Dairy alternatives are in popular demand, and the options seem endless when searching for the best choice. Nut, soy, and coconut are just a few options out there, but not all dairy replacements are made equal. This cashew milk recipe is sure to become a favorite! At Clean, we love nut milks for their creamy texture and nutrient density, and since they are so simple to make we prefer homemade versions over store-bought. It's great to use some as a base for our Daily Shakes!
Soaking Nuts to Access Nutrients
Many traditional cultures have soaked nuts for centuries, but this practice has been lost in modern society. Raw nuts, seeds, and legumes all contain small amounts of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Phytic acid helps protect nuts and seeds so that they can grow and germinate. Enzyme inhibitors bind nutrients, preventing them from sprouting too early. This serves the nuts well, but when consumed by humans, they can be hard to break down without light processing, like soaking. Without this process, you may notice digestive irritation and your body won't pull out all of the nutrients nuts contain. We include it in this cashew milk recipe because it's an inexpensive and easy process which can help you find even more benefits from these nutrient powerhouses.
Simplest of Nut Milks
Unlike some other nut and seed milks, cashew milk is made with the whole nut. While we think all homemade milks are worth the extra effort, cashew is particularly simple since no straining is required - just a quick blend and you're done! This also means that all of the nutrition is consumed since you aren't draining the meat out, so you get all of the fiber with your milk. Fiber is crucial for maintaining digestive health, warding off chronic disease, and improving skin conditions like acne by helping remove toxins from your system.
Rich with Heart-Healthy Nutrients
Cashews are dense with minerals like copper and iron, antioxidants, and vitamins like K, E, and B6. Cashew contain a compound called arginine with protect our artery walls - this is just one of the reasons why this cashew milk recipe contributes to a healthy heart. The iron and copper in cashews work in partnership to help our systems form red blood cells, helping to keep our blood vessels functioning properly.
Cashews for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Cashews are full of good-for-you poly and monounsaturated fats as well as four grams of protein per ounce, and including them in your snacks and meals will increase satiety, so you don't overeat. They also help sustain you longer between meals and snacks, so you won't find yourself mindlessly snacking or starving by your next meal.
1 cup raw cashews
3-4 cups filtered water
2-4 Medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of sea salt (and optional 1 tablespoon for soaking)
Step 1: Place cashews in a bowl and cover with 1 inch water (with optional 1 tablespoon of sea salt to further break down phytic acid). Let soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Step 2: Drain and rinse cashews well.
Step 3: Place cashews, three cups water, dates, vanilla, and a pinch of salt (if you used salt when soaking, you can leave this out, if you like) in blender. Blend for 60 seconds, or until completely smooth. Test thickness of cashew milk, and if you prefer thinner consistency, add up to one cup of additional water and blend until smooth.
Step 4: Pour cashew milk in sealable container. Stored in refrigerator, it will last up to a week.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble.