Ever since I took the dive and purchased a magical VitaMix last year, I’ve wanted to try my hand at making homemade nut milk. Since Vitamix’s are critically acclaimed to be the best at making nut milks, that was one of my top three reasons for justifying the purchase. It was a long back and forth battle–do I really need it? Can’t I just get away with my simple vintage hand-me-down Oster blender that I’d been using for years to make smoothies? It took me awhile to finally feel ready and take the plunge, but I did it and honestly, it has been a huge help in the kitchen. On top of being able to make marvelous green smoothies that include everything but the kitchen sink, it acts as my backup food processor. And processes food, it does! I was amazed that this nut milk was so dang simple to create… I can’t believe it has taken this long for me to get my butt into gear and actually make it!
I can see why people say that once you start making your own nut milks, you will never go back to buying store-bought. I recently started trying Silk’s new cashew milk and I like it a bit more than pre-made almond milk, for sure. It has a creamier texture and depth to it that almond milk seems to lack. I love it in smoothies. But I am honestly not a huge fan of the gum and lecithin stabilizers. It seems to thin out the milk too much, and I don’t love drinking it solo.
Here, there are just a few simple steps to have the satisfaction of calling it your own. All you have to do is have a little foresight and plan to soak the nuts overnight in water, drain the water, rinse the nuts, and then blend in more water. Experiment by adding your favorite spices/extracts, stain through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth, and you’re done! It’s way easier than milking a cow, and adds a new dimension of creaminess to your smoothies and coffee! Yes, buying nuts can get expensive pretty quickly, so definitely buy in bulk if you can. I prefer to stock up at Trader Joe’s since that’s usually the most affordable local option. But check around online–you may be able to find an economical resource if you get just as hooked on making nut milk as I am now!
I kept things pretty simple (which was hard to do, believe me–I wanted to add rosewater and turmeric and cinnamon…but I had to stop myself!) by just using vanilla bean paste, cardamom, and Himalayan sea salt. No sweetener at all. I’ll experiment with maybe some maple, date or agave syrup in the future, but I think it’s good to keep it unsweetened so you have more flexibility for what you use it with. I made this two days ago, and so far have made a creamy green smoothie with it, and added a bit to my coffee instead of typical half-and-half. The cardamom vanilla combo begins to shine after it’s settled a few days… I absolutely love it!
- 2 cups raw unsalted cashews (soaked overnight/at least 8 hours)
- 3 cups filtered water
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- Soak cashews in water overnight in a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl--just enough so the water covers all of the cashews.
- Drain water. Rinse cashews and place cashews in blender with 3 cups of filtered water.
- Blend on high for about 15-20 seconds.
- Add cardamom, vanilla bean and sea salt. Blend for another 15-20 seconds until nuts are finely ground and liquid resembles creamy milk.
- Prepare an empty medium-sized bowl to collect the milk. Place nut milk bag over the bowl, and pour the blended milk into the bag. Squeeze the bag until you've extracted all the liquid.
- Place a funnel at the mouth of your desired storage container that will accommodate at least 3 cups of liquid (I used a recycled milk bottle but a mason jar also works well) and transfer the cashew milk into the glass. Seal well and refrigerate! Shake well before use as the spices tend to settle at the bottom and the fat tends to float to the top.