I don’t know about you, but I love experimenting with a variety of nut milks. However, it isn’t always easy to find one that is made up of more ingredients than necessary. Not to mention, when I do find a decent milk with very few ingredients, its not cheap! Often, I encourage my clients to “just make it” themselves and shortly after comes the eye roll! Although making a nut milk may seem intimidating, I promise you it is not. All you need is about 3-4 ingredients, a blender and a nut milk bag (optional).
Even though it is relatively easy to make any nut milk, one of my favorites is cashew milk. Cashew milk is one of the creamiest of all the nut milks and tastes even better when you make it at home. Although it is unnecessary to strain the milk once blended, I enjoy using the leftover nuts as cashew butter in one of my favorite recipes, Zucchini with Cashew Alfredo, or let it dry out for a delicious cashew flour.
I love all nuts! In the spotlight for this post, however, are cashews. Cashews are a healthy source of fat and provide us with oleic acid, one of the best sources of heart healthy fats, monounsaturated fat. The same type of fat found in olive oil. Cashews are also packed with Vitamin E, B6, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium. Magnesium being one of the best sources of this nut. Magnesium is crucial for good sleep, heart health including blood pressure and heart rate, and can help decrease migraines. In fact, about 57% of the population is deficient in Magnesium which may be due to lack of whole foods, but also alcohol, nicotine, stress and overall lifestyle. Selenium and Vitamin E are antioxidants that help protect us against the aging process and disease. And finally, copper works with magnesium to help body build collagen as well as absorb iron. It is the synergy of vitamins and minerals that work together providing us with the best overall health benefits.
To make cashew milk, you will need the following:
1 cup raw cashews (or any other nut)
4 cups water
2 tsp 100% maple syrup, agave or organic cane syrup (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or cardamom (optional)
1 nut milk bag (optional)
Soak nuts in water for a minimum of 4 hours. This allows the nuts to soften and bring out the enzyme benefits of nuts, making it easier to digest. You can soak for as long as you want, it won’t hurt, but it will bring out a nuttier, creamier flavor!
After you are done soaking, toss in a blender with ingredients of choice. I like to put a bit of vanilla and maple syrup. You can also add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or other spice. Allow to blend until smooth and frothy. You can either keep unstrained or run through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or a very fine strainer. Pour into a jug or a glass mason jar and drink within 3-5 days. Can sip alone or add to your favorite smoothie, overnight oats or use in cashew alfredo or is a great substitute to cream in your favorite cream based soup.
Whatever you do, DO NOT throw away the leftover pulp! You can let dry and use as flour or nut meal in muffins, breads, pancakes or even smoothies. If not using right away, no worries! It freezes well too.