Thick and creamy homemade cashew milk adds elegance to any drink or dish: whether it’s frothed flawlessly for a warming latte, incorporated into delicious desserts for enhanced richness, or simply sipped, iced and spiced.
Blending nuts and fresh water together take only a matter of minutes; however, it’s the prep work that takes time, requiring a few hours to soak the nuts in water and salt (a timer makes it easy to step away during this particular part of the process). Most nuts need to be soaked before consumption, regardless of whether they will be blended into nut milk or dried and enjoyed whole. Soaking nuts in salt water not only improves their digestibility (enzyme inhibitors found in nuts are neutralized during the soaking process), but this process also increases the bioavailability of micronutrients.
When purchasing cashews, you will always find them shelled, unlike some other nuts that you can buy with their shell still intact. The external layer of cashews (which is removed during processing and prior to packaging) contains urushiol, which is toxic if consumed, and the same compound found in poison ivy that causes an allergic skin reaction. It is no surprise then that cashews and poison ivy are related! In their original form, cashews are green and grow from the cashew apple.
Fresh Nut Milk:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 pinch pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- Filtered water, enough to cover the raw cashews while soaking
- 4 cups fresh filtered water
- High-Powered Blender, such as a Vitamix
- Nut milk bag (may be needed if you’re not using a Vitamix or similar high-powered blender)
Prep: Place the cashews and salt in a medium bowl and add as much water as needed to completely cover the nuts. Soak the nuts for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 4 hours. If the soaking water becomes thick and gelatinous, the nuts have been soaked for too long. Drain and rinse the nuts.
Blend the soaked nuts and 4 cups of fresh filtered water in a high-powered blender until smooth, white liquid forms. Depending on the power of your blender, this can take as little as 1 minute (a Vitamix, for example, can be set to the 1-minute smoothie setting).
The cashews and water should blend together seamlessly; however, if you find some nut pulp remains after blending, pour the mixture through a nut milk bag for final straining. This will allow you to remove any remaining pulp and collect the nut milk in a bowl below.
Refrigerate the milk for up to 5 days in an airtight container.