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Nut milk holds a special place in my kitchen’s ecosystem. Calling it a necessity might be a stretch, as one cannot make a meal of almond milk alone (and black coffee is still coffee and therefore always welcome, at least in my book). Still, several months of cooking virtually all of my meals at home has illuminated that making all my favorite breakfasts, from chia pudding to smoothies, is infinitely easier with a jar of nut milk in the fridge.
While minimizing my trips to the store, I wanted to find a way to satisfy my alt-milk appetite without overfilling my fridge with containers. I’d flirted with making my own almond milk from scratch in the past, but soaking and squeezing big quantities of raw nuts is a messy activity that doesn’t come cheap. And, somehow, I always manage to snack or cook my way through my nut stash before I actually find the time to make milk. Then a coworker tipped me off to JOI “plant base,” a shelf-stable nut milk concentrate.
Let the record show that Healthyish editor Amanda Shapiro and I have tried way more than our fair share of nut milk concentrates over the years, and this one is infinitely creamier than the rest. The only ingredient is blanched, steam-pasteurized almonds or cashews; it’s basically like an unroasted, easily emulsified nut butter. All you need is a blender, some water, and 30 seconds.
One jar makes 27 cups of nut milk that can chill in the fridge for up to a week—or 13.5 cups, if you double the amount of concentrate to create an extra luxurious texture. I split the difference with a ratio of four tablespoons of concentrate to three cups of water, which yields silky-smooth milk with pure nutty flavor and a hint of natural sweetness.
Compared to buying those blocky containers of alt milk at the store, I save an average of $7—plus I cut down on packaging and minimize the space it takes to ship. (One note on packaging: JOI comes in a sturdy plastic tub. I wish it was glass, but it’s perfectly suited to be reused as a salad dressing or overnight oats container.)
Every Sunday, I take down my blender to set myself up for the week ahead. I don’t know what the world, or my grocery store, will look like in a month, but I know I’ll have nut milk in the fridge.
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