I’m here to tell you that I’ve done the testing, and I’ve found the creamiest, easiest, and fastest way to make your own homemade cashew milk, without the soaking time! I did quite a bit of testing a few years back on the best homemade non-dairy milks and the results were mixed. Oat milk came in with a solid ‘no’ (too slimy), pistachio milk was too specific tasting (does that even make sense?), and almond milk is always a good standby, but it seems to go way too quickly. I started making my own homemade cashew milk after discovering that it was easy, due to not entirely needing to strain it and could made made cost effectively. I know that cashews aren’t the cheapest nut on the block (ha!), but one of the best hacks I’ve found is to buy the bag of cashew pieces at Trader Joe’s and use those in any kind of cashew based milk, sauce, or anything where they will be blended up anyway. Don’t spend that hard earned money on whole nuts, when they are going to be blitzed to smithereens anyway!
Like I mentioned above, one of the things I loved about homemade cashew milk was the idea that I didn’t need to take the time to strain it or press it through a nut milk bag. It was creamy all in itself, without the extra effort (I know, how lazy am I?) of straining and then cleaning the bag afterwards. But, I did run into an issue about 2 days into my fresh homemade cashew milk being in the fridge, the settling. All the creamy pieces of cashew that melded together so well right out of the blender, ended up settled into the bottom of the jar I kept it in and made for a weird sludge at the bottom. It would come as a rude awakening as I poured the last of the cashew milk onto my cereal, only realizing that the end of it dumped a nice pile of pulverized cashew pieces onto the top of my breakfast. It wasn’t the biggest deal in the world, but still, it wasn’t the best thing either! After a few too many times of this happening, I realized I have to suck it up and just start straining my cashew milk. Honestly, it’s not that hard and a nut milk bag is one of my most used kitchen tools, especially if you don’t own a juicer, like me.
The good news is, homemade cashew milk is one of the easiest and best homemade kitchen DIYs to start with. It doesn’t require much time at all, doesn’t require a lot of weird ingredients or tools to make, and has a pretty solid shelf (well, fridge) life, considering it’s homemade. This version of vegan cashew milk is my favorite, because it’s unsweetened and can be used in just about anything, from topping your muesli to using in sauces and savory dishes alike. One of the things I didn’t like about a lot of the cashew milk recipes out there already, was that they used dates or maple syrup to sweeten them. Don’t get me wrong, they taste great and are perfect for putting in coffee or for breakfast, but I needed an all around versatile milk that I could use while making creamy pasta sauces, while also doubling as my base for my morning latte. Trust me, I’ve pouring sweetened plant milk into a savory dish one too many times, cursing myself after I’ve tasted it and then deemed it inedible, because the sweetness was too powerful. I’ve found the best way is to make your own unsweetened cashew milk, then sweeten it as needed.
Basically, to make your homemade cashew milk, you’re going to use a 3:1 ratio of water to nuts. You can feel free to play with making it more/less, but this is the ratio that I’ve found works for me, making a milk that is creamy, but not too think and not overly watery. If you are wanting to use your cashew milk as more of a heavy cream or whole milk substitute, feel free to reduce it down to more of a 2:1 ratio, for extra creaminess. I can also attest that this easily doubles, as long as you don’t fill your blender up too much and end up spilling it after taking the top off (not that I’ve done this..). I usually make a double batch of cashew milk for the week and it lasts me all week, depending on how much I’m cooking or baking that week.
So go forth, make your own cashew milk! I promise you can be from start to finish in less than 15 minutes, including clean up time. Don’t worry if you don’t have a high powdered or fancy blender either. One of the best things about cashews is that they are a softer nut and don’t require the soaking time that almonds always do. If you do want to think ahead and soak your nuts a few hours beforehand, it may help things blend together more easily, but I’ve found that blended cashews without soaking for the purpose of making cashew milk doesn’t always require the extra step. Enjoy!
- If you can find them, buy the unsalted, unroasted cashew pieces at the grocery store. They are much cheaper and will work perfectly for making homemade cashew milk, especially since they are being blended anyway.
- Use your trusty nut milk bag! You could probably use a fine mesh sieve and get the same results, but I’ve only tried this with the bag. It allows you to really squeeze out all of the milk and drain the pulp fully.
- Add a pinch of salt! This helps give a bit of depth and flavor to the cashew milk, making it not so plain and adding a little omph to the flavor of your milk.
- 1 cup whole raw cashews or cashew pieces (make sure they are unsalted and unroasted)
- 3 cups water
- Pinch of fine grain sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a high powdered blender and blend until smooth and combined. Transfer and strain through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, squeezing until only pulp remains. Transfer to a jar or bottle and keep refrigerated for up to a week.