February 11, 2014
“I remember how weird it felt to make cashew milk the first time. The cashews that I had soaked overnight felt sort of floppy soft. It didn’t make much sense to me how these, water, and salt could make milk,” says Shauna James Ahern, the blogger and cookbook author also known as Gluten-Free Girl.
“Then, I turned on the blender. Within a moment, the cashews and water had become…milk. A delicious nut milk. I strained it a few times for the errant bits of cashew. After a few hours, it was cold milk with the faintest taste of cashews. Magic.”
“Now, I make at least a pint of this a week, usually a quart. Since [my husband] Danny’s lactose intolerant, he can’t digest cream without discomfort later. We use cashew milk for many recipes in this book. And I bet, like us, you’ll find yourself making this over and over again.”
Makes 1 quart cashew milk.
- 2 cups raw whole cashews
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Soaking the cashews. Put the cashews in a large bowl. Cover them with cold water. Set aside to sit overnight.
Adding the other ingredients. In the morning, drain the cashews, which should be plumped up and softened. Put them in a blender. If you are making a savory cashew milk, add the salt and lemon juice. If you will be using the cashew milk for sweeter treats, add the honey. Cover the cashews with enough fresh water to cover them by 1 inch.
Blending the cashew milk. Blend the cashews and water until the milk is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time if the blender is working too hard. If you have a high-quality blender, the cashew milk will be ready to use at this point. If your blender needs a little help, strain the cashew milk through a fine-mesh sieve to set apart the remaining cashew bits.
Refrigerate the cashew milk for at least 2 hours before using. It will thicken and the flavors will settle.
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To make a thicker cashew cream, use only enough water to barely cover the cashews in the blender. The longer you keep this in the refrigerator, the more it will thicken. We usually make recipes that need cashew milk the first few days and cashew cream the rest of the week.
Use cashew cream with chocolate to create a thick, creamy nondairy dessert.
Recipe reprinted from Gluten-Free Girl Every Day by Shauna James Ahern. Copyright © 2013 by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.