Today I'm sharing my go-to cashew milk recipe and chocolate cashew milk. The best part is that you can make BOTH recipes out of one blender full. Just bottle up half of the cashew milk and then add in the optional chocolate goodness for a second half batch. I like 2-for-1 deals AND recipes.
One of the biggest perks of making homemade nut milks is that YOU get to decide what goes in it and there are no gross preservatives. But before you get your blender out, remember this important tip: when making any nut milks, it's always important to soak your nuts. Why? Nuts contain anti-nutrients, usually in the form of phytic acid, which binds to certain nutrients and prevents your body from digesting and absorbing optimally. Soaking nuts increases the bioavailability of nutrients and activates beneficial enzymes that aid in your body's natural process of digestion.
Soaking time depends on the size and type of nut. Cashews are a softer nut, so 2-4 hours will suffice. An almond, or a larger heartier nut, will probably take more like 6-8 hours or overnight. However, if you're pressed for time or want a glass of nut milk RIGHT NOW, soak your nuts for 10-20 minutes in hot water. This helps but isn't as effective as a longer soak would be.
Cashew Milk - 2 Ways
Yields 3 cups
1 cup cashews, soaked 2-4 hours, strained
3 cups cold filtered water
1/4 cup dates, soaked in warm water for ten minutes (or, 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup)
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, plus 1 vanilla bean, scraped (if you have vanilla bean on hand)
For the chocolate variation: 3 teaspoons raw cocoa or cacao powder
Directions: Put all ingredients into a blender in the order listed. Secure lid and blend on high until smooth. Enjoy chilled and keep in the fridge for up to three days.
Note: If you don't have a high speed blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec), I highly recommend soaking your cashews longer to prevent grittiness.
What's your favorite nut milk?! I also love homemade almond milk and even sunflower milk for a nut-free option.