How to Make Almond Milk or Cashew Milk at Home
Making almond milk and other nut milks and plant-based milks at home is easy and inexpensive. It gives you complete control over the ingredients, flavors, and textures, too. Here's how to give it a try.
Soaking nuts for about eight hours before you blend them with water yields a nice, creamy result. Planning ahead is the hardest part.
Why make your own almond milk?
We've recently gone head-over-heels crazy about homemade nut milks.
The first time I made cashew milk in my Vitamix, I felt positively omnipotent. One minute I stood in front of a cup of raw cashews and three cups of water. The next minute, I had four cups of the whitest, creamiest milk I'd ever seen. Who was I? A cow? A goddess? A pair of boobs?
An easy nondairy milk recipe to get you started
Non-dairy milks and creams are weirdly easy to make at home. They're incredibly useful for vegans but can also add welcome variety and healthfulness to an omnivore's diet. Packaged varieties abound in the supermarkets these days, but for optimum taste and nutrition, it's so much better (and barely more difficult) to start with whole foods and whizz them up yourself.
You can make non-dairy milk from any number of dry ingredients. I'm just beginning to explore different combinations and will report back in more depth one day soon. But for now, here's a simple, oddly empowering recipe to get you started.
How to use homemade almond milk
Use almond or cashew milk any way you would use dairy milk, from drinking to cooking. Many people prefer the taste and nutritional profile of almond milk for day-to-day use. Cashew milk and cashew cream are especially great to cook with because they're very creamy and they thicken beautifully and reliably when heated. Hope you'll give it a try one day soon.
- 1 cup raw almonds or cashews
- 3 cups water, plus more for soaking
- Place the nuts in a medium bowl and cover completely with water. Soak nuts for eight hours, or overnight.
- Drain and discard liquid and rinse nuts thoroughly.
- Pour three cups of water into the blender and add the nuts.
- Cover and blend for about two minutes, until very white and smooth. For cashews, there should be no remaining nut pulp and no need to strain. (See notes below.)
- For almonds, pour the milk through a fine-mesh strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth (or through a nut milk or paint strainer bag). Press until no more liquid drains out. Then use the milk and reserve the almond pulp to add to baked goods, cereals, etc., if you like.
- Milk keeps, tightly sealed, in the fridge for about three days.
Interested in cashew cream? There you go.
Since I didn't start making nut milks until I got my Vitamix, I don't have any personal experience making them in a regular blender. The internets confirm that it is eminently do-able, but if you do end up with some pulp or nut pieces after blending, by all means, strain the cashews as I've described for almonds. Nut milks should be completely smooth and creamy, without any bits or grit.