I love milk made from nuts and seeds!
Plant-based milks are delicious and nutritious. They are also a healthier, more compassionate, more environmentally friendly, and a more sustainable choice than milk taken from cows and other factory-farmed animals today (aka “dairy”). If you grew up being told that dairy was the best thing for you and your family, and now you’re experiencing cognitive dissonance to learn otherwise, just know: you’re not alone!
Nowadays it is relatively easy to find a variety of plant-based milks at the grocery store but it is also very easy to make our own at home in just minutes!
Cashew Milk is especially creamy and can make a wonderful milk as well as creamer. Here is the recipe I use from my Vitamix recipe book. Depending on what I’m using the milk or creamer for, I sometimes add more or less water. If I’m drinking the milk alone I might add a pinch of cardamom or another spice and a dash of maple syrup. Otherwise, it’s delicious as it is (don’t forget to first soak the cashews overnight)!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked overnight in enough water to cover, drained
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Place all ingredients into the Vitamix (or your high power blender)
- Turn the dial to 1 and slowly increase to 10
- Blend for 40 seconds or until desired consistency is reached
Some of the exciting health properties of cashews include:
Copper & Iron: Cashews contain high amounts of iron & copper, needed for red blood cell production. Red blood cells carry hemoglobin, the protein that binds oxygen in the bloodstream, and brings oxygen to the cells of the body. Copper also helps prevent cells from mutating and can help prevent cancer cells from forming in the first place.
Healthy Fat: Cashews contain high amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These are both found to be beneficial to your heart health. Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help to lower cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy.
Magnesium & Potassium: Cashews contain both of these minerals which help to support the relaxation of the blood vessels as well as to counteract excessive levels of sodium in the body. When the body has too much sodium it retains water and causes a rise in blood volume, which increases blood pressure. Potassium also helps the heart muscle through nerve conduction. In sum, eating cashews can help regulate blood pressure.
As with everything, proportion and balance makes the difference. Too much of any good thing can become a bad thing, so I’m not trying to recommend only Cashew Milk. Personally, I try to drink a variety of plant-based milks. I also love Oat Milk, Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Hemp Milk, Flaxseed Milk (and I have more to discover no doubt)!
Store bought plant-based milks are often fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, but also, extra sugars and other additives and preservatives. Homemade plant-based milks might not have the extra vitamins and minerals, but they also don’t have the extra sugar, nor any additives except those chosen by you! Homemade milks don’t last as long in the fridge but they can be made freshly again in just minutes. Also, although I have yet to try, it is possible to fortify homemade milk (or mylk) at home.