Homemade Cashew Milk
My husband and I made the switch from pasteurized milk to nut and seed milks about two and half years ago. Once the “non-dairy milk craze” hit grocery store shelves, there were at least a dozen different kinds to choose from! But the more labels I read, the more concerned I started feeling about buying cartons and not making my own.
Soy. I have never been a soy milk drinker for my own reasons, but did you know that when soy beans are consumed in an unfermented state, they have been shown to cause endocrine disruption. Not to mention, if the soy is not organic, the vast majority of soy has been sprayed with Round Up Ready herbicides, which includes glyphosate, which is a major cause of leaky gut and other auto immune conditions and diseases.
Carrageenan. Carra-what-now? In order to give these non-dairy milk drinks the same consistency as pasteurized milks, fillers are often added, one popular one being carrageenan. Although derived from seaweed, it has been classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC). It is also a major inflammatory, especially to the digestive tract shown to cause intestinal lesions, ulcerations and even malignant tumours.
Synthetic Vitamins. Many of these drinks have synthetic forms of vitamins added to them that are not even digestable to the human body, but it appears to the consumer that their body is getting these when they look at a label. Vitamin A palmitate, for instance, is a common additive that might make a milk alternative product appear healthy, but that the body cannot use. The same is true of vitamin D2, a form of vitamin D that is actually toxic to the body.
It is so unfortunate that we live in a world where people get ‘tricked’ into thinking that they are using their hard earned money to purchase ‘health products’ that they believe will improve their health, when it all actuality, they are being lied to by companies and risking hurting their health in the process.
All the more reason to carefully read your labels people. If an ingredient sounds like a chemical, odds are, it is!
Be especially careful with rice milks as recent studies have shown high levels of arsenic in these products. This is the first non-dairy alternative that I would avoid.
OR….you can make your own! It really is super easy, and the taste really does not compare to anything on a shelf.
I had made almond milk plenty of times in the past and I was ready for a new nut! I love cashews — crunchy, creamy, it would make a really nice milk I thought. So here goes:
Homemade Cashew Milk
Makes 8 cups
3 cups of organic raw cashews, soaked overnight in refrigerator
4 tsp vanilla
6 Medjool dates
4 cups filtered water
Milk bag or cheese cloth
The night before you make your milk, put your cashews into a container and cover with filtered water. Place in refrigerator for at least 5 hours or overnight. Make sure water is covering nuts. You may be surprised how much water they absorb.
When ready to make milk, drain cashews. If you have a blender or Vitamix, you may be able to do this all in one shot. I have a food processor and a Nutribullet, so I used both of these.
Place cashews, water, dates and vanilla in blender. Blend on high for at least 2 minutes to make sure nuts are broken down into creamy goodness.
Once all of the ingredients have been blended and you are satisfied with the taste (you may wish to make it sweeter depending on your palate), pour into a milk bag (you can find these at most health food stores) or pour over some cheese cloth and make your own bag with it and squeeze all of the milk out, leaving behind the pulp. You can keep the pulp to use as a substitute for yogurt in ingredients, put it in a salad dressing recipe, or dehydrate it and use for baking! You may even want to leave the pulp in your milk, live on the edge!
Put in some jars and store in your fridge for up to 5 days, pulp for 3. You can also freeze both!
TIP: Want to make chocolate cashew milk? Add 2 tablespoons of raw cacao! Enjoy!