Are you trying to use less dairy? This brief how-to may help. Two years ago, if you’d asked me to try cashew milk in my coffee, I’d have held up one index finger crossed over the other. Give me real cream! That’s all changed. Today, I make cashew milk a couple of times a week.
As you know, for health reasons, here in YayYay’s Kitchen, we’re using a lot less dairy these days. The adults in the household all drink coffee. We like it strong but pale. I used to say I liked a little coffee with my cream, just enough to heat it.
The last few years, I’ve cut way back on the white stuff. First I weaned myself from whipping cream to half and half and finally to whole milk. Now that dairy is like a passel of Big Bad Wolves, harking at our health door I’m experimenting with nut milks. What a switch!
In January, I made cashew milk for the first time. Turns out, we like it better than milk in our coffee. Right! Who knew.
Me, I like the taste, and I like the difference in the way I feel on days I have cashew milk compared to the days I use dairy. At first, I thought perhaps it was a placebo effect. Placebo or no, when I’m out of cashew milk and reach for the dairy I keep on hand for the little ones, I feel an inner recoil, as if my body is contracting at the thought. This sensation has become so strong, that quite often I close the fridge door and make a pot of strong tea with lots of honey.
You’ll find zillions of nut milk recipes on line. Most of the cashew recipes I found call for the same procedure, which I share here. I have no idea who came up with the original recipe and method, but quite likely I found my first cashew milk recipe on HubPages, where my cyber friend Margaret devotes a whole page to the benefits of cashew cream, butter and a host of other vegan dairy substitutes.
How to make organic cashew milk
Here’s a little slide show that shows how I make milk. We like it for its creaminess and its slightly nutty, rich flavor in our coffee. Do-it-yourself instructions follow the slide show.
Step by step instructions
This is one of those how-tos where it almost takes longer to read than to execute, so go for it! Make your own cashew milk.
- To one part cashews, add four parts water. For our needs, one-half cup cashews and two cups water (or four half cups) is just right. Cover and soak on the counter top for two to three hours. If you’ll be away, put the jar in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- Drain and rinse the cashews thoroughly, then dump them into your food processor or blender. I find the food processor easier to clean afterwards, so I use that.
- Pulse the nuts a few times to break them apart.
- With the processor at full speed or the blender on liquefy, drizzle four parts water (two cups again, for my half cup nuts) through the feeding tube. Process until only teeny, tiny bits collect here and there on the walls of the container. In my food processor, that takes three to four minutes.
- Line a sieve with an open nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl or pitcher. Pour the nut milk mixture into the bag or cheesecloth. Fold the edges over and let drain until no more milk drips through the cloth.
- Pull the edges of the bag together and gently squeeze out additional moisture. If using cheesecloth, take care not to squeeze so strongly that pulp comes through the cloth.
- Pour the strained milk into a jar that seals tightly and use within three or four days. We like it in our coffee and use it in some recipes that call for milk. I’ve made a vegan bechamel sauce with it and used it in macaroni and cheese. Still experimenting with those, so no recipes to share yet!
- Store the nut pulp in a tightly sealed jar until you’re ready to use it, up to one week.
About the nut pulp
I’ve found dozens of recipes for using the pulp, but have yet to try one. I’ve frozen some of the nut pulp until I’m ready to do something with it. I’ve also dried it in the oven, with limited success. More to come!
What do you think?
Are you working to eliminate or reduce dairy in your daily diet? If so, have you tried making nut milk? I’d appreciate so much your sharing your thoughts. If you’ve written about alternatives to dairy, I invite you to share a link in the comments as well.
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Shared on Plant-Based Potluck Party Linkup.