Captivating Cashew Milk { V, GF, DF }

Aliya photobombs the cashew milk pic!
Aliya photobombs the cashew milk!

Making cashew milk couldn’t be easier, and it’s the tastiest (non-)milk ever!  Cashew milk is simply wonderful in coffee; cereal or granola; adds healthy fats to a vegan smoothie; and has a creamy, smooth texture without having to be strained.   Here’s all you need to know to make this nutritious, non-dairy beverage at home: preservative-, additive- and of course dairy-free.


Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews

3 cups filtered water

Optional but yummy: 3 dates, or agave syrup to taste

Optional but divine: 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (and/or 1 inch piece of vanilla bean)

Instructions:

Before making: soak cashews at least 4 hours (up to overnight) in the refrigerator, in enough water to cover them well. Drain and thoroughly rinse cashews with fresh water before placing them in blender.  Add three cups of filtered water.  Add extras like dates and/or vanilla, if using, and blend until smooth, smooth, smooth (I use the preprogrammed “smoothie” setting on my Vitamix).  Pour into serving cup(s) and enjoy!


Now, read on if you’re thirsty for the “fine print”, including “why’s” and “how-to’s”:

Soaking cashews at least 4 hours or overnight (but not longer than overnight, they could get slimy) — then rinsing them well — removes phytic acid, improving the cashews’ digestibility and making their nutrients easier to absorb.  It also makes them easier to blend, and removes “off” flavors — the more you rinse them, the cleaner the flavor in the end.  That said, I’ve made cashew milk without the soaking step, and it (I) was just fine — but others have reported tummy trouble.

Cashew milk keeps in fridge for at least three or four days, probably longer… I haven’t had a batch go bad in the fridge yet.  Cashew milk will begin to separate after a few hours; a quick shake will restore it to smoothness.

I soak my cashews in a glass container, and I store the cashew milk in glass containers, too.  A big stash of repurposed Bonne Maman jam jars contains my milk (and soups, and pesto, and leftovers of every sort) nicely.  You can drink out of them, too — and then, screw the lid on — you’ve got a plastic-free to-go cup for your coffee (or cashew-milk enriched smoothie!).  I don’t like to use plastic to contain our potables or our edibles.  Even “BPA-free” plastic containers are suspect, in my book; have you ever tasted water that’s spent a couple of hours in a kid’s “BPA-free” sippy cup?  It tastes like plastic.  That can’t be good.  At the very least, it doesn’t taste good.}

To make cashew cream, simply reduce the water in the recipe to 3/4 cup, then blend, adding more by the tablespoon until the desired consistency is achieved.

There you have it — Captivating Cashew Milk! let me know what you think of this simple recipe — and what terrific uses you put it to!

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