Since I don’t have the same access to dairy farmers in Florida as I did in the Midwest, I have been experimenting with dairy-free milk alternatives. I’ve made my coconut milk recipe and almond milk recipe, but I think my new favorite is cashew milk.
Cashew milk nutrients
First off, it is the easiest of all of the recipes to make and it tastes the creamiest! Win-win! It also contains wonderful nutrients like copper, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Cashews are a lower-fat nut (which is why they are usually roasted with cheap vegetable oils) and contain over 65% monounsaturated fat, the same that’s found in olive oil and macadamia nuts. Additionally, due to their high levels of oleic acid, cashews are less prone to rancidity compared with other more fragile nuts like walnuts.
Cashew fun facts
Fun fact, cashews are actually seeds that sit upon the bottom of the cashew apple, a sweet fruit beloved by South Americans. We never see cashews in the U.S. in their shell for good reason. They contain a poisonous resin underneath the green shell! Interesting to note, cashews come from the same family as mango and poisonous ivy (see a pattern here?) Manufacturers either roast or steam the nuts to remove the nut’s poisonous resin. You may see cashew products advertised as “raw”, which is misleading except for the few companies who open the cashews by hand (!) and then dry them at temperatures lower than 118 degrees. The extra work is often reflected in the cashew price 🙂 For most of us, high-quality and organic cashews that are extracted with a “low-heat harvesting process” are perfectly adequate.
It’s always a good idea to boost your nut intake if you can. Study after study shows how beneficial they are to our health. One mega-study, that compared several studies on the topic, found that consuming nuts at least 4 times per week reduces your risk for heart disease by a whopping 37 percent! Each additional nut serving per week increases that reduction by 8%. In another study, women had as much as a 50% reduced risk of dying by regular nut consumption. Men also had lower mortality rates.
Worried about fat intake or high calories? Hopefully, you know now that certain fats are good for you. And, hopefully, you aren’t too focused on calories but rather nutrients. But, just so you know, regular nut eaters usually weigh less than non-nut eaters. So there is that 🙂
OK, let’s get our cashew milk on!
Cashew milk recipe
What you’ll need:
1 cup of organic cashews (where to buy)
6 cups of filtered water, divided
Dash of high-mineral sea salt (where to buy)
Quart mason jar with lid
1/4 tsp of organic cinnamon or nutmeg
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean
2 TB maple syrup
In the morning, put one cup of cashews in your mason jar. Be sure to pick out any discolored or spoiled looking cashews. Fill the remainder of your jar with filtered water and add 1 tablespoon of high-mineral sea salt. Put on lid and place on counter. This warm salty brine may help to breakdown phytic acid, which can interfere with mineral absorption. Soaking nuts also make them easier to digest. You can learn more about here
After lunch (or about six hours of soaking), drain your cashews and rinse thoroughly. You’ll be surprised how moist your cashews will be as they absorb a lot of the water. That’s why I recommend using filtered for your soaking! Put your drained and rinsed cashews into blender. Add 3 cups of filtered water and optional seasonings and sweeteners. Blend at the highest speed for 60 seconds. Pour your milk into your pitcher or Mason jar and it is ready to drink. This recipe will make 1 quart of cashew milk. If you like a “thinner” milk, you can strain through a mesh strainer, which will pick up the little bit of sediment that forms. Serve your cashew milk chilled or whipped up warm in your latte. You can store your cashew milk in the fridge and it lasts up to 3 days. It freezes relatively well. ENJOY!
How about YOU?
Have you ever tried cashew milk? Do you drink non-dairy milks? Which is your favorite?