DIY Cashew Milk

I've been in the non-dairy camp for a little while now and I'm a big advocate for making the shift to dairy alternatives like almond, flax or soy milk. Nut milks are my favourite and there are so many brands to choose from at my local Whole Foods, but I still cringe a little bit every time I buy a carton, knowing that they contain preservatives and a handful of ingredients that I can't pronounce.

I've been wanting to make my own nut milk for a while but found myself intimidated by the seemingly overwhelming process. But, for whatever reason, I decided that yesterday was the day, so I bought a big bag of cashews, ready to take on this arduous task. After soaking the nuts, I rolled up my sleeves, only to roll them back down five minutes later, delighted with my pitcher-full of creamy, delicious milk. Seriously, folks. Five minutes! Here's how, thanks to a great recipe from Cookie + Kate.

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews
4 cups water (divided)
1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
dash of sea salt
pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

Soak cashews in water for at least four hours in the fridge. Drain the cashews and rinse until the water runs clear. Blend cashews with two cups of water until completely pulverized. Add the remaining 2 cups of water and the rest of the ingredients and blend.

If your blender doesn't break down the cashews completely (although I have a very average blender and it worked perfectly), strain the milk through a small mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Store in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days.