Cashews are one of America’s favorite nuts.
And I don’t blame them.
Besides being an amazing nut for eating, its great for drinking! Cashew milk is super easy to make and one of the best non-dairy milks. You can add some vanilla for a little extra pizazz. But it doesn’t need any sweetener since cashews are naturally on the sweet side.
Commercial Cashew Milk
Research on cashew milk is slim. Really slim. Like, there’s only one brand that makes it, slim. So Delicious seems to hold the market on cashew milk, which is great for them – no competition! But that’s not so great for us consumers. Partly because it gives them the ability to set the price (more on that in a moment), but partly because we don’t get to choose a brand that has less additives. Take a look at this list of ingredients:
CASHEW MILK (WATER, CASHEWS), NON-GMO CANOLA OIL, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, LOCUST BEAN GUM, GELLAN GUM, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN A ACETATE, SEA SALT, VITAMIN D-3, L-SELENOMETHIONINE (SELENIUM), ZINC OXIDE, FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN B-12.
What strikes me as odd is that the company starts off on the right foot – cashews and water is all it takes to make cashew milk! Why then add all the rest of that stuff?
Canola oil is a dangerous, highly processed, unhealthy polyunsaturated fat that should be avoided. Locust bean gum is a sweetener. Gellan gum is a sweetener that causes constipation. The last seven ingredients (minus the sea salt) are synthetic vitamins that our body doesn’t know what to do with.
Are we really willing to buy this?
These additives are not needed – homemade cashew milk is thick and delicious milk all on it’s own! And why are they trying to ruin the amazing nutrition found naturally in cashew?
Nuts like cashews are the ideal way to consume monounsaturated fats – the ones that help with glucose and insulin levels and keep our cholesterol in check. They’re also a source of several micro-nutrients like copper and magnesium. It also has manganese, phosphorus and a little bit of tryptophan. Yes, the same ingredient that makes us sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. (Sources 1, 2)
The good news is commercial cashew milk costs less than coconut milk. The bad news? It’s more than hemp milk. Amazon sells it for $5.36 (including shipping) for one quart and that won’t get you very far when you’re using it for cooking, baking or just plain ‘ol drinking.
Homemade Cashew Milk
Cashews aren’t too expensive if you buy them in bulk. I buy 2.5lb tubs at Costco for $14.99 ($5.99/lb) and these raw cashews are roughly $6.99/lb.
You can get 3 cups of cashews per pound and it only takes 1 cup of cashews for one quart of cashew milk. If you can get them locally in bulk, you’ll be paying as little as $1 for a quart of cashew milk, saving 81% over the cost of store-bought!
- 1 cup cashews
- 4 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking
- Measure cashews into a container and cover with filtered water. Allow to soak for 6-8 hours. This softens the nut and makes it easier to blend, leaving less particles of nut in the finished milk (plus you get some of the benefits of soaking nuts too!).
- Note: Most commercial cashews are not raw, and do not contain the beneficial enzymes that protect the nut. In turn, soaking for longer than 8 hours may cause the nut to be bitter, resulting in bitter milk. You don't need to blend right away, but at least strain from the water no later than the 8 hour mark.
- Drain nuts and place in a blender. Add 4 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy cold.
For one cup: ¼ cup cashews, 1 cup hot water
Additional Recipe Notes
I’m not a huge fan of nut milks, but I found cashew milk to be pleasant without adding any other flavors. Feel free to add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon if you need the boost of flavor.
This milk blended pretty well, so I didn’t see the need to strain it. You can use a fine mesh sieve if any remaining pieces bother you.
The list of non-dairy alternatives for milk is increasing by the day! Other non-dairy milk alternatives that may interest you:
More Cashew Recipes: