When you’re cutting out – or cutting back on – the dairy in your diet, vegan milks make life so much easier. From moistening cereal to lightening coffee to whipping up baked goods, a bottle of yummy, vegan milk is a handy thing to have in the fridge.
The trouble with store-bought vegan milks is that they aren’t always as natural as you’d probably like. Even organic non-dairy milks often use the thickener carageenan, which can exacerbate gastrointestinal problems because of its inflammatory properties. Don’t let that convince you that going back to dairy is the way to avoid this ingredient. Carageenan isn’t limited to non-dairy milks; it’s a common thickening agent used in low-fat dairy products as well.
If you want to skip the mystery ingredients in so many store-bought vegan milks, your best – and most affordable – alternative is to make your own. Nut milks are super simple to make in your own kitchen, and cashew milk is particularly creamy and delicious. Even better? You only need three ingredients to make your own cashew milk: raw cashews, maple syrup, and water!
Because homemade nut milks don’t have all of the preservatives and other additives that store-bought vegan milks have, they’ve got a shorter shelf life. You’ll want to drink your homemade cashew milk within a week of making it.
On the next page, check out a recipe to make your very own organic cashew milk from scratch!
Image Credit: Raw Cashews photo via Thinkstock
- 1 1/2 cups raw organic cashews
- 3 1/2 cups water, plus extra for soaking
- 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
- metal strainer
- cheese cloth
- large bowl
- glass jug or pitcher to store your cashew milk
- Soak cashews for 4-5 hours in enough water to cover, then drain them in a colander.
- Transfer cashews to the blender with half of the water.
- Blend your cashews and water until the texture becomes pretty smooth, then add the maple syrup and the rest of the water. Blend for a few minutes until things are nice and smooth.
- Grab your strainer and line it with a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Slowly strain the cashew milk into the bowl. When the milk stops dripping through the cloth, gather up your cheesecloth over the strainer and give it a good squeeze to get out as much milk as you can.
- Transfer the cashew milk from the bowl into your jug or pitcher, and don’t forget to label and date the bottle!