Many people are now starting to drink nut, rice, or soy milk as an alternative to cows milk. Almond milk is particularly popular, but I often caution people that think they are drinking a decent source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Unfortunately, most store bought almond milks are pasteurized, which damages heat sensitive vitamins and eliminates the almonds fiber rich skin. In addition, if you are buying the sweetened nut milk varieties, understand that you are consuming mostly sugar water.
Making your own nut milk is not only crazy easy but also provides you with more nutrients, less additives and no genetically modified ingredients like soy lecithin . Carrageenan, a common emulsifier added to nut milks, also has questionable safety. In fact, The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers degraded carrageenan to be "possibly carcinogenic in humans".
THE GOOD NEWS is that if you want a great easy milk alternative, than cashew milk is the way to go. It's creamy, nutritious and tastes fabulous. Unlike other nut milks, it requires no straining which means less hassle, more nutrition, and less waste!
1 cup raw cashews
4 cups water
4-5 pitted medjool dates
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch cinnamon (optional)
- Soak the cashews at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain the cashews and rinse until the water runs clear. Add the cashews and remaining ingredients to a high speed blender (a Vitamix works great). Start on a low setting and increase the speed until the cashews are totally pulverized. This could take 2-3 minutes depending on strength of blender. Milk should be smooth without any lumps or chunks.
- Pour the milk into a mason jar and store in the refrigerator. It should keep for 3 to 4 days.
You can adjust the creaminess of the milk by added more or less water. More water produces a thinner consistency while less produces a thicker result.