Milk: the greatest debate since well, forever. To drink dairy milk or not seems to be the question of the century, and there are so many opposing views out there of whether or not it’s healthy for non-infants to consume. Heres a fact about me- I HATE milk. Not because of the “bad” rep it has in our health, but because it freaks me out that I’m drinking a liquid that came from a cow. Weird, I know. But cheese, ice cream, and whipped cream? Gimme gimme! I’m not a picky eater, but I personally choose to not drink milk for this reason. It’s super important if you’re on the anti-milk bandwagon however, to find an additional source of calcium to supplement in your diet! Like, really important. Strong bones, man.
I love to use coconut milk as an alternative to my strange milk aversion and have recently started to learn how to make my own nut milks, too. Can I just say that it’s the easiest thing ever and SO much cheaper than buying store bought milk alternatives. Let some nuts soak in water, drain and rinse, blend with more water, strain out the tiny nut pieces and viola. Nut milk. Get to it! I prefer to leave my milk unsweetened to allow for a wider variation of uses. If I’m baking with it, I’d rather leave room to incorporate sweetness into the recipe from a different source and if I’m using it in coffee, I’d rather separately add sweetener so I can use the same batch of milk for many different things. I do love the addition of vanilla though! It does change the taste of the milk slightly, so if you’re a nut purist simply leave it out. Also, a dash of cinnamon in this would be divine! Vanilla Cinnamon Cashew Milk…all over it.
Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew Milk
8 cups of filtered water, divided
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dry roasted cashews
Place 4 cups of the filtered water into a large bowl. Add cashews and a pinch of salt and let soak for 4 hours to soften. When time is up, drain the cashews and rise them very well. Add them to a blender with the remaining 4 cups of filtered water. Blend until smooth. Place a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl and add a little milk at a time, using clean hands or a spoon to help the liquid move through the cloth. Once all of the milk has been strained, add the vanilla extract and give it a good stir to combine. Store milk in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
*Use as a regular substitute to milk- in coffee, cereal, for baking, or just straight drinkin’!