Making your own homemade creamy nut milks is easy. Start with cashew milk as cashews only need a short soaking time. If you have a high-speed blender you don’t even have to strain the milk.
I’ve discovered an exciting new world – and it involves a whole lot of nuttiness.
I’m talking about making my own nut milks. They are so quick and easy to make . . . dairy-free, tasty, and convenient. I’ve experimented with different nuts, but cashew milk has become my go-to, everyday, milk that’s just as good cold from the fridge with a fresh-baked warm cookie as it is stirred into tea, whizzed up in a smoothie or creamy drink, or used in pancakes, crepes, puddings, and biscuits.
A dizzying variety of commercially-produced nut, seed, or grain milks parade across store shelves lately. Many of them contain a host of unpronounceable and unnecessary ingredients, including carageenan, which you want to stay away from. And they cost a whole lot more than making your own.
There is conflicting evidence as to whether nuts need to be soaked. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors to keep them from sprouting until they are placed into the ideal conditions for growth (like a heavy rain or damp earth, which moistens the nuts and starts the sprouting process). These enzyme inhibitors may make it harder for us to digest the nuts. Soaking them releases and removes these substances, making the nuts more digestible, taste better, and quicker to process.
Cashews are soft nuts which only need twenty minutes to two hours to soak (but can be soaked overnight for convenience, too). In a pinch, I’ve used them without soaking, and the milk only had a bit of grittiness that wasn’t even too noticeable. The milk from cashews is so much nicer than the somewhat watery, and often odd-tasting different nut and seed milks available on store shelves.
A quick soak, rinse and whirl in the blender – and you’ve got a great basic nut milk. Other kinds of nuts produce delicious results too, but need longer soaking times and either squeezing in nut bags or repeated straining to separate the nut pulp from the milk.
So, nuts for the nutty – here you are: Simple Homemade Cashew Milk. Ta-Da!!!!!!
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: I have a high speed blender, so the cashew milk whizzes up to a creamy milk in a relatively short time (1 to 2 minutes). If you have a regular blender, it may take a little longer – experiment to see what works for you. (Soaking definitely helps the creaminess with a regular blender).
A ‘pinch’ means how much salt you can pick up between your thumb and index finger, usually a bit less than 1/8 of a teaspoon.
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts
- 4 cups (960ml) filtered water, plus enough to cover the nuts, if soaking
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar*
- 1 pinch sea salt
Soak the cashews: (optional, but I like to do it to make the nuts softer and the milk creamier). Place the cashews into a glass jar or bowl, cover with filtered water, then cover with a lid or towel, and leave to soak for 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Even a 20 minute-soak is better than no-soak. You will often see the drier nuts floating at the top of the soaking liquid.
Drain the nuts, and rinse them well in a strainer under running water.
Place into a blender, add 4 cups of filtered water, the sweetener of choice, and pinch of salt.
*If making the cashew milk for use in a savoury recipe, you can omit the sweetener altogether. If using the milk for drinking, I find a bit of sweetener makes it taste more like regular dairy milk, since dairy milk has a slight sweetness from the natural milk sugars.
Whiz in the blender until smooth and frothy, anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. If you are using a regular blender and there seems to be a bit of grit in the milk, pour the milk through a fine mesh strainer or clean muslin or tea towel to separate out any bits of nut pulp.
Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Shake or stir before using.
Makes about 4½ cups (1 generous litre)
You might also like: