Homemade Cashew Milk

published Dec 27, 2021
Cashew Milk Recipe

Homemade cashew milk is one sure-fire way to upgrade your morning coffee.

Makes4 to 5 cups

Prep10 minutes

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Three glasses of cashew milk (white in color) in glassware of staggered sizes, against a blue background
Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

With so many people across the world choosing a plant-based lifestyle and searching for more alternatives to animal products, learning to make your own nut milk is a simple and rewarding experience. Plus, it could not be any easier! Simply soak nuts in cool water until they are fully softened, then blend and strain. Commercial nut milks usually include added gums and oils to thicken the product, and preservatives to maintain freshness. With homemade nut milk, it can be as simple as three ingredients!

Cashews are the perfect choice for homemade nut milk because they’re a softer nut than, say, an almond. They also have the least amount of fiber, which translates to a creamy nut milk that you might not even need to strain — especially if you use a high-powered blender.

Soaking the nuts is essential, as it unlocks the enzymes in the nuts and makes the nutrients more bioavailable. It also softens the nuts sufficiently so they break down fully in the blender. You’ll know the nuts are properly soaked when you break one in half and they’re soft all the way through. An overnight soak is the easiest way, but if you’ve forgotten or if you don’t want to wait eight hours, simply cover the cashews in boiling water and allow to soak for one to two hours before you get to blending!

How Long Does Cashew Milk Last in the Fridge?

Homemade cashew milk, free from any stabilizers and preservatives common in the commercial sort, has a shorter shelf life of about three days. As it sits in the fridge the cashew milk may separate, but a vigorous shake will bring it back together again. 

What Type of Cashews Should I Make Cashew Milk With?

Raw, unroasted, unsalted cashews make for the most neutral-tasting milk. Roasted cashews are typically salted and/or flavored and may throw off the final result. Milk made from toasted cashews will also be a darker color than you’d want for a product that passes as milk. 

Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

How to Use Cashew Milk

Besides adding a splash to your coffee or pouring over your morning cereal, here are all the ways you can use cashew milk.

  • Make overnight oats. Soak rolled oats in cashew milk along with a sweetener of your choice; refrigerate overnight. Top with your favorite garnishes such as nut butter, berries, and toasted coconut.
  • Incorporate it into smoothies and milkshakes. 
  • Use a splash in soups to make them creamy without any cream. 
  • Make nice cream! Blend two sliced, frozen bananas with 1/4 cup cashew milk until it’s the texture of soft serve. Serve with your favorite ice cream toppings.
  • Add cashew milk to your next batch of mashed potatoes for a super-creamy result.

Cashew Milk Benefits

  • Since it’s plant-based, cashew milk is great for vegans or those with lactose intolerance. 
  • It’s lower in calories than dairy milk.
  • It’s free of cholesterol and saturated fats.

Cashew Milk Recipe

Homemade cashew milk is one sure-fire way to upgrade your morning coffee.

Prep time 10 minutes

Makes 4 to 5 cups

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    raw cashews

  • 3 1/2 cups

    hot tap water

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons

    honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup raw cashews in a medium bowl with enough cool tap water to cover by 1 inch. Soak at room temperature for at least 8 and up to 24 hours (refrigerate if soaking for longer than 8 hours).

  2. Drain the cashews and rinse well. The cashews will be quite soft to touch but not falling apart. Transfer to a blender (preferably high-powered) and add 3 1/2 cups hot tap water, 1 to 2 tablespoons honey (1 tablespoon if you intend to use the oat milk for anything savory and 2 tablespoons if drinking as is or using for sweet applications), and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Blend on high speed until creamy and mostly smooth, about 3 minutes.

  3. Line a fine-mesh sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth or a square of thin cotton fabric (such as a clean dinner napkin). Strain the cashew milk through the lined strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Twist the sides of the cheesecloth or fabric around the cashew pulp and squeeze out any remaining liquid; discard the pulp. Refrigerate in airtight containers or bottles for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

Blender: A high-powered blender such as a Vitamix will provide the smoothest results with the least amount of wasteful pulp, but a standard blender works well too.