Let’s talk milk.
This can be a touchy subject. There are certainly milk lovers, those who hate it, some that’ll never drink it, and others who simply can’t touch the stuff.
Personally, I’m not a big milk fan except when I am pregnant, then I guzzle the stuff like it’s the last beverage on the planet. I personally prefer raw milk or at the very least non-homogenized milk. Nevertheless, no judgments here.
Milk isn’t really a beverage the French indulge in except to cook or to splash in their cafe au lait. My mother faithfully put a smidgen in a morning cup of joe, while my dad drank his coffee black and strong (as in you-can’t-see-through-it-in-a-transparent-cup).
My husband, on the other hand, is an American and as such he was raised drinking milk. He likes it. However, milk is not his friend and by default, not mine either.
Dairy Free Milk Replacement
For years now, we have been drinking almond milk. I kept that habit up until I found a better – in my opinion – substitute: cashew milk.
Cashew milk is my very favorite non-dairy milk ever. Strange as it may seem, it’s also the only dairy free alternative my hubs has taken to.
A couple of months ago he decided that our kids were drinking too much milk and he wanted to try an experiment: only buy cashew milk.
The experiment worked: the kids will drink what is available and they did like the taste of cashew milk.
DIY Cashew Milk
After the hubby’s successful non-dairy milk experiment, I decided to try my hand at a DIY cashew milk recipe.
I had made almond milk in the past.. how complicated could it be to just switch nuts?
Indeed, it’s a cinch.
Why I Like Cashew Milk
I believe that cashew milk is the creamiest and tastiest of all the non dairy milk. As an added bonus, it lacks the overpowering flavor of coconut milk.
In general, I like coconut; but I don’t always like a coconut taste to everything I make. My least favorite ingredient from a coconut is the milk. I personally find it too thick and just plain icky (yes, icky).
Making Cashew Milk
The best part of DIY cashew milk (for some) is that you don’t have to strain the pulp (like with almond milk).
Lately, I’ve started straining some of the pulp; however, this step is completely optional. I do it because my kids – being kids – do not shake the milk container before serving themselves a glass of milk. This means that by the time we’ve used half the milk, I’m left with a rather large layer of pulp which has settled at the bottom. Something no one wants to drink.
I soak my cashew nuts overnight. Soaking nuts before consuming them helps with: 1) the blending process and 2) the release of beneficial enzymes (which aid in digestion).
DIY Cashew Milk: The Process
I make one gallon of DIY cashew milk at a time.
As I mentioned above, I soak my cashews overnight. You can soak them for as little as four hours. That being said, there were a handful of times that I chose not to soak them, and was still able to make my milk. What this means for you is that even though soaking is best, “not-soaking” is not a deal breaker.
Drain and rinse your cashews until the water runs clear.
Place them in a blender. I use my trusted and beloved Vitamix for this purpose (it is well worth the high price point).
To the blender container, add 4 cups of pure water.
Turn the blender on and let it run until all your cashews are pulverized. This liquid should be milky white in color.
If you’d rather not bother straining the pulp, pour the milk into a gallon-size wide-mouth jar–or another suitable container (I prefer glass), then add enough water to make a gallon.
You can also strain some of the pulp with a fine mesh strainer.
Optional: add some vanilla extract and some Himalayan salt; that’s it. You can also add some sweetener. (I usually don’t.) There have been a few times that I’ve used a few drops of vanilla liquid stevia. You can also use some agave or maple syrup, some raw honey, or my low carb all time favorite: monk fruit powder. You can learn more about monk fruit in this blog post.