Hemp milk is quickly fighting its way to the top of the non-dairy milk ladder. This is due to its stellar nutritional profile, sustainable credentials and vegan nature. But there are two big problems when it comes to buying pre-made hemp milk:
- It’s usually pretty pricey
- It often comes in single-use packaging
That said, packaged hemp milk is a more ethical and environmentally-friendly choice than dairy. Here is why hemp milk is a sustainable choice:
- Every part of the hemp plant is useful which limits waste
- Hemp plants absorb more CO2 per hectare than any forest or commercial crop
- Most varieties of hemp are naturally resistant to insects and, therefore, don’t require pesticides
And those aforementioned nutritional benefits, you ask?
- Hemp seeds are a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
- Less natural sugars than dairy and similar energy content to low-fat milk
The secret ingredient that stops non-dairy milk separating
One word: lecithin.
If you’ve ever looked on the back of a non-dairy milk package, you will often find additional ingredients after water and the nut, seed or grain. In a good quality non-dairy milk, these additives stop the liquid from separating. In a lower quality non-diary product, they often create textures and consistencies so suppliers can use less of the star ingredient (e.g. almonds or hemp seeds), add more water and save money.
If you remember anything from science class, it may be that water and oils don’t like each other. As hemp seeds contain fatty acids, they separate from the water after a while. This is nothing a quick shake of the bottle or stir of a spoon can’t fix.
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Although, if you’re not the kind of person that wants to stir your coffee between sips or perhaps you’re looking to enjoy non-dairy milk on its own, consider investing in a lecithin powder or liquid. Lecithin is a natural compound that attracts both water and fatty substances.
This means it will stop your non-dairy milk from separating!
Soy lecithin is the cheapest and most widely available option. If you’re not a fan of soy, you can try sunflower lecithin. For a non-dairy milk recipe, you will generally use about one teaspoon of lecithin powder or liquid, depending on the quality of the product.
Whether you’re a hemp convert and want to stop paying for water or you want to make a new type of dairy-free milk, here’s how to make hemp milk that doesn’t separate:
Easy hemp milk recipe
- 3-4 cups of water (the less water, the creamier the milk)
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon lecithin powder (optional)
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Put all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
- Blend for 2 minutes on high.
- Strain using a fine sieve, tea strainer or nut milk bag.
- Store hemp milk in an airtight bottle or container for up to 4 days.
Don’t throw away the precious hemp pulp that’s leftover from straining. This fibre-filled goodness will go great in oatmeal, smoothies or baking.