Ready in: Under 15 Mins
Milk made from cashews has an almost neutral flavour, which means it is ideal if you want to blend it with other flavourings or use it in cooking without adding a distinctly nutty flavour. Because cashews are a relatively ‘soft’ nut, they require only a short soaking time, but if it's more convenient, you can leave them to soak overnight. Recipe extracted from The Vegan Dairy by Catherine Atkinson (Lorenz Books, £15)
Ingredients:175g raw unsalted cashew nuts
750ml filtered water, plus soaking water
pinch of sea salt (optional)
- Put the cashew nuts in a large glass, ceramic or stainless-steel bowl. Pour over enough water to cover by about 2.5cm. Add a small pinch of sea salt as well if you like – this will help to soften the nuts, but isn’t essential. Leave to soak at room temperature for 3–6 hours.
- After soaking, strain the cashew nuts, then rinse them and tip them into a blender with a capacity of at least 1.5 litres. Add about one-third of the filtered water (250ml) to the blender. Pulse a few times to break up the nuts, then blend continuously for about one minute. Add a further 250ml water and blend for a further minute, until the mixture is well-blended and smooth. A high-powered blender such as a Vitamix is preferable to finely pulverize the nuts. If you are using a less powerful machine, you will need to blend the mixture for 1–2 minutes more.
- Next, strain the liquid to give it a silkier texture and remove any fine pieces of nuts, pouring the mixture through a very fine-meshed sieve or strainer into a large bowl. For an even smoother end result, line the sieve first with a layer of muslin or cheesecloth, or use a nut bag, then pour in the mixture and leave it to filter for a few minutes, gently stirring the pulp to encourage the liquid to pass through.
- To extract a little more nut milk, pour in the remaining water and leave to drain again. When the milk has filtered through, gather up the corners of the muslin or nut bag and squeeze out the last few drops.
- Serve chilled, or pour into a glass bottle, cover and store in the fridge.
COOK's TIP: Filtered water is best, as filtering removes impurities that may spoil the flavour of the milk, though you can use bottled or tap water. The milk will keep in the fridge for up to four days.