Move over cow’s milk, there’s a healthier and better tasting
kid milk in town. Cashew milk is nutritious, delicious & really easy to make.
Cashew milk is an excellent whole food-based nondairy milk replacement and is naturally gluten-free. Unlike more store-bought nut milk, it doesn’t contain any questionable ingredients.
It’s also the only nut milk that doesn’t need to be strained through a fine mesh bag because the soaked cashews soften enough to emulsify completely. That said, you’ll need a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, to get the soaked cashews to blend into a creamy milk.
You can adjust the consistency of your cashew milk to your liking by simply adding more or less water. The recipe below is a 1:3 ratio of cashews to water, use 1:2 for a thicker consistency, similar to half & half. You can even make very thick cashew cream by using a 2:1 ratio of cashews to water (how fun!).
Be sure to buy raw cashews (unsalted and not roasted) – you can usually find them in the bulk section of your grocery store or online. Roasted or salted cashews will give you a pretty funky tasting milk. Look for organic if possible. Some chefs will tell you to only buy whole raw cashews as the pieces can be dry, but whole raw cashews can get really pricey (especially the organic ones) so I usually buy the halves or pieces and haven’t noticed any major differences.
Soak your cashews for at least two hours to soften them, I even prefer at least four hours. You can also soak them overnight – up to 12 hours – for an even easier recipe, just soak them before you go to bed and whip up your cashew milk in the morning. You can soak them at room temperature or in the refrigerator, if I soak longer than four hours I usually pop them into the fridge. You don’t have to tightly cover the container, but I usually put something over it to keep the dust out if I have it on the counter.
Easy Homemade Cashew Milk Recipe
Makes about 24 ounces
Total time: 5 minutes plus soaking time
Special Equipment: high speed blender*, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least two hours and up to 12
- 3 cups purified water for blending, more for soaking
- small pinch of sea salt
Method: Drain your soaked cashews and discard the soaking liquid. Rinse well. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Turn the blender to the lowest setting and turn on, then slowly work your way up to a higher setting. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Note: When making cashew milk, the mixture is thin enough that you probably won’t go past an 8/10 setting on the blender. When making a thicker milk or cashew cream, work your way all the way to the highest setting.
How to store:
Cashew milk will keep if your refrigerator for about a week so keep that in mind and make as much as you need. Store it in an airtight glass container (mason jars work great), and be sure your hands and all of the equipment are clean before starting, as any bacteria will prevent it from keeping longer. You don’t need to sterilize everything like you would if you were canning, just keep your (clean) fingers out if it as much as possible. It might separate a little over the week which is not a problem at all, just shake it up before using.
How to use:
Use your cashew milk on cereal, in sauces, in my healthy homemade coffee creamer, or just drink it plain. You can use it just about any where you’d use regular cow’s milk. (P.S. I’ve never tried to bake with cashew milk, so if you experiment with it let us know how it turns out in the comments below this post.)
I love the plain version, but here are two delicious variations you can try to mix things up:
Vanilla Cashew Milk Recipe (unsweetened):
Use the same recipe above and add 3/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract before blending. Add one of the following to sweeten: 1 tablespoon of raw honey, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, or 1-2 pitted dates that has been soaked in water (soak it while you soak the cashews).
Maple Cinnamon Cashew Milk Recipe:
Use the same recipe above and add 3/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon of good quality cinnamon before blending.
*If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can soak the cashews in boiling water for 15 minutes to soften them even more, then use the recipe below. You might need to strain it (use a nut milk bag, fine mesh strainer, or cheese cloth).