Tired of paying high prices for soy milk, nut milks, and other non-dairy milks? Did you know that a blender can make creamy, delicious, non-dairy, cholesterol free, low carb cashew milk for 86 cents per quart? The flavor of cows milk cannot begin to compare to the flavor of this heavenly, creamy milk. Recipe and instructions are below.
Why use a non-dairy milk?
According to USDA’s top nutrition-scientist, Dr. Colin Campbell (now retired), the dairy protein, casein, facilitates and accelerates the growth of malignancies, as described in his book, The China Study, published in December 2004.
Additionally, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an article (Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Jan;73:118-22) warning that consumption of animal-based protein (including dairy) produces an acidic imbalance that leads to bone density loss. High consumption accelerates this bone density loss, according to the authors: Drs. Sellmeyer, Stone, Sebastian, and Cummings. This is in direct conflict with the popular advertisements stating that milk builds strong bones.
What kind of blender do I need?
In order to create nut butters, nut creams, and nut milks (almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, etc.) with a blender, your blender should be at least 450 watts. Trust me, I learned this from personal experience when my 300 watt blender went up in a cloud of smoke making almond milk. For about $100 plus a cost-savings coupon, I bought a 5-speed, 500 watt KitchenAid blender, which works great with nuts.
Where did this recipe come from?
I have been on a plant-based (vegan) diet for years. Thus, I do not use any animal-based milks. Store-bought soy milks cost anywhere from $2.50 to $6.00 per half gallon, and nut milks are even more expensive, therefore, I used to make my own soy milk with my SoyQuick machine, but got tired of the cleanup involved. Over the years, I have perfected the process of making super-easy, non-dairy cashew milk with my 500 watt blender. I have tried many different types of nuts, and have found that raw cashews make the creamiest non-dairy milk with the least amount of “waste” (unprocessed residue called “okara” explained below). A more powerful blender (750 watts) will leave fewer unprocessed nut particles, and a super-powerful blender, such as a Vita-mix, will leave no unprocessed residue at all when making cashew milk. Vita-mix blenders start at 1,380 watts, and the blades spin at 37,000 RPM on the highest setting!
What should I do with the unprocessed nut particles?
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, a less-than-1,000-watt blender will leave a small amount of unprocessed residue (nut particles that do not get creamed)-anywhere from one to four tablespoons. These tiny nut particles simply fall to the bottom of the batch and are referred to as “okara.” Similarly, soy milk residue is called “soy okara.” Okara is simply food particles left behind from making non-dairy milks. Numerous recipes calling for okara can be found on the internet for foods such as granola, breads, power bars, cookies, to name a few.
I leave the okara in my non-dairy cashew milk, and simply shake up the cashew milk before use. However, it can be easily filtered out using cheese cloth or by allowing the nut milk to set for a few minutes before pouring off all but about 1/4 cup into a large glass or pitcher. That last remaining 1/4 cup contains most of the cashew okara.
How much do bulk cashews cost?
I buy a 20-pound box of raw cashews for $2.94 per pound from the Berlin Bulk Foods (phone: 330-893-2353) which is located on the corner of State Route 39 (Main Street) and Market Street in Berlin, Ohio. Using the below recipe, my cashew milk costs 86 cents per quart, or $3.44 per gallon. The following recipe makes just a bit more than one quart of cashew milk.
2 cups tap (or filtered) water
1 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 butter-flavored popcorn salt (or regular salt)
(For chocolate milk, add 1 tablespoon powdered cocoa plus 1/2 cup sugar)
Place all ingredients in blender, and process on highest setting for 5 minutes if using a 500 watt blender, less time for a more powerful blender. Let stand for 5 or 10 minutes for any okara (unprocessed particles) to fall to the bottom. If you don’t like to drink the okara, then gently and slowly, pour the thick cream into a large jar or pitcher, being careful to not pour the last 1/4 cup or so, which contains the okara. I don’t mind the okara, and choose to leave it in the cashew milk. Next, add 2 more cups of water (1 cup for thicker milk) to the jar or pitcher and stir.
Shake or stir before serving. Makes eight 4-ounce servings.
This following nutritional facts were provided by the nutrition calculator at http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp:
Used as a coffee creamer: 9 calories per tablespoon
Used as cashew milk: 78.5 calories per 1/2 cup or 4 fluid ounces
*Nutritional Details for 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces):
Calories from fat: 51
Fat: 5.7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 67 mg
Carbohydrate: 6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 2 g
*Vitamin/Mineral content for 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces):
Vitamin B-6 2%
Vitamin E 0.3%
Pantothenic Acid 2%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs