homemade cashew milk with variations
I’ve never been much of a milk drinker, but it was handy to keep around for those late-night impromptu baking sessions. And yes, those are a thing. There’s a local milkery (what???) called Braums that people would trade an appendage for, but I always had an affinity for the raw milk I’d purchase on Saturday mornings behind the building, drug-deal style from a cowboy at the farmer’s market. When I transitioned to a fully plant-based diet way back in the day, I doubled my (non)dairy spending on those much smaller cartons of almond milk you could pluck from the shelves right next to your favorite cereal on your way to the peanut butter aisle. For the most part it sufficed, but it always had the faintest hint of aseptic carton. And then…. then I got a Vitamix, and my whole milky white world changed.
I honestly can’t even remember where I first learned that one could make her own cashew milk, but that was the second thing I used it for - right after the greenest smoothie I could possibly make. And that was the day I stopped purchasing I stopped purchasing milk of any kind. This homemade cashew milk is so easy and forgiving that I don’t even measure the ingredients, and if I’ve forgotten to soak the cashew, I’ll simply boil them for a few minutes and blend away. Or i I’m feeling especially lazy, I’ll skip that part, too, and just whiz them straight out of the mason jar.
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
3 1/2 cups water, divided
pinch of sea salt
1) Soak the cashews in 2 cups of water for eight hours or overnight.
2) Add the cashews, the soaking water, salt, and any add-ins to a high speed blender such as a Vitamix or BlendTec. Blend until fully smooth and creamy.
3) Add the remaining water and continue blend for another 30 seconds.
4) Store refrigerated in a tightly covered container for up to five days.
*I like to keep my cashew milk neutral so that it can be used in a variety of dishes, but if you prefer sweeter, try blending 2-4 pitted dates, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and/or 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into the mixture.
notes: this ratio makes something resembling whole milk. If you prefer a thinner consistency, try 1/4 cup of cashews to capture skim milk, 1/3 cup cashew for 1% milk, or 2/3 cup cashews for closer to 2% milk.