I tried this cashew milk by Silk and loved it. Did you see on the package that it’s only 25 calories per cup! And it tastes way better than skim milk (which has more calories anyway). Only problem – it’s not organic. So I found some organic cashew milk and bought it. Not a sustainable plan though since this cashew milk, while DELICIOUS, cost $9 for a two cup bottle. Waa-waaaa!
Plan B – make my own cashew milk. However raw organic cashews cost $9 per bag, if I’m lucky and find them on sale. So homemade cashew milk was still going to be expensive, or so I thought. Take a look at the cost breakdown at the end of this post. Long story, shortened, I went ahead and made it anyway. The long story was basically me stalking a bag of cashews at Mothers Market until one day it went on sale and I bought it. After the disaster with the rice milk (which tasted like watered down water) I felt like I owed myself an indulgence – in the nondairy milk area of my life.
The whole process was pretty simple. I soaked the cashews in warm filtered water overnight. I didn’t add salt to it which all soaking recipes tell you to do, mostly, well completely, because I didn’t read any directions before soaking them. I just did it and then the next morning Googled “how to soak cashews” so that I would know if I needed to soak them longer. That’s when I saw that I was supposed to have added a tablespoon of sea salt to the soaking water. Oh well. So I drained off the water and rinsed the nuts until the water was clear. Soaking part done.
One of the other things that had put me off from making cashew milk is that I didn’t want to have to deal with the whole straining the ground nuts out of the milk issue. Besides having to buy a nut bag and adding more work to the process, me being me, I would then have to figure out a way to use those soaked, ground nuts in another recipe. Cashew Nut Brownies anyone? I decided that I just wouldn’t strain the nuts out. If you can make cashew butter from cashews then I figured that they would probably just blend into the milk as if I’d stirred cashew butter into water.
So I got out my Oster blender. Love that blender. I dumped 3 cups of cashews and 2 cups filtered water into the blender and buzzed them until the cashews were completely pureed into the water. Then I added a large pinch of sea salt, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 2 packets of Truvia*, and 4 more cups water, buzzing until blended. I poured 2 cups of this very rich cashew milk into a water bottle to use for coffee. I added 2 more cups of water to the blender, buzzing until blended. This produced a more milk-like consistency.
Okay, so the cashew milk was just as delicious as the store-bought versions, but how did it come out expense-wise? The bag of raw organic cashews cost $9 on sale. That bag gave me 2 cups of cream and 9 cups of milk at a cost of .82 per cup. Comparing that to the cost of store-bought soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk at .63 to $1.13 per cup, homemade cashew milk is actually quite affordable. And if I hadn’t poured off the cashew cream then my cost would have gone down to .60 per cup. (12 cups of water to 3 cups of cashews, made in 2 batches.)
* You don’t need to add sweetener, but if you do you can use stevia, maple syrup, honey, Truvia, monk fruit, Splenda, basically any sweetener that isn’t as bad for you as white cane sugar, because what would be the point of making homemade organic cashew milk and then dumping white sugar into it?