Want to learn how to make cashew milk at home? This easy two-ingredient recipe makes fresh cashew milk that you can use for smoothies, vegan baking, lattes and more.
Homemade cashew milk is creamy, satisfying, and easy to make – it only requires two steps and two ingredients. It’s also a great vegan alternative to regular dairy milk. Dairy milk has a huge carbon footprint, because cows produce methane and also need to be fed for years in order to produce milk. With plant-based milk, that’s not the case. Cashew milk does need a lot of water to grow, but not as much as almond milk and has the advantage of being zero-waste. Unlike with other plant-based milks, no leftover pulp is discarded when making cashew milk — using the whole cashew is what gives the milk its creaminess. The cashew’s natural creaminess is also why it’s used in many vegan cheese recipes, like cashew cream cheese or vegan parmesan
Choosing Your Ingredients
According to an article by the University of Florida, there is no commercial cashew farming in the United States. Since cashews must be shipped from other countries, their environmental impact is increased.
When choosing your cashews for making cashew milk, make sure to use fair trade, organic nuts. Slow Food reports that the cashew industry is marked by dangerous conditions and poverty-line wages for workers. Choosing fair trade products helps ensure that the workers who produced your cashews are paid a fair wage.
Is almond milk better? Almonds and oats are grown in the US, so it is possible to choose a more locally-sourced product when making homemade almond or oat milk. However, it’s also important to consider that almonds require more water than almost any other plant-based milk source in order to grow – the BBC reports that a single glass of almond milk takes 130 pints of water to produce.
How To Make Cashew Milk in 2 Easy Steps
You can make cashew milk from ingredients you may already have in your pantry. This recipe yields approximately 6 cups of cashew milk.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 tsp. sweetener (locally-sourced honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup) OR 2 pitted medjool dates
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
How to Make Cashew Milk
- Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight.
- Drain and rinse cashews, then place in a high-power blender with 4 cups of water and any optional add-ins. Blend until fully combined, then enjoy.
The milk will keep for 3-4 days when covered and stored in the refrigerator.
Tip: This recipe yields a lighter cashew milk that is comparable in thickness and creaminess to 2 percent dairy milk. For a heartier cashew milk more similar to coffee creamer or half-and-half, omit ½ cup of water.
Flavored Cashew Milk Ideas
You can easily customize your cashew milk to try different flavors.
Chocolate: Add 2 tablespoons fair trade, organic cacao powder.
Vanilla: Add 2 teaspoons fair trade, organic vanilla extract.
Strawberry/Mixed Berry: Add 1 cup sliced organic strawberries or a mix of seasonal berries of your choice.
How to Use Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is incredibly versatile – you can use it as a substitute for dairy milk in vegan baking recipes, add it to your morning coffee or smoothie, or drink it plain. Here are a few recipes where you can try out your homemade cashew milk:
- Non-Dairy Sour Cream: Recipes and Uses
- Homemade Oat Milk: A Simple & Sustainable Recipe
- How Do You Make Almond Milk? Easy Homemade Recipe
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