I wasn’t much of a milk drinker before I went vegan. It wasn’t that I didn’t like milk, I just didn’t want the extra calories. However, yogurt was a major part of my diet, and I missed it before I even committed to veganism. When my wife suggested we make our own vegan yogurt (the stuff in the store is cost-prohibitively expensive and not very good), we began our quest to make the best vegan milk from which to make our yogurt. Along the way, we discovered cashew milk. I love it so much that I would have switched to it year before going vegan, had I known how to make it. Anyway, before I got a soy milk maker (which handles most of this process), I came up with this recipe. May it serve you well.
- 1 cup raw cashews
Go for halves and pieces, since you’ll want to crush your cashews into smaller chunks before soaking them anyway.
- 6–7 cups filtered water
- *1–2 tsp sweetener1
- *1/8 tsp vanilla
- *1 pinch of salt
*Optional but highly recommended ingredients.
- Crush cashew pieces into smallish chunks, about the size of beans. Do not crush too finely (try to avoid creating cashew dust).
- Bring 1–2 cups of filtered water to a boil and reduce heat just below boiling.
- Cover cashews in hot water and let soak for 4–8 hours.
- Rinse cashews in a fine colander until the water runs clear.
- Blend cashews and 1 cup of filtered water on high for 1 minute. I highly recommend doing this in a single-serving/smoothie blender if you have the option. You want to make the finest paste/cream possible.
- Add 2 cups of water and optional ingredients (i.e., sweetener, vanilla, and salt) and blend on high for 1 minute.
- Add final 2 cups of water and blend for 1 minute.2
- Run final mixture through a wire mesh strainer.3
Yields 6 cups of cashew milk at about 2% thickness (160–170 calories per cup).
1For a totally natural option, I suggest agave nectar. Personally, I tend to use sucralose to avoid the calories. (back)
2Want to make incredible dairy-free cashew cream (something for your coffee)? No problem. Just leave off these last two cups of water and be sure to blend an extra minute. (back)
3This step is entirely optional, but I highly recommend it. Do NOT use a fine milk bag for this. A metal mesh strainer is ideal, as you’re just trying to catch a bit of unavoidable sediment. (back)