Creamy nut milks, especially homemade ones, are absolutely lovely. I enjoy a chilled glass over ice in the morning, or something warm in the evening, spiked with a bit of rum and cinnamon. On days when I'm on the go and don't have time to stop for a proper meal, a glass of the creamy protein-rich drink is a perfect snack.
(It's not bad to drink, but also not very pretty to look at.)
All nut milks are made following pretty much the same process, but I think cashew milk is the best of all because the soft nut purees almost entirely into the water, which means you don't lose out on any fiber. It makes it a bit thicker than your standard almond or soy milk. And cashews have a lovely natural sweetness that makes the whole thing super luscious.
A whole vanilla bean infuses everything with a wonderful fragrance that will then make it a great base for other drinks (or for enjoying plain!). I don't sweeten my nutmilk, but you absolutely can; a bit of stevia or some honey or maple is all you need. I recommend starting with just a pinch and adding more to taste. These naturally sweet cashews really don't need much!
DIY Pecan Milk and my Chocolate-Hazelnut Milk, which is like the nut milk version of Nutella!
Vanilla Bean Cashew Milk Recipe
Yields about 6 cups
2 cups raw cashews
3 cups filtered water (for soaking) + 5 cups filtered water for pureeing
Sea salt (if you can get a mineral rich salt like celtic sea salt, use that! If not, regular sea or kosher salt is fine.)
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
Combine cashews, 3 cups filtered water, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in a shallow container. Make sure all nuts are covered (add more water if necessary). Soak at room cool temperature for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Drain cashews well and give a quick rinse. Add to a blender along with 5 cups filtered water and a small pinch of sea salt (about 1/4 teaspoon). Puree at least 5 minutes or until very smooth.
Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a large glass mason jar or carafe with a lid. There shouldn't be too many solids, but discard anything that doesn't go through. Drop the split vanilla bean in, cover and chill at least 4 hours.
Shake before serving. (The vanilla flavor will get stronger the longer it infuses.) Keep refrigerated; keeps well about 5 days.