If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know that I've generally been trying to cut down on the amount of animal products I consume, and make sure that I'm only sourcing meat, eggs, and dairy from responsible, ethical, regenerative farmers.
Unfortunately, such sustainable animal products can be hard to find, and in lieu of falling back on products of questionable origin, I've been keeping my eyes open for plant-based alternatives.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that there are zillions of plant-based milk products on the market, to take the place of your standard cow's milk in your morning coffee or on your granola. And while at first glance they may seem like the healthiest option, a closer look at the carton may reveal hidden sugars, stabilisers, emulsifiers, and other mystery ingredients.
Additionally, many nut milks come in plastic cartons or Tetra Paks that are not fully recyclable, and if we're trying to reduce our carbon footprint by avoiding animal products, sending a carton to the landfill in the process kind of defeats the purpose.
The solution? Make your own! Making nut milks is easy, relatively inexpensive, and gives you a better-tasting product. I'm personally partial to the rich, creamy taste of cashew milk, so this weekend I whipped up a batch at home (using my second-hand blender!).
Kitchen Equipment You'll Need
- A blender
- A colander or mesh sieve
- A muslin cloth or nut milk bag
Cashew Milk Recipe
Makes about 700ml (3 cups)
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- 125g (1 cup) cashews
- 700ml (3 cups) water, plus more for soaking
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with one inch of water. Soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight, then strain.
Place the soaked cashews in a blender, and add 700ml fresh water. Blend for about 2 minutes, or until there are no visible chunks left and the consistency is smooth. You can add more water if the taste is too creamy for your liking.
If you're using a nut milk bag, place the bag in a bowl and pour the nut milk into it. If you're using a muslin cloth like I did, drape it over your bowl, making sure it's centered, as it will drop to the middle of the bowl when you start pouring in the milk. Once all the milk is poured in, gather the edges of your muslin cloth or nut milk bag, and begin squeezing down.
Don't put too much downward pressure on the bag, as this will force the cashew meal through the cloth, which you don't want. Instead, leave a little bit of air in the bag, squeeze the lump of meal inside and let the milk run over your hand and into the bowl (I swear I'm not trying to make this sound dirty). Alternate squeezing up and down the bag until no more milk comes through when you squeeze.
Store in an airtight container and use within 3-4 days. The only drawback to preservative-free nut milk is that it doesn't last as long as store-bought varieties, so use up all this goodness right away!