A dairy-free, vegan alternative to cow’s milk with a neutral taste and creamy texture
Have you ever wanted to make your own cashew milk, but weren’t sure where to start?
Making your own cashew milk is surprisingly easy and it can be a great way to add more plant-based options into your diet.
With just 2 ingredients (counting water) you’ll get delicious homemade cashew milk that’s free of preservatives and additives.
In this blog post, I’ll share with you my recipe to make cashew milk: it’s easy to make and it has a very pleasant smooth taste and a wonderful creamy texture.
What is cashew milk?
Cashew milk is a non dairy milk alternative that is made by blending raw cashews with water.
The mixture is often strained to remove solids (but some don’t strain their cashew milk).
The result is a milky, smooth liquid that can be used as a milk substitute.
Cashew milk is lower in calories and fat than cow’s milk and can be a good option for those who are lactose intolerant or have a cow milk allergy.
Cashew nut is also a good source of healthy fats, protein, and plant compounds.
It also provides Vitamin K, antioxidants and minerals such as potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and selenium.
It’s also naturally low in sugar, and it doesn’t contain saturated fats.
Thanks to its mild taste, cashew milk is versatile: you can drink it on its own or use it as an ingredient to make smoothies, soups, stews, sauces, and baked goods.
How does cashew milk taste like?
Cashew milk has a very decent nutty taste, with a more subtle flavour than other non-dairy milks, such as almond milk or coconut milk.
When you take a sip of cashew milk, you’ll get a hint of nuttiness plus a smooth finish.
To make creamy cashew milk, you’ll basically only need:
Making cashew milk at home is a simple process that requires minimal equipment.
You’ll only need:
- a blender
- something to strain the mixture if you want a smooth liquid*
*Since soaked cashew is very soft, some people don’t strain their cashew milk. I prefer straining my cashew milk, but if you plan to use your cashew milk to bake or to take it with cereals or porridge, you can skip this step.
Any blender will work, whether it’s a high-powered blender or a basic blender. You’ll blend the cashews and water together to create a white liquid.
Nut milk bag or cheesecloth
Once the cashews and water have been blended, you will to strain the milk to remove solid particles.
Before I decided to make plant-based milk for the first time, I found this step somehow intimidating, but I promise, it’s not so laborious as it seems.
What to use to strain homemade vegan milk
- The most popular method is to use a nut milk bag, which is a fine mesh bag specifically designed for straining nut milks.
- Another option is to use a cheesecloth (a piece of cloth that is specifically used for straining liquids) or a fine-mesh sieve.
- Before buying my nut milk bag, I used a double gauze handkerchief as an alternative an it worked great.
Time needed: 6 hours and 10 minutes.
How to make creamy cashew milk
- Soak the cashews
Soak the cashews in water for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Discharge the soaking water and rinse the cashews.
Place cashews and fresh water in a blender. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute or until smooth.
Optionally, strain cashew milk through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids.
I prefer straining my homemade nut milk so it gets really smooth (and to get pulp to make desserts and bake with it), but you can skip this step.
- (Optionally) flavor and store
If desired, add a pinch of salt or some sweetener to taste.
You can store your homemade cashew milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days (but the fresher it is, the better it taste). Shake well before using.
Tricks and tips
- Soaking is recommended but not mandatory:
Cashew nuts are quite soft, so if you have a high speed blender, you may even skip the soaking step.
- Straining is also optional:
You may skip the straining if you don’t mind your cashew milk having more sediments.
- Feel free to flavor your cashew milk:
Here are some ideas that my kids love (and they usually don’t like drinking plant milk as is):
- Vanilla cashew milk – simply add a teaspoon vanilla extract pero cup (and optionally some agave nectar to taste)
- Chocolate cashew milk – add a teaspoon of cocoa powder and maple syrup per cup. You could also use hot chocolate powder instead.
- How to make cashew milk creamier:
My go-to trick to make plant based milk creamier is to use less water when blending.
I usually use 2 cups of water per 1 cup of cashew seeds, but most recipes you’ll find online tell you to use up to 4 cups of water per 1 cup of cashew.
