Friday, March 1, 2013

Cashew Milk

Nut milk. I have had it many times. Mostly store-bought almond and coconut milk and my thoughts have always been Meh. It tastes alright. Almond and coconut milk serve more of an ingredient I use when baking or making ice cream but not usually to drink straight-up as a milk replacement.


As a kid I used to drink A LOT of milk. I mean my brother and I would go through at least a gallon a week. Maybe in 5 days. It would be something I absolutely craved when I was thirsty. Water, juice, soda----nothing would satisfy like an ice cold glass of milk. Later in life, I cut milk out of my diet as an everyday beverage because too much dairy at once (like many people out there) upset my stomach.


So last night I decided to experiment with cashews as they are known to be a fantastic replacement for dairy, and I came up with the most delicious cashew milk. I shocked myself. This stuff I actually drink as a milk replacement and honestly, it tastes better. I know. It's hard to believe. Best news is that it's vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. This will be my go-to beverage for breakfast and the perfect drink before or after a workout as it's packed with protein.

I'm so happy to have a better-for-you milk fix back in my life!

CASHEW MILK
1 cup of raw whole cashews (soaked for 8 hours)
5 cups of filtered water
2 tablespoons of agave nectar (or honey)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
Pinch/dash of sea salt

Pour raw cashews in a bowl and top with water - just enough to cover the cashews. Let the cashews soak in the water for about 8 hours (I do this right before going to bed and then make the milk when I wake up in the morning). After the cashews are done soaking, strain them, discarding the water and then lightly rinse. Pour cashews into a blender and add 5 cups of filtered water. (Side note: using 5 cups of water gives you the consistency of a 1% to 2% milk. If you want more of a whole milk consistency, only use 4 cups of water. If you want a half and half consistency for coffee or tea, only use 2 cups of water). Next, add the agave nectar or honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Blend on high for about 5 minutes. Pour into a large air-tight container and refrigerate. (Side note: if you have a weak blender or you see peaces of cashews floating around, you may want to strain the milk as you pour it into your container). Milk with last about around 6 days in the fridge.

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