Nut milk bag... yes it makes me giggle too, but seriously, making your own dairy free milk at home is so simple, and making your own nut milking bag is even easier!
Although I don't have an intolerance to dairy, sometimes too much of it can upset my stomach. If I'm treating myself to a London fog or matcha latte I will often ask for oat milk, and when I'm making my smoothies at home in the morning, I usually reach for good old almond milk. Although these options are easier on my tummy, are they any better for my wallet or my health? Store bought dairy-free milk often has many additives and preservatives in it like sugar and carrageenan, so why not make your own almond milk, hemp milk, oat milk or rice milk and control exactly what goes in it!?
The Minimalist Baker has great recipes for all kinds of DIY dairy free milks. I like keeping it very simple with my almond milk and just use almonds, water and a date for sweetness, but you can always add a pinch of salt, honey, vanilla or even cocoa powder for chocolate milk!
Ok, so you've chosen a delicious recipe to follow, now all you need are the tools. First off you will need a blender (I use my Magic Bullet) and you will also need a nut milk bag to strain the blended mixture - we got you covered here! You can purchase nut milk bags at any good health food store or online, but why not, just like the milk, do it yourself! For my DIY nut milk bag I used Simplifi's 7.5 oz hemp organic cotton muslin but the 6.3 oz or the 4.5 oz would work really well too. I used the 7.5 oz for a couple of reasons. First of all its good and sturdy and the weave is nice and tight so we can make sure the nut/oat/rice particles don't get through, and second of all, the fabric isn't bleached or dyed and uses organically grown fibres. I think this last part is pretty important given you will be using it to make something you will consume.
For your own bag you will need:
- 1/4 meter of fabric. Something tightly woven, unbleached and undyed is my preference.
- Thread - This organic cotton thread is my preference here
- Cord or string for the drawstring
- Nut Milk Bag printable PDF pattern - download it free here!
This is a very easy project that shouldn't take more than a few minutes to whip up, but I've "designed" it with a few features that will make your nut milking experience more enjoyable... For instance, the bottom of the bag is rounded. This helps with the straining process and also helps keep particles from getting caught in any corners. Also, the seam allowance is designed to be on the OUTSIDE of the bag, this is to keep any particles from getting stuck as well. Additionally, I've made it small enough to fit in a 1/4m of fabric so its a great scrap-buster too!
Once you have pre-washed your fabric and printed and assembled your pattern, you are ready to get started!
1. Cut 2 pieces for the bag, making sure to transfer button hole markings.
2. Sew a 1/2” button hole at marking on each piece, open button hole.
3. With WRONG sides together sew both pieces together at outer rounded seam, finish this seam in your preferred method. (Please note: the finished seam will be on the OUTSIDE of the bag)
4. Turn down the top edge by 3/8” (1 cm) to the wrong side, and press. Turn down again by 1” (2.5 cm) and press. Edge stitch along the first fold, to create a casing for the cord.
5. Using a safety pin or bodkin, thread your cotton cord through the casing and tie both ends together.
That's it! I told you it was super simple. Now you are ready to make your very own non-dairy milk at home. For the almond milk I make, I just soak a cup of raw almonds overnight, then drain them and add new water - about 2 cups, more or less depending on how thick or thin you want your milk - and a pitted date (or more to taste) for sweetness. I blend it all in my Magic Bullet (you may need to do this in batches if you're using a Bullet like me, but should all fit nicely in a big blender!) until well blended and then with my nut milk bag over a large bowl, I just pour in the blended mixture and let it strain out in to the bowl. You can give it a squeeze, or twist the bag to get more of the liquid to strain through, but what I like to do it tie the nut milk bag to one of my kitchen cupboard handles and let it hang over the bowl and drain until completely strained. Easy peasy!
Leave me a comment, I would love to hear about any variations you have tried, or great recipes for other non-dairy milks you have found!
If you want any inspiration for more, reusable, zero waste or eco-friendly sewing projects, check out our Organic Home Pinterest page here, or if you want more ideas for things to do with hemp, check out our Hemp Pinterest page here! Also, if you want to learn more about Hemp fibres you can read our Fibre Ed page here.
Stay tuned for more reusable and eco-friendly projects coming to the blog soon! Thanks for stopping by! xo M