Move over almond milk...there's a new nut milk in town!
Almond milk has been the most popular nut milk for a while now, whether you're avoiding dairy entirely or just cutting back on the amount of dairy you consume, and for good reason. It's Paleo, raw, vegan, dairy and sugar-free and it's relatively easy to make your own, or affordable to buy pre-made.
But it seems there's a new contender for the nut milk crown in town - cashew milk, to be precise! Cashew milk is a great alternative to almond milk for anyone avoiding dairy, and although it can be harder to find on the supermarket shelves, making your own is the best option anyway. Store-bought cashew milk is often blended with emulsifiers and oil to create its white, creamy appearance. We much prefer making our own!
The health benefits
Cashew milk is packed with magnesium and zinc, so it can boost your immune system whilst giving you healthy skin, hair and nails. It's thicker and slightly sweeter than almond milk, but there's not a great deal of nutritional difference between the two. Unlike almonds, you don't need to blanch cashews and it's easier to grind them before making nut milk, with no straining needed either - win! You can add flavourings such as dates, vanilla or cinnamon to your cashew milk too, as you would with almond milk.
One cup of home-made cashew milk (made using 1/4 cup of cashews) contains 189 calories and 10g carbs. Buy your cashew milk on your weekly shop and you'll find 40 calories and 3g carbs per 1 cup serving - but you'll also get less than 1g protein per serving, compared to 6g per serving if you make your own! Cashew milk also contains 15% of our recommended daily intake of vitamin K, which helps blood to clot and is essential for the formation of strong bones, 13% RDI of iron and 25% of our RDI of magnesium, for a healthy immune system. Whilst store-bought cashew milk is usually fortified with vitamins A, D and B12, this isn't necessarily a good thing!
Make your own cashew milk
We love making our own cashew milk and we happen to think its sweet, creamy texture lends itself really well to smoothies and protein shakes. Why not give our recipe a try for yourself? This makes 500ml cashew milk, plenty to keep you going!
200g raw cashews
2 tsp coconut nectar
Pinch sea salt
1 vanilla pod - split it in half and scrape out the seeds
How to make it:
You'll have to soak the cashews in water overnight so place them in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. In the morning, strain off the water and pop your cashews in the blender. Blend them on a low setting until they form a white, foamy mixture. If your blender has left any bits of cashew, you can always strain the mixture through a sieve or muslin cloth, as you would do with almond milk.
Add you coconut nectar, salt, vanilla and mix well. Stored in the fridge, your cashew milk will keep for up to five days and is ready to add to smoothies, granola, protein shakes, porridge - whatever you like really!
Store-bought cashew milk
If you really don't have time between work and working out to blend your own cashew milk (we'll forgive you, just this once) then these are the best pre-made cashew milk brands to pick up on your weekly shop:
Plenish Cashew Milk Cold Pressed Milk
Available from Ocado and selected branches of Waitrose for £5.95 for 250ml (or on their site at £13.95 for 500ml), it may not be the cheapest option, but if you need cashew milk in a hurry this is a pretty healthy choice. Word of warning though, it only keeps for around 48 hours once opened, so make sure you're going to use it all!
Provamel Organic Cashew Milk
Sweetened with a little agave nectar, this organic cashew milk is delicious hot or cold (great in porridge) and contains only organic cashews, sea salt, water and agave. Perfect! Pick it up from Real Foods website for £1.69 for 500ml.
So Delicious Unsweetened Cashew Milk
So Delicious also do a version sweetened with vanilla, but you could always add your own sweeteners such as fruit or dates if you're making a smoothie. At £3.99 for 1 litre from Real Foods, this is probably our least favourite cashew milk as it does contain quite a few extra ingredients such as canola oil and bean gum. We don't recommend this as an everyday cashew milk, but if you're desperate, it'll do!
Have you tried cashew milk? Do you prefer it to almond milk? We'd love to hear what you think, so Tweet us or leave a comment below.