One of my past challenges of giving up dairy was finding the best milk for me. I used to drink glasses of milk all the time, especially with cookies. When I turned vegan, I just found soy milk too strange as a taste, and avoided cereal in general for quite a while. Then, as veganism became more popular, major brands like Alpro introduced hazelnut milks and almond milks. I was addicted to Rice Dream’s almond and hazelnut flavour for ages–it tastes so good! But it’s so expensive! So I had to give it up again. My latest favourite non-dairy milk is Oatly: it’s the best oat milk I’ve ever had, and it’s just as neutral as cow’s milk. But as I’ve said before, I’m currently budgeting, and at £1.40 a carton, Oatly can no longer be a regular feature of my shopping basket.
So, I’m making milk now. At first, I tried oat milk, but that was too slimy! It’s a shame really, because oats are so cheap to buy, but my husband and I tried twice already and both times it tasted like we had added a couple okra into the mix. Then we went for almond milk, which was pretty great. A bit of a lengthy process, especially as we chose to peel the almonds after soaking them, but it was a positive step. We’ve now settled on cashew milk. It’s creamy, smooth and we didn’t lose as much pulp in the cheesecloth as we did with the almond milk. Not saying we won’t do almond milk again, but for now we’re both in love with this! Lidl sells a 200g bag of cashews for £1.74, which is a bargain.
Just a few things to note: because there’s no emulsifiers the milk will separate after a while. Remember to give it a shake before use 😉 . I go through milk quite quickly, and my fridge is also super cold so it should stay fresh for four days or more. This is something you will want to monitor for yourself.
Cashew Milk (1.5 litres)
Prep time: one night (for the cashews to soak)
cooking time: 5mins
2 cups cashews
2 pitted dates
1.5 litres filtered/spring water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Firstly, soak cashews in filtered water over night in a bowl
- Transfer cashews to a blender and add all the water, dates, vanilla and salt
- Blend for 3 minutes. Start on a lower speed first, and then gradually speed it up
- Cover a bowl with some cheesecloth and pour the blended mixture over it. The cheesecloth with catch any cashew residue. You will need to squeeze the cheesecloth after pouring to ensure you get as much liquid as possible (note: this part can be really fiddly! To prevent spillage, pour a little at a time if you want to)
- Pour your cashew milk into any container, jar or bottle (glass is probably the best) and keep in the fridge.