Plant-based alternatives for cow’s milk have been around for quite some time. However, their reputation has really grown in recent years, and they’ve become a staple on many store shelves. Of course, this coincides with the growing popularity of veganism, but non-vegans use milk substitutes as well due to lactose intolerance, cholesterol concerns, or simply taste preference.
Because of this, there is a rather wide range of options to choose from. Soy milk is likely the most popular, but rice, almond, and coconut milk also rate highly. However, a new contender has entered the race—cashew milk. It has quite a few things going for it and is definitely worth a try. What is more, it is very simple to make at home, so you can easily see its benefits for yourself.
To help you do that, this article will tell you everything you need to know about how to make cashew milk and why it might just be the best choice for you.
Why Choose Cashew Milk?
Cashews contain minerals such as magnesium and copper, along with plenty of vitamins. These benefits extend to cashew milk, which is also cholesterol-free. However, despite the nutritional goodness, the main draw is the taste.
As you may be aware, the taste of popular milk substitutes is not to everyone’s liking. For example, many find that soy milk has a “bean-like” flavor that not all can enjoy.
In general, milk substitutes tend to have an aftertaste that can be problematic. Additionally, they can also be very watery and thin. In essence they are really nothing like the liquid they are replacing. But that is not the case with cashew milk!
Instead, cashew milk may very well be the creamiest plant-based milk you can get. It is delicious, rich, and thick.
Now, while it is possible to buy cashew milk in some stores, it is not the easiest product to find. Thankfully, you don’t need to scour every supermarket in your vicinity, because you can just make it yourself. It requires a bit of preparation beforehand, but the actual work time takes only minutes.
In addition to the convenience, making your own cashew milk also gives you complete control over the end product. You can tweak the thickness to your liking, choose whether you want to add any sweetener, etc.
All you need to do is simply stick to the following steps and you will know how to make cashew milk that is just right for you.
How to Make Cashew Milk at Home: What You Need
- Raw cashews, 1 cup
- Filtered water, 4 cups for blending plus what you need to soak the cashews
You also need a blender or a food processor.
- A pinch of sea salt
- Your sweetener of choice (maple syrup, vanilla extract, agave syrup, etc.)
You may also want to use a mesh strainer.
The quantities are here mainly for reference and you can make a bigger batch if you want to. However, this is an amount that most blenders will be able to handle, and it is best to only process this much milk at a time. If it’s your first time trying cashew milk, this is more than enough to see if cashew milk is for you.
How to Make Cashew Milk at Home: Step-by-Step
When it comes to the question of how to make cashew milk at home, the answer is: very easily. As you can see, the list of ingredients is quite short. If you want the purest taste, you just need cashew nuts, water, and a blender.
Consequently, the process itself is also rather simple. Even if you include the optional steps, the work you have to do is pretty much effortless.
Step 1: Soaking
The first thing you need to do is place the cashew nuts in a bowl of some sort and completely cover them with water (filtered works best). You’re doing this for two reasons.
First, it’s so the cashews will be easier to blend. Second, it helps remove the phytic acid from the cashews. Phytic acid makes it more difficult for your body to absorb minerals, and you may have heard people call it an anti-nutrient. By soaking the cashew nuts beforehand, you are ensuring that you get the healthiest milk possible.
The cashews need to stay underwater for at least four hours. However, it is best if you just put them in the fridge and leave overnight. Either way, drain them once they are done soaking and rinse thoroughly.
Step 2: Blending
Now, while the cashews are still wet, add them to your blender along with four cups of filtered water. Begin blending on a low setting, then switch to high after a bit. You are done when you have a completely smooth liquid with no traces of nuts. If you have a high-powered blender, this only takes a minute. If not, it’ll be a little longer, but it is still a quick job.
Here is one note about the water-to-cashews ratio: This proportion will result in a liquid that is similar to whole milk in terms of texture. You can adjust the creaminess by adding more or less water. Just make sure you don’t go too far either way. You can also add the water gradually until you reach a consistency you’re happy with. But for your first time, it’s best to stick to the 4-to-1 scale.
Step 3: Add the Sweetener and/or Salt (Optional)
Just before you finish blending, you have the opportunity to enhance the flavor, if you wish. You can add a little bit of salt or go the other way and make the milk sweeter. A huge benefit of making it yourself is that you can simply adjust the taste to your preferences.
Step 4: Straining (Optional)
A great thing about cashew milk is that you absolutely do not need to strain it. If you have a weaker blender, it is possible for some chunks to remain, though. You may also simply want the milk to be as smooth as possible. Either way, pour the milk through a strainer and stir the solid part if needed. You can even make two batches, strain one, and see which you prefer.
That's all there is to it! Keep the cashew milk in the fridge until you’re ready to use it, and it should be good for at least three or four days. Just remember to shake it, because the ingredients can separate a bit.
As you can see, the entire process is very straightforward. The end product tastes great, has a wonderful texture, and can be used in a variety of situations. Now that you know how to make cashew milk on your own, there is no reason not to give it a try as soon as possible.