This homemade cashew milk recipe is incredibly easy to make and has so many uses. I love that you don't have to soak the cashews if you don't want to, as long as you have a good, high-speed blender, and that you can always add a little more cashews, water or flavoring until it tastes just like you want it. I also appreciate that it only takes a few minutes to make and doesn't have any added ingredients I would rather not eat.
It is my favorite plant-based milk both because of flavor and the ease of making it. I also love that I waste less packaging, as opposed to store-bought cashew milk, and it doesn't need straining. It's also incredibly versatile and so easy to customize or adjust to your liking.
How to make homemade cashew milk
Here's the basic, super-simple process -
- Optional - Soak raw cashews for up to 8 hours then drain and rinse them.
- Add them to a high-speed blender along with some water.
- Blend for a few minutes until it's nice and creamy.
See? I told you it was really easy! It can get a little complicated when you start talking about how thick to make it and what to add to it, but the basic recipe is so easy.
Can you drink cashew milk?
Um. YES! Drink it just how it is or add some flavor or sweetener to make it a special treat.
What is cashew milk good for?
Not only is is cashew milk a great non-dairy alternative, but it is full of health benefits with nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and zinc. Here are a few ideas of how to use cashew milk that will hopefully get you excited about making it -
- Just drink it plain or add in some flavor or sweetener (see below)
- Add it instead of milk to any recipe. This is my favorite use. I love putting it in soup because I can make it as thick or thin as I want and if it isn't quite thick enough I add some cashew cream, which is just cashew milk but with as little as water as you can get away with and if the soup is too thick, I just add some cashew milk.
- I love it on pasta instead of alfredo or other white sauces.
- It's delicious in smoothies, protein shakes or ice cream.
- On granola or cereal.
- To make chia pudding or overnight oats with.
- Anything else you would use cows milk for.
Do you have to soak cashews to make milk?
No! You technically don't and I personally almost never do. A lot of that is because my Vitamix does a fantastic job blending the cashews and makes it incredibly creamy without soaking them. Another reason is that often I'm using the cashew milk for something like chia pudding that is going to get soaked anyway and I figure it is a waste to soak the cashews twice. The REAL reason is that I live in the real world and if I had to always soak my cashews before making a recipe I would rarely make cashew milk.
However, if you really want proper cashew milk I recommend you soak the cashews for 8 hours. That will get you the creamiest texture with a richer, rounded consistency and if you are going to store it in the fridge, it will separate less. Although, if it does separate in the fridge, at that point you have soak the cashews for probably a lot more than 8 hours so you can just give it another quick spin in the blender and have unseparated cashew milk you didn't have to soak to get started and use some then you get the better flavor the next day.
As a side note, generally it is good to soak nuts and grains to release their enzymes and make them easier to digest. I'm not completely convinced this applies to cashews though because they have to be roasted twice to remove their inner and outer shells, so technically "raw" cashews have already been roasted twice, just not the third time. Although, I would think the shells get roasted more than the actual cashews. Just something to think about.
Can I add flavor or sweetener?
Absolutely. On its own, it has a mild, slightly nutty flavor, which is great if you want to put it on cereal or add it to soup or something like that and you don't want any flavor. But if you want to drink it and don't just want to drink plain, boring milk then go ahead and try some fun additions. Here are some ideas to get you started -
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup , agave , dates, sugar, honey or your favorite sweetener
- To make it taste like chocolate milk add one of the above sweeteners and some cocoa powder to the blender.
- Instead of vanilla extract, add vanilla bean powder or fresh vanilla bean. It will not only have a deep, rich vanilla flavor but it will have beautiful flecks.
- Try adding some essential oils, like wild orange (think orange creamie) or peppermint (with or without chocolate).
- Add two or three strawberries to the blender and you'll have strawberry milk.
Where is the best place to buy raw, unsalted cashews?
