Over 10 years ago, the boy and I took a trip to Chengdu and we biked over 300 miles around central China. What do I remember the most about that trip? I remember the peanut milk that came chilled and in glass bottles. After biking, I'd be counting down the miles until I could down a bottle of peanut milk and eat sunflower seeds.
Last Tuesday I finally made it over to the El Cerrito Farmers' Market, this time in search of some Asian vegetable stands because my CSA is a little more mainstream, and I was jonesing for some greens and ginger. The stand with the best looking ginger also had fresh, like just plucked from the ground fresh, peanuts. I bought a pound and tried to find a Chinese-style peanut milk recipe.
Since I made the unfortunately mistake of popping one of the raw peanuts in my mouth, I knew that I'd have to make the milk similar to soy milk because those peanuts needed heat to dissipate the raw, tannic legume flavor. However, I have a Vitamix, and the blender contents get piping hot after a few minutes on the highest speed. After a few tweaks, I got what I wanted: a Chinese-style peanut milk that requires no straining, no stovetop cooking, and I can make it using one appliance. Now I have some of the milk chilling in the refrigerator, so I can reward myself after a jog or, more realistically, a vigorous walk with Mingus.
Chinese Peanut Milk
- 1 cup shelled, raw peanuts, preferably fresh
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar, or to taste
- 1 pinch salt
If you are using raw peanuts that are not fresh, remove the peanut skins. I've only made this in a Vitamix, and its ability to heat is key to the peanut milk.
- Add all ingredients to the Vitamix and mix on High for 7 minutes. There is no need to strain the milk. Enjoy the hot milk right away or chill it.