In my opinion, it’s easier to use less water so the straining goes quicker.
Then, after you have your slightly concentrated cashew milk, you can choose wether you use it as is (it’s super creamy and delicious!) or dilute it by adding some water.
How to use cashew nut milk in cooking and baking
The good thing about cashew milk is, because it tastes so decent, you can use it in both sweet and savory dishes.
Here are some recipes that turn out great with cashew milk:
- Smoothies and shakes:
Cashew milk is perfect for making creamy smoothies and shakes. The nutty flavor of cashew milk pairs well with fruits and other ingredients, and its thickness makes it a great base for smoothies. Try adding cashew milk to your favorite smoothie recipe for a creamier texture and a boost of nutrition.
- Soups and stews:
Cashew milk works well as a dairy-free alternative in soups and stews. It adds a rich, creamy texture to the dishes, and it’s perfect for vegan and dairy-free diets.
Use cashew milk in place of cream or milk in your favorite soup or stew recipe for a delicious and healthy alternative.
- Baked goods:
Cashew milk can replace dairy milk in many baked goods recipes.
It usually gives a moist texture to cakes, cookies, and bread. But some recipes may turn out different than the original version.
- Sauces and gravies:
Cashew milk pairs well with savory dishes.
Try using cashew milk in place of cream or milk in your favorite sauce or gravy recipe for a delicious and healthy alternative.
- Cashew Milk Cream:
Looking for plant-based cream?
If you reduce the amount of water, the result looks similar to coconut cream.
The ratio you’ll need to make cashew cream is approximately 1 cup of cashew for 1 cup of water (instead the 2 cups of water I use to make creamy cashew milk or the 3-4 cups of water you would use to make lighter cashew milk.
Keep into consideration that these cream doesn’t whip.
When using cashew milk in cooking and baking, it’s important to note that it may have a slightly nutty flavor.
You may want to adjust the amount of sweeteners and spices accordingly.
Also, keep in mind that cashew milk is not as thick as some dairy alternatives and may not work as well in certain recipes.
What to make with the remaining cashew pulp
If you strain your blend and taken out all the pulp, don’t let it go to waste.
You can use it to make crackers, energy bars or even vegan cheese!
You’ll get around 100 gr. cashew pulp per cup of raw cashew (depending on how tight you strain).
Cashew pulp is much more tender than any other pulp and it has a pale color (opposed as almond pulp when you use unpeeled almonds).
Because of this, you can use for creations where you enjoy other colorful elements.
An example is this recipe to make bliss balls with matcha powder or sakura powder (dragonfruit powder would also work).
How to store cashew pulp you’re not using right now
If you want to store the pulp for later use, be sure to keep it airtight.
It should last up to 2-3 days if the fridge and 2-3 weeks in the freezer.
Cashews are often classified as “nuts”, but technically, they are the seeds of a fruit called cashew apple.
The cashew apple is a fleshy fruit that is edible and is usually used to make juice or jams. What we call “cashew nut” is the seed, which is in the center of the pit.
Usually, cashew milk is made from raw cashews, but you may also use roasted cashews (as long as they are not salted nor roasted with oil).
However, the resulting milk will have a slightly different flavor (less neutral) and may not be as creamy.
Homemade cashew milk can last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container.
Yet, the fresher, the better it taste.
Remember to shake well before using it!
While you can also make cashew milk without soaking the cashew, soaking them first makes a creamier and smoother milk.
Soaking also helps to soften the cashews, making them easier to blend.
Easy homemade cashew milk recipe
- 1 Cup Cashews (100 gr.)
- 2 Cups Water Plus some more for soaking
- Soak the cashews overnight or for 4-6 hours.If you are in a rush, you may soak them in hot water for 30 minutes.You may even skip it, but it gets creamier and it tastes smoother after soaking.
- Discharge the soaking water and rinse the cashews.
- Blend the cashew with fresh water for 1 minute (or less), until smooth.
- Drain the mixture (or skip it, if you don’t need your milk to be so smooth because you are using it only for baking and/or eating granola.
I tope you enjoy this easy recipe to make cashew milk!