A Shelf-Stable, Non-Dairy Milk with One Ingredient? Sign Us Up
When you’re sheltering in place and not able to make it to the supermarket regularly, it can be challenging to keep those perishable essentials—like milk—stocked in your fridge. In a pinch, dairy drinkers can turn to powdered or dried milk (which is also useful for baking). And now, there’s a new shelf-stable version of plant-based milk available, too, that’s better for you than the preservative-laden kind you normally find sealed in Tetra paks in grocery store aisles.
JOI (pronounced “joy”) is made with just one ingredient, nuts, and comes in a resealable, airtight container. At first glance, it looks and smells like a super-thick nut butter—and that’s because it sort of is (but we wouldn’t recommend spreading it on a bagel). You can choose from three varieties: almond, organic almond, or cashew. So how does this nut base turn into almond milk? You simply add JOI to water, at a ratio of 1 tablespoon JOI to one 1 cup of water, and mix in a blender for 30 seconds. If you don’t use all your nut milk in one sitting, it will keep in an airtight container (like a lidded Mason jar) for about 8 days in the fridge.
The cool part is that how your JOI tastes is entirely up to how adventurous you want to get. Simply leave it at the suggested two ingredients, and you get a bright-white, thin nut milk that’s perfect for adding to smoothies or to recipes in baking. If you’re after something that’s a little thicker to pour over cereal, for example, you can use a little more nut base in your mix. Or, if you want something that tastes delicious to sip on its own, you can get creative with additions. Mike O’Hagan, chief strategy officer for JOI, suggests vanilla extract (for vanilla flavor, obviously), a drizzle of date syrup (for sweetness) or a pinch of salt and cinnamon for a little flavor zing. You can also experiment with water ratios and add-ins to come up with your own coffee creamers or salad dressings, or even add JOI directly to smoothies or use it to make vegan cheese.
Aside from the benefit of being able to whip up fresh non-dairy milk on demand, without risking an entire carton going bad before you can finish it, JOI also packs a decent nutritional punch. According to O’Hagan, the product is more nutritionally dense that most almond milks not only because it’s free of preservatives, but because it incorporates the entire nut—so you’re getting a decent blend of heart-healthy fats and protein (7 g fat and 3 g protein per 1 tablespoon). By comparison, almond milk brands like Almond Breeze contain only 1 gram of protein per serving.
If you’re thinking of stocking up during these uncertain times, cashew JOI is in stock on Amazon right now, and more flavors and quantities are available onJOI’s website. The almond base will last up to 18 months and the cashew base for up to 12 months when stored sealed tightly in its original container at room temperature—so it won’t take up precious cargo space in your fridge (compare that to the average lifespan of 7-10 days for regular almond milk). One 15-ounce tub can make up to 7 quarts of plant milk, depending on how much you use per batch, so you’ll be set for a while. And there’s the added benefit of not constantly throwing out packaging waste from going through an almond milk carton a week, too. Of course, you can always make your own almond milk with a few ingredients—but JOI gives you just about the same result, with less effort. It’s a win-win!