve freshness and to avoid it fermenting.

Ingredients:

  • Lilikoi
  • Sweetener (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Small cerrated knife
  • Spoon
  • Wire mesh strainer
  • Bowl
  • 2 glass jars

Directions:

Have a mesh wire strainer placed over a bowl prepared and on hand, along with two open glass jars. Cut open each lilikoi down the middle and use a spoon to scoop the contents out into the mesh wire strainer. It’s often easier to do it in batches (about a dozen lilikoi at a time) than to try to tackle all the lilikoi in one go. Use the spoon to stir the lilikoi around in the strainer to begin extracting the juice. Keep stirring until it seems most of the juice has been separated. Pour the processed seeds into one jar and the juice at the bottom of the bowl into the other. Cut open the remaining lilikoi and repeat these steps until all the juice has been processed.