Growing up in the country and surrounded by farms, I drank milk every day. I drank it every morning for breakfast and every night, full fat, for dinner. Once I got older, I questioned my drinking another animal’s milk and started to learn about all the effects of diary on my system. But I can say that it did not make me want to quit cold turkey— especially with the store alternatives (soy, rice, almond, to name a few) as none of them could compare to the richness of a class of cow’s milk and left me with a bad taste.
But then I made my own nut milk and fell in love. My recent favorite is cashew milk (side note: I also love the store version) because it takes a little less work. It is so easy and doesn’t require the straining that other milk requires (although it really depends on your blender!). Adding salt to the soak helps further break down the physic acid in the nut, making it easier to digest on the system. And no straining also means that you get the whole nut — fiber and all! Fiber is crucial to our digestive system and can ward off chronic disease and improve skin conditions.
But there’s so much more to cashews…
- Cashews are dense with minerals like copper and iron, antioxidants, and vitamins like K, E, and B6
- Cashews contain a compound called arginine with protect our artery walls – contributing to a healthy heart
- Cashews help our circulatory system, specifically aiding the function of blood vessels (due to their iron and copper content)
- Cashews are full of good-for-you poly and monounsaturated fats PLUS four grams of protein per ounce which means they sustain and satisfy you between meals
There are some really great options when you are making your milk. And I really want to encourage you to be adventurous with your food — especially with your spices. So feel free to try the basic recipe with your own twist.
1 cup raw cashews
3-4 cups water (divided)
6 dates (or sub 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dash pink Himalayan sea salt (plus a tbsp. to soak)
Add cashews to a large mason jar and fill to cover with filtered water. Add salt. Soak at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the cashews and rinse well. Add the cashews and two cups water to a blender. Slowly build up the blender speed for a total of 2+ minutes depending on your blender. Be patient!
Blend in the rest of the filtered water, dates, vanilla, sea salt and cardamom. If your blender can’t totally break down the cashews, strain the milk through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Return the milk to a clean mason jar and store covered in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Other spice/ingredient options:
chai (ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom)
cocoa powder + vanilla
Sara’s Golden Milk (makes about 2 servings)
My dear friend and yoga teacher Sara Marby, AlchemysticYogi.com, passed on her favorite nut milk recipe recently and I cannot wait to try it. I’ve been drinking store bought Golden Milk this week and I LOVE IT!
1/2 filtered water
1/4 cup turmeric powder
coconut milk (or maybe try your cashew!)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon turmeric paste (up to 1 tablespoon personal preference)
1 teaspoon ginger minced
Pinch of stevia
Make Tumeric paste: In a small saucepan add 1/2 cup filtered water + 1/4 c turmeric and stir over gentle heat. Once well blended, store in a glass container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Milk: In a 4-6 quart saucepan on stove add coconut milk, cinnamon, coconut oil, turmeric paste, ginger, and black peppercorns. Stir. Add a pinch of Stevia. Stir occasionally and continue to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Strain with a fine mesh strainer. Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.