Have you ever wondered how to make cashew cream or milk? Well I hadn't until I wanted to make zucchini lasagna and found taking it a step further one can also make a wonderful tasting milk.
Cashew cream takes the place and consistency of ricotta cheese, takes on the flavor of what you are making so you get the feel and texture, and taste as if you were using cheese.
Cashew milk can be used to replace cows milk, it can also replace almond, soy, and coconut milk. It does have a nutty flavor and if you are allergic to tree nuts you will want to stay away.
You can use however many cups of cashews you want. When making cream, the cashew to water will be 1:1 ratio. I use two cups raw cashews. It may take a total of 8 cups water from start of cream to milk. For whole milk 4:1 2% 6:1 and for skim milk you might need 8:1 ratio. Cashews are dirtier than you would think and need to be soaked so they are clean. Pour the amount of cashews you want into a bowl or measuring cup, then cover with water to about 1” above cashews. I generally use two cups. You will want to leave them soaking for at least four hours or overnight on the counter. You will see that they have plumped up and some will be floating on top of the water. These are still ok to use. Once they are done soaking, pour into a colander to drain, then rinse with running water until clear.
Add the cashews to a blender or food processor; for cashew cream add two cups water. If just wanting to make milk it may take up to 8 cups water for two cups cashews. Cashews will absorb the water making it easier to turn into cream & milk. I like to use purified water from our reverse osmosis, but you can use spring water as well as drinking water. If making both start like you are making just cream then take half out when that is finished and put in a jar.
Turn the blender on, an allow it to blend for a period of time. This can take up to five minutes to get it to the consistency needed for cream or the latter milk. If using a high powered processor then possibly just a few minutes. Stop every few minutes to check and add more water for consistency needed.
Remove half the cream and place in an airtight food safe jar I use a pint ball or mason jar and seal tight. Keep in refrigerator.
With remaining cream add more water till it gets to the right consistency of your liking. I add 1-2 tsps. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract I make homemade to the milk for a luscious vanilla flavor.
The reason this can take so long is that the cashews tend to clump into little pieces and sink to the bottom. If drinking with a straw you will get a chunky texture that could cause throat irritation. So be sure to blend so when it sits, you don't have settling of cashew pieces.
You may have some cashew pulp or pieces in your milk, just shake before pouring or continue blending. You can also strain out some pieces that refuse to diminish. But if you find a large clump of pulverized cashews you might want to place back in blender and blend longer.
Making your own cashew milk will surprise you with the flavor it has. It is also nutritious and has many vitamins, minerals and fiber within it. When making cashew milk I always like to make some cashew cream to use in my zucchini lasagna recipe. If you only want to make milk and no cashew cream make sure to start with a larger quantity of water to reduce steps.
Optional: You can also flavor it with one to two teaspoons homemade vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
Cashew milk can keep in the refrigerator about three to four days.