While it’s pretty easy to get some plant-based milk nowadays in health food and grocery stores, I still wouldn’t buy them regularly. Why? Because they’re not cheap plus store-bought vegan milks have whole array of other ingredients and preservatives that I don’t really like especially the sugar content is usually very high. So to make sure that I am getting my money’s worth and only consuming products which ingredients I can actually pronounce, I have started making my own.
When I was in Sydney, my personal favourite was macadamia milk. Macadamia nuts have this distinctive creamy taste that I enjoy so much and I find it easy to work with - be it baking or making desserts like chia pudding or overnight oats. But now that I moved back to Davao City where nuts are awfully expensive, I am forced to use my least favourite source of nut milk. The mighty cashews and no offense to this versatile nut as I use it in almost all of my raw cake recipes. It’s just that if I had the option to use macadamia or almonds, I would. But cashews are the cheapest nuts I can get here in Davao City with prices ranging from USD12 to USD17 depending on which brand I’m getting, so I’m left with no other choice.
Since cashews are pretty versatile, it’s super easy to flavour the milk. If I am in need of milk for my baking and some other dessert recipes, I would just add a dash of vanilla. But for now, let me share with you my favourite nut milk recipe - Raw Chocolate Cashew Milk.
I used dates as a natural sweetener for this but you can substitute dates with raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup. You can even use coconut sugar if you so desire, though I haven’t tried it yet but I’m guessing it will give the milk the caramel-ly flavour of coconut sugar that I like so much.
What you will be needing for this recipe is a good blender, a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve and some measuring tools.
Once you make your own home-made plant-based milks, you wouldn’t want to buy from the store ever again. Sure, it does take a little bit of work but making your own saves you money plus, you know what exactly you are consuming and I believe that’s the most important thing. We don’t need to eat food with 10 ingredients or more.
Raw Chocolate Cashew Milk
1 cup raw cashews
10 dates (pre-soaked in water) *
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsps raw cacao powder
4 cups of filtered water
Place nuts in a large bowl and add water to cover by 2”. Let stand at least 12 hours (this is key for silky, nongritty results; the longer the nuts soak, the smoother the milk will be). Drain nuts and discard soaking liquid.
Purée cashews, dates, cacao, vanilla, and filtered water in a blender on high speed until very smooth, this usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
Strain through cheesecloth (or fine-mesh sieve) into a deep bowl, pressing down on solids; discard cashew pulp or keep for a vegan cookie recipe.
If you want a thinner cashew milk, just add more water until you reach your desired consistency.
Keep in an airtight container like mason jars and refrigerate. Best consumed within 3 days as there are no preservatives added.
* If dates are unavailable, substitute with raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup.
** For vanilla flavour, just remove the tbsps of raw cacao powder.
Questions? Please let me know xxx