6 Creative Ways to Use a Nut Milk Bag That Don't Involve Nut Milk

The survey results are in: plant-based milks have never been more popular. As people realize the role dairy products may be playing in some of their chronic health issues (think sinus congestion, allergies, skin inflammation, and digestive complaints to name a few), they're turning to the plant kingdom for solutions. So what's replacing much of the dairy-based milk on breakfast tables across the nation? While there are several options including soy, rice, and oat, nut milk has become a go-to for many. And if store-bought doesn't suit your fancy, making it fresh at home can be a fun DIY project that is also much healthier - it means you can leave out the additives, processed sugars, synthetic vitamins, and emulsifying agents like gums and carrageenan that are most often found in the options at the supermarket.  

It turns out fresh nut milk is also really easy to make. It requires raw nuts (such as almonds or filberts) that have been soaked overnight, then rinsed, blended with purified water (we recommend a ratio of 1 part nuts to 3-4 parts water), then strained through a nut milk bag over a large bowl. Every health-conscious kitchen needs a large and durable nut milk bag. And it turns out, creating fresh, healthy, plant-based milks from scratch is just the beginning of what they can do. 
 
Here is a rundown of several other awesome uses you may not have thought about...until now.

Soup Flavor Infusion: Nothing gives a soup extra deliciousness quite like fresh aromatic herbs and spices. And nut milk bags work great for this! Simply add your fresh herbs or spices of choice and add to a simmering pot of soup to literally steep the flavor right into your recipe. 
 
Herbal Tea: Need to make a big batch of iced tea for a summer get together with friends? Pull out your nut milk bag, a mix of your favorite dried herbs, and use it like a giant, oversized tea bag. Steep in hot water, let cool, add sweetener (if you desire) and serve over ice with a fresh sprig of mint. 

Coffee: Love a good cold brew mid-way through the day? Nut milk bags are your new best friend! Or if you prefer your coffee hot, you can use them as a strainer as well if you happen to run out of your regular coffee filters. 

Fresh Juice: Think you need a fancy $500 juicer to consume fresh green juice on the regular? Think again. You can blend your produce in your blender with a little extra water, then strain into a bowl just like you would while making nut milk. 

Nut Cheeses: Want to make your own tasty cultured plant-based cheese out of nuts and seeds? Your nut milk bag can do this too! The initial process is similar to making nut milk in that you'll be blending soaked nuts or seeds, only you'll be using much less water (if any at all) and you'll need a good dairy-free probiotic to help get the fermentation process started. You can use your nut milk bag to press any access liquid out of your blended nut mixture to create a more dense, cheese-like consistency, and to also use it to hold the cheese while it cultures to tangy perfection. Check out this recipe for a Raw Vegan Tarragon Macadamia "Goat Cheese" here

Sprouting: Sprouts are one of the best superfoods on the plant - bursting with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, unique disease-fighting phytonutrients, and enzymes. And perhaps the best part: sprouting is affordable. You can sprout nuts, seeds, grains, and seeds like sunflower, garbanzo, peas, and lentils using, yep, your nut milk bag. Place your ingredient of choice in the bag, soak overnight in a large bowl, then drain and rinse the next day. Hang the bag using the drawstring, making sure to rinse your ingredients at least twice per day to prevent spoilage. After just a few days of rinsing, you should start to see tiny sprouts emerge. Store your fresh sprouts in the fridge and toss them on your salads, garnish your meals with them, add them to sandwiches, etc.