Monday, March 11, 2013

cashew milk

A huge bag of unroasted cashews landed in my lap a few days ago. They're expensive and I didn't want them to go to waste so, I've been putting them to every imaginable use in the kitchen. Nuts tend to go rancid quite quickly in warm, humid weather and if kept in the fridge, haphazardly packaged, they will absorb odours from other foods very easily.



Amongst the things I've made with them, and probably my favourite so far, is this cashew milk. I never would've thought that making a nut milk could be so easy, and so satisfying an undertaking, had I not tried it. Cashews are especially suitable for a nut milk as they are amongst the softest of nuts and when well soaked, are easily crushed by blender blades into a creamy and silken milk that tastes surprisingly, no, shockingly delicious!



I've never liked dairy milk, and though I love Asian style soy milk, cashew milk is a delicious and welcome change. It makes a fabulous substitute for coconut or diary milk in cooking, tastes fantastic with coffee, drinking  chocolate, tea and hot or cold breakfast cereal. Of course, the very first thing I tested it on was a cup of coffee and as you can see from the pictures, it gives the coffee a pretty head of creamy foam, or crema as the Italians call it. And you don't even need a coffee machine!






The recipe below yields a very thick and creamy milk that's best for creaming beverages and thickening  soups or curries. If you want a thinner milk that you can drink straight, like a glass of dairy milk, use three or even four cups of water to every cup of nuts. You may not want to add any salt, but I find it amplifies the creaminess of the milk and I recommend that you do add a little and correspondingly increase the amount of salt if you increase the amount of water.



As this is a raw food (if you discount that most commercially processed nuts are actually steamed out of their shells and that I used boiled water) that spoils easily, please be mindful of food hygiene with regard to all your equipment, implements, hands and storage containers, at every stage of the process and use boiled or distilled water when liquidising the nuts. I wouldn't want you to have any tummy troubles!



I'll be sharing more recipes that use either cashews or cashew milk in upcoming posts, so keep a look out for them. In the meantime, I hope you give this gorgeous nut milk a whirl and enjoy both the process and the  fruit of your labours :)


cashew milk

prep 6 hours        makes 3 cups thick cashew milk


120 g (1 cup) unroasted cashews, each split into halves
2 cups cooled boiled (or distilled) water
1/5 tsp salt (optional)



Wash split cashews in several changes of water and drain. Soak in cold water for 6 - 8 hours.

Drain cashews and combine with water and salt in blender jug. Process until very, very smooth. A powerful blender will be able to blend this fine enough so that filtering out the solids is unnecessary.

If you feel the milk is a little gritty, strain through double layers of very clean muslin or cheesecloth. The solids make a fantastic face or body scrub or mask and works wonders on dry scaly knees and elbows.

Decant into a very clean, dry covered container or bottle and refrigerate until needed. Consume within 3 days.


19 comments:

  1. That's very clever, Denise!

    Not sure why but I think the cashew milk would make very good laksa gravy! Hehe.. could you try and let us know? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alvin :) I think you may be right about the laksa, but we'll never know until it's done LOL I just may test out the theory one day, and update both this post and my laksa lemak one...

      Delete
  2. I love this! I just posted a coconut milk yogurt today, and now I'm wondering about all the other 'milks' that I can make into yogurt. I'm going to have to blend up some of this luscious cashew milk and see!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I've never tried coconut milk yoghurt and now I'm curious about it. I hope you do give this a try Sue - it's really easy and I was surprised at how smooth and silky the milk turned out. I didn't even have to strain it!

      Delete
  3. Thank you for enlightening me on this post, Denise.
    I really would love this in my cup of coffee right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure Mel :) Cashew milk is really delicious and it has a very appetising aroma. It was good in my coffee - very lemak and I also enjoyed a glass blended with ice. So refreshing now that it's getting warm again :P

      Delete
  4. Wowww... Looks absolutely perfect and awesome.. Love the pictures too.. First time here.. Happy to follow your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hari, welcome to my blog :) And thank you for your kind words. Appreciate the follow very much!

      Delete
  5. Brilliant! Absolutely effin' brilliant! You rock lady and thanks for such a gorgeous treat and have I told you just how incredible your pics are!!!!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Devaki - you are making me blush violently, but I love it LOL And I love you for it :)

      Delete
  6. I can taste it already. Have thought about it and other kinds of milk,like rice milk for instance,but never really thought to make it.
    Lovely post (so tell me something new !)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Usha, cashew milk is seriously delicious, even on its own - well, I actually love it lightly salted, with crushed ice, through a straw. Does that sound anything like drinking lassi? LOL Honestly, I can't imagine rice milk tasting this good, but I won't really know, till I try it, will I? I did not expect to enjoy making this, as it was prompted by curiosity more than anything else, but it was fun enough for me to think about making it again. My two tiny bottles are all gone now *sigh*

      Delete
    2. Hi Denise,
      I'll take your word for it and how delicious it must be. Never tasted it cashew milk myself but there cannot be an Indian alive who has not used cashew in their cooking,in some form or the other.
      Oh, thank you also for reminding me that I have a small bag of these and an assortment of other nuts lurking in the bottom most shelf of my fridge... They shall lurk no more once I get back to India.
      Rice milk does NOT taste as good, but it's kind to people who are lactose intolerant.

      Delete
  7. It never crossed my mind to do this. Great idea Denise. I might try it this weekend with almonds too(rather than lazily buying almond milk when I make riz au lait/creamy rice pudding & smoothies) but I think the flavour of cashews might fuse better in coffee as you suggested.
    Alamak Denise you & Biren give me so much added work in the weekends now. I've never cooked so much since I discovered both your blogs. Cannot tahan lah. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been toying with the idea for a while - I don't like the flavour of dairy milk, except in my coffee, and it really annoys me when my usual supermarket doesn't stock my favorite brand of sugar free soy milk. So when I received a nice big bag of cashews, my first thought was "MILK!!" It's much easier to make than soy milk which requires, soaking, cooking and straining and I can't believe how yummy it is! Pity cashews are so expensive, or I would it much more often!

      Delete
  8. oh wow!! what a great recipe!! hmm.. even here, cashew is expensive too compare with other kind of nuts. I remember, at my mom's home.. fry cashew just come once a year during Eid Fitri only.. :D *absolutely a good treat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fitri - Yes! I was just telling Jean above, how expensive cashews are. Or else I will make this every week for sure! It's really worth the effort - so delicious!!!

      Delete
  9. Olala...cashew nuts milk! Sounds simply amazing. Hats off to my super chef.
    Hope you're having a lovely evening.
    Good night((hugs))
    Kristy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This really has oolala flavor Kristy! I'm having a lovely and hectic week, thank you ;) And thanks for visiting a long absent friend *hugs*

      Delete

Please leave a name with your comment. I may not be able to respond to every comment but every recipe related question will be answered.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...