I love milk. Milk in cereal or even a simple glass of ice-cold milk without cookies (who am I kidding, definitely with cookies) just about always sounds good to me. And while dairy and I are on good terms, I do enjoy non-dairy options, too. Rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and, of course, nut milk are all so delicious, and our family drinks it all.
We typically drink store-bought milks, so I decided to make my own nut milk since it's really easy and the healthiest option. But what type of nut? Our family loves cashews, so I started there. Not only are cashews tasty, they're rich in good fats, high in protein, and chalk-full of minerals including copper, zinc, and magnesium. Sounds like a win-win to me!
First, I purchased raw cashews in bulk from a local health food store, which is the most economical route, then soaked the cashews for a few hours. Cashews are a soft nut, so they don't technically need to be soaked, but I wanted to ensure the smoothest milk possible.
After soaking them, I rinsed and blended the cashews with fresh water and, since I planned to use my cashew milk as a creamer replacement and for breakfast items like chia pudding and oatmeal, I added some vanilla and cinnamon to enhance the cashews' natural sweetness. If I was planning to use the milk in savory dishes, I would've skipped the vanilla and cinnamon and just added water and a pinch of salt.
Again, because I wanted a silky smooth milk, I then strained the cashews through a nut bag and removed all the cashew pulp. An added bonus here is that the pulp doesn't have to go to waste -- you can put it in pancake batter or oatmeal for some extra texture!
Finally, I poured the milk into a jar and refrigerated it (um, because nothing's worse than room-temperature milk, right?!). It lasts about 3-5 days in the refigerater, but we drank ours so quickly that we never worried about it spoiling.
So, if you're planning to do Whole30 anytime soon or if you and dairy just don't jive, I highly recommend this easy peasy recipe that you and your family will certainly love!
CASHEW MILK RECIPE
(Makes 4 cups of milk)
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- 4 cups of filtered water, plus 2 cups for soaking
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Small pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- Soak cashews in 2 cups of water for 2-4 hours.
- Drain and rinse cashews and place in blender with 4 cups of water, cinnamon, salt, vanilla bean seeds (save pod for other use), and vanilla extract.
- Blend on high until completely smooth (about a minute).
- For smooth milk, strain milk into a bowl through a nut milk bag or several layers of cheese cloth.
- Pour the milk into a glass jar and refrigerate up to 5 days.