One of my most popular posts to date is my DIY tutorial for making raw almond milk. In spite of the dinky photos and bad lighting, this post embodies what I always wanted Choosing Raw to be: an easy and practical resource for eating (and living) vegan and raw. I will never forget how astounded I was the first time I figured out that I could actually make the same almond milk that I was spending three or five dollars on in health food stores. And not only make, but make easily and economically! It was the first of many lessons that raw foodism taught me about what it means to live off of nature’s raw materials, as it were: to make astonishingly tasty food from only the simplest ingredients.
As it turns out, almond milk is within everybody’s reach. And so too is the creamy vanilla cashew milk I’m about to share.
My second revelation about making homemade almond milk was that I didn’t actually have to use almonds. Hemp seed, pumpkin seed, cashews, pecans, and sesame seeds all make wonderful bases for nut/seed milk. If you’re not convinced, check out my tahini milk or hemp milk. Or simply drink a glass of this sweet, creamy, dreamy cashew milk, which is my nut milk favorite du jour. The ingredient list is short, the procedure is simple, and you absolutely don’t need a high speed blender for this to work: soaked cashews are a lot more blendable (?) than are soaked almonds. No matter how old your blender is, it’s time to dust it off!
Creamy Vanilla Cashew Milk (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)
Makes about 3 cups
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
4 cups filtered water
4 pitted dates
1 vanilla bean, scraped into the blender, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1) Blend all ingredients together till very, very smooth. This will be a few minutes in a normal blender, or 1-2 in a high speed variety.
2) Optional step! Affix some cheesecloth over the mouth of a large container using a rubber band. I actually use my VitaMix most of the time. You can see how it ought to be set up below.
3) Pour the cashew milk over the cloth in batches, till you’re able to pour it all out. Allow the milk to strain for a couple of hours; you can leave it in the fridge if you like, but I’ve never had a problem with leaving it out as it strains. If you’d prefer to have a creamier and thicker cashew milk, skip this step!
4) Save the cashew milk pulp for use in raw treats (see: tomorrow’s recipe). Pour cashew milk into an airtight container (I like to use glass jars):
Keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days (if it’s at all sour, it’s gone off). Serve over cereal, graw-nola, in smoothies, or simply as a rich afternoon snack.
See how smooth and creamy it is? Now this is the kind of thing that actually does a body good.
Here on CR, you’re used to seeing 1001 recipes that call for juice pulp. What can I say: I juice a lot, and I don’t like to throw the pulp out. But many of you have also requested recipes for almond milk pulp, and as of now, I have yet to oblige you. Stay tuned, then, for a recipe tomorrow that features one of the many ways I put my almond (or cashew) mush to good use.
In other news, I found out on Friday that I made the Greatist list of 60 Must-Read Health and Fitness Blogs, along with such talented friends as Ashley, Sarah, and Kath. What an honor! Look for CR in the “special interest food” category.
Finally, many of you have emailed me to ask about my blog design, and how-to questions about getting set up with blogs of your own. I’m happy to share the news that my blog designer, Cory, has now gone full time with his Zesty Blog Consulting services. Cory is the best: over the years, he has not only helped to make CR what it is aesthetically, but he’s also been a source of insight about marketing and growth, and he’s done a wonderful job of helping me to keep my blog current. I really recommend him if you’re looking to have someone help you with tech and design. Congrats on the new chapter, Cory!
With that, another weekend slips by. It’s back to molecular orbitals for me—later!