If you had told me that I would be drinking, never mind making, creamy cashew milk, I would have laughed at you! However, we have discovered that Baby Kale is MUCH, MUCH happier when mama does not consume dairy. At his one month visit, we knew we had a little bit of a fussy baby on our hands. Thankfully, not all day long but solidly from dinner time to dawn. Ugh. Sigh with me, my friends. It’s a good thing he’s so cute, right? We tried a reflux medicine and saw a little bit of an improvement but I was still having mini panic attacks as the sun went down.
I begrudgingly decided to give up milk. I mean, really, really begrudgingly. I don’t know anyone who loves dairy more than I do. I finally had to decide that I hated being up all night with a crying baby more than I feared life without cream in my coffee.
This isn’t my first fussy-baby rodeo. Julia, now 9, was super sensitive to dairy and soy as a baby and then as a toddler. Unfortunately, being a new mom back then, I suffered months and months before someone suggested I give up dairy. Even now, as a 4th grader, she does not drink a straight up glass of milk. We keep different nut milks in the house – her current favorite being a toasted coconut almond milk. YUM. I have to say that most of the nut milks I have tried, I haven’t liked very much. I guess, if you’re nine, and you’ve lived your whole life without a gorgeous glass of milk, you might think almond milk and coconut milk and so on are perfectly fine alternatives. I think most of them are horrible.
Necessity is the mother of invention. I scanned the alternative milk section of the grocery store and decided there had to be a better way. I hear about people making their own nut milks with their pricey vitamix blenders. I have a $100 Ninja. Could it do the same? If you look at a nut, it looks a little crazy to think you can make it into milk. But I was willing to try…
I decided to start my nut milk adventures with cashews. It seemed like they needed to soak for the least amount of time. If I need something to soak overnight, the project might never happen because I will get distracted. SQUIRREL!
Back to this creamy cashew milk … I love cashews. I went to the bulk foods section at Whole Foods and looked for plain nuts. I think these were labeled raw, unsalted. I only needed a cup of cashews for the milk but I knew my kids would dig into my supply so I bought extras. Being the impatient, easily distracted girl that I am, I took my cup of cashews, covered them with water, and let them sit for only an hour. Drain the water – you will need fresh water to make the milk – and add the cashews to your blender.
This milk only needs a few ingredients. For sweetness, I added medjool dates. At the grocery store, I usually find these beautiful dates in the produce section. I try to keep them on hand for smoothies – natural sweetness and fiber – yum. You will also need water (I prefer filtered water to tap), a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. That’s it.
To make a creamier nut milk, keep the water to 2 cups for 1 cup of cashews. This creamy cashew milk was perfect for adding to my coffee instead of cream but might be a little bit too thick to drink. For something you could drink like a glass of milk or pour over cereal, increase the water to 3 to 4 cups. Start with 3 cups, test it, and add more if necessary. You don’t need to change any of the other ingredients.
Creamy Cashew Milk
- 1 cup raw cashews , soaked for one hour
- 2 cups filtered water
- 5 to 6 medjool dates , pitted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Soak the raw cashews for an hour or so. Drain the water.
- Add the soaked cashews, fresh filtered water, medjool dates, vanilla extract, and salt to a high powered blender like a Ninja, Vitamix, or Blendtec.
- Blend for at least a minute. Add more water if necessary.