- It was recommended to me to buy mine at Costco, but when I started pricing around in town I found the bulk bins at my local health food store and local grocery had the best prices in town by quite a bit. One reason for that is I can opt for the pieces. I could care less that they are broken up since I'm just going to blend them anyway and I can save a dollar or so a pound that way. I can get them for around $4.33 a pound instead of $6.80 a pound at Costco. I haven't been able to find them for a good price online.
Please let me know how your cashew milk turns out in the comments below and how you use it. I'm sure other readers would love to know too!Print
Homemade Cashew Milk Recipe
This cashew milk recipe is incredibly easy to make and has so many uses. I love that you don't have to soak the cashews if you don't want to, as long as you have a good, high-speed blender, and that you can always add a little more cashews, water or flavoring until it tastes just like you want it. I also appreciate that it only takes a few minutes to make and doesn't have any added ingredients I would rather not eat.
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 0 Minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 5 cups 1x
- Category: Drinks
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (160g)
- 4 cups of water, divided (see below for notes on the amount of water)
- ¼ tsp Real Salt
- 1 tsp vanilla, optional
- Optional - Soak the cashews anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight (see notes)
- Drain the cashews and rinse until the water runs clear.
- Add the cashews to a blender then add about 2 cups cold water to the blender. Blend in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix on high until all the little pieces are gone and it is completely creamy. This may take up to two minutes in a high-powered blender or longer in a regular blender. Add two cup of water and/or ice (if you want it cold right away), vanilla, and ¼ t of salt if you want. Blend again.
- Optional - If your blender can’t totally break down the cashews, strain the milk through a nut milk bag, fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
- Pour into a pitcher or glass jar. Store for up to three days in the fridge (see notes).
- Add the cashews and two cups water to a blender. Start on a low setting and increase the speed until the cashews are totally pulverized.
- Water ratio - the ratio of water to cashews (4 to 1) in this recipe yields milk that is somewhere between 2% and whole milk in terms of creaminess. It doesn't have much flavor. At 1:2 it has the consistency of cream but tastes quite strongly of cashews. You are welcome to do any amount of water you want. I do different thicknesses based on how I'm going to use it. I do this 1:4 consistency to put on cereal or just drink. If you want to do it a thicker consistency then start with a 1:2 ratio, try it, and keep adding water until it is just right for you.
- Soaking - you can read above in the post for more details, but soaking is optional if you use a high-speed blender. However, soaking the full 8 hours will get you the creamiest texture with a richer, rounded consistency and if you are going to store it in the fridge, it will separate less. A trick to speed up your soaking is to pulse in the blender with a little very hot water to make the pieces smaller and soak up water faster then soak the cashews for 15 minutes.
- Flavoring and sweeteners - See the post above for lots of ideas but this is a fun recipe to experiment with and add your favorite sweetener and/or flavoring. I love 1 Tbsp of maple syrup or dates and then either a little cocoa powder or a few strawberries.
- Storing - It starts to turn sour after about three days so if I haven't used all mine in that amount of time I'll either make a cream soup and use it up or freeze it to be used later. I freeze it in smaller containers like these 8-ounce freezer containers or these 4-ounce freezer containers and then when I want to use it recipes it is ready to go. It does separate when frozen and doesn't taste quite the same so I #1 - blend it before using to get most of the good texture back and #2 - put it in a recipe like curry where I can't tell the flavor isn't quite the same. In the future, if you find yourself not using all your cashew milk, just make smaller batches. If it separates in the fridge, just give it a good shake being using by putting it in the blender, using an immersion blender or even just a blender bottle.
- Got pulp? Strain it through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth as indicated above. OR - don't worry about the pulp depending on the recipe. For things like oatmeal, curry, chia pudding, etc. it doesn't hurt to have a little extra texture and you really can't tell. What could cause this? Maybe your blender isn't strong enough? If you don't have a high-speed blender you HAVE to soak your cashews - the longer the better. Are you using RAW cashews?
Keywords: Easy, Homemade, Natural, Clean Eating