Adult acne has been my curse. Living with it for years and years and years, I had a sneaking suspicion of what might have been causing it, but I refused to face reality—until recently.
I hate to break it to you, but the cause of my acne was dairy all along. When I randomly decided to drop my Greek yogurt habit just to shake up my daily breakfast routine with oatmeal (so wild, I know), I noticed my skin totally change. Within a few weeks, cystic acne that would routinely crop up around my chin and jawline had vanished—never to return again. Sure, I’ll still get pimples now and then, but they’re smaller than they used to be, and usually occur after I’ve indulged in an occasional chocolate malt (guilty as charged!).
No serious plans to go full vegan for now, but I can definitely live with limiting my overall dairy intake to special occasions only. Especially since there are so many alternatives available: oat milk, quinoa milk, and everybody’s favorite, almond milk. I use it sparingly though, so every time I pick it up from the fridge, I always reluctantly wonder if I’m committing some cardinal sin by drinking it past the recommended 7- to 10-day shelf life. Making it at home in small batches makes the most sense. Bonus: there’s no added sugar like what’s commonly found in some commercial brands.
You can even experiment with other types of nut milks that aren’t readily available at the grocery store. Hello, walnut! Watch the video below to get the breakdown of how to make your own. Of course, if you’re a hardcore almond milk fan, feel free to sub in almonds—or try other raw nuts like pecans or cashews.
Note: Soaking nuts overnight is a key step. Not only does it make the end product creamier, but it also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid that can interfere with digestion. This sprouting process even facilitates better absorption of vitamins.
Yield: 1 to 2 cups
Active Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 24 hours
Cover walnuts with water in medium bowl. Let sit, covered, on the counter or in the refrigerator, overnight or up to two days. The nuts will expand as they soak.
After soaking, drain water, then rinse well. Transfer walnuts to blender, and add clean water (use less water for thicker milk, or more for thinner consistency). Add date and sea salt. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture resembles fine meal and the water looks opaque and creamy.
To strain, place cheesecloth (folded into two layers) over a medium bowl. Secure in place with a rubber band, if needed. Pour water and walnut mixture through cheesecloth into bowl. Gather cheesecloth around walnut meal and thoroughly squeeze remaining milk into bowl.
Transfer to an airtight jar and store in refrigerator. Use within 3 to 5 days.
The leftover meal can be used as a flour for baking, or sprinkled into smoothies or oatmeal for added protein and healthy fat. You’ve got to dehydrate it first, but it’s easy: spread meal on baking sheet and bake at the oven’s lowest temperature for 3 to 4 hours, or until dry.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho