I go nuts for nut milks! I am obsessed. I cut dairy out of my diet about 4.5 years ago and I can confidently say it’s been (one) of the best food decisions I’ve ever made. Cashew milk is one of my favorite nut milks, and I’m going to show you just how easy it is to make!
As a kid, I usually drank low fat or skim milk with cereal, chocolate milk on occasion and some cheese with meals (mostly pizza, mac and cheese, sandwiches, etc.), but I wasn’t a die hard dairy fanatic.
Then, in college, I discovered Greek yogurt and became immediately obsessed. I would eat it 2-3 times a day, sometimes half of a quart container in one sitting. I loved topping it with berries, granola, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, seeds/nuts, berries, honey, etc.
But, it ALWAYS made my stomach hurt and I really struggled with my complexion during those years. I never really made the connection that dairy might be the root cause of those issues, until I decided to start following a Paleolithic lifestyle near the end of my college days. If you are familiar with the paleo diet, you eat like your hunter-gatherer ancestors, and typically cut out dairy, with the exception of butter for some, and mostly Ghee, which is clarified butter, meaning that the milk solids are removed during the clarification process, and it’s lactose free.
I went all in and decided to cut dairy cold turkey. IT SUCKED. I “relapsed” a few times that first year because I could not give up Greek yogurt. But I noticed how much better my gut felt and how much clearer my complexion became when I wasn’t consuming dairy.
I eventually found my way to dairy-free milk alternatives, first dabbling with conventional soy and almond milks from Silk, because I was a broke college kid who didn’t own a car and wasn’t properly educated.
I finally got smart, realized the negative/harmful effects of soy milk, and conventional nut milks due to the additives, sugars and stabilizers/thickeners (gums) in them — things like guar gum, locust bean gum, xanthan gum, etc. messed with my digestion and made me bloat, but it took me a while to figure that out.
However, I have my roommate in Baltimore to thank for introducing me to homemade nut milks! Prior to that, I did not own a high speed blender, and was still too broke to afford a $400-600 Vitamix. She had one, and it was a game changer.
I made almond milk a few times, but wasn’t a fan of having to strain the almonds with a cheese cloth. It was another extra step and between going to the gym, going to work, and cooking dinner/meal prepping, I didn’t have a lot of time.
Enter cashew milk. One day, I saw her blending something beige and creamy looking, and she said it was cashew milk. I tasted some and fell in love. Cashews are a sweeter nut to begin with, and so when you turn them into a cashew milk, they retain the sweetness without the need for adding additional sugars.
Now, I am grown up enough that I can afford my own Vitamix (happy adulting) and I make my own cashew milk about 2-3 times a week. I very rarely ever buy nut milk, unless I need it in a pinch, or am strapped for time. I also have access to better, healthier, brands that I trust. Some of those brands include Malk Organics, Three Trees, The New Barn and Califia Farms (but they use stabilizers).
Look, I love ALL nut milks, and so this is not a post about why cashew milk is better than almond milk. And it all comes down to personal taste/preference.
But the one differentiator is that you don’t have to strain the cashews, you can blend them up directly in the Vitamix. All nut milk varieties require that you soak the nuts overnight (really anywhere from 4-12 hours for cashews), which softens them up. Almonds are much firmer and so even after soaking them, they won’t completely disintegrate into the water when you blend them.
There will still be the “almond pulp” that you need to filter out. The bonus here is that you can dry that pulp and use it as an almond flour for gluten free low carb baking!
I also just generally prefer the delicious creamy sweetness of the cashew. And since I am mostly following a high fat low carb keto lifestyle, I like that you get to use the whole cashew, which means ALL the healthy fats remain! It’s definitely a high fat, high calorie drink, but in the best way possible.
It’s amazing in smoothies or for mixing in protein shakes, coffee, etc.
And that’s why I decided to share my favorite (insanely easy) cashew milk recipe with the world! It’s nothing special and I know there are hundreds of other nut milk recipes out there, but why not?
The biggest downside is that since this is preservative free, it will only keep in the fridge for 5-7 days MAX. I usually try to use mine within 5 days, otherwise it’ll start to turn, and you will definitely smell it when it’s turned sour.
I usually get 4-5 days out of this recipe, but you could stretch that if you only use the milk as creamer for coffee or tea. The below is just an estimate for if you use about 1 cup liquid as a serving.