Hi. I’m an ex-eczema sufferer. If you’d asked me 14 months ago if I thought I would ever be free of eczema I would have scoffed at you. I’ve been plagued by eczema most of my adult life, mostly on the tops of my hands and in the crooks of my arms. Angry, bumpy skin, it’s embarrassing. If you suffer too you know what I’m talking about. Then everything changed.
About 14 months ago I was in the US with my boyfriend and I decided to try some almond milk. I thought “Hey, this isn’t half bad” and I decided once I was back home I was giving up dairy. I was REALLY into dairy, we’re talking pints and pints of milk. I loved it. But I gave it up almost overnight! My skin started to clear up almost instantly. It was magical. I gave up other forms of dairy not long after that and before the month was up I was a full blown vegan.
My adventure with plant based milks has been interesting. I’ve tried all the ones I can get my hands on. Oat, Soy, Almond, Rice, Hazelnut, Flaxseed and Coconut. The further I got into veganism and cooking the more I discovered. I could make my own milk! Out of nuts! Magic.
Here is my go-to recipe for vanilla nut milk. I almost always use cashews (sometimes half half with cashews and almonds) but feel free to experiment.
- 1 cup/170g whole unroasted cashew nuts
- 1 tablespoon agave/2-3 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 cups/473-709ml water
Plump little soaked cashews!
Frothy magical cashew milk.
Straining the nut milk.
Soak your cashews in water for at least 8 hours before starting to make your nut milk. Soaking nuts helps the body to digest them more easily and your blender has to do less work.
- Rinse your soaked cashews and discard the soaking water. They will have plumped up significantly and feel slightly squishy to the touch.
- Put the cashews in the blender with your choice of sweetener, salt and the vanilla bean paste. I have tried this recipe with vanilla extract but I’ve found the alcohol content in extract causes the milk to go rancid faster. However, if you’re in a pinch feel free to substitute extract for paste.
- Add your water. I like to add 3 cups of water. This results in a slightly thinner milk so if you like your milk very creamy use less
- Start your blender! If your blender is high powered it should be done in about a minute.
- Line a big bowl with your nut milk bag or cheese cloth. My nut milk bag is this one from Living Milk.
- Pour the milk into your nut milk bag and SQUEEEEEZE until all the liquid has passed through and you are left with weird lumpy nut stuff in your bag. You can use this lumpy nut stuff to make cookies or dehydrate it to use in cereal.
- Pour into your bottle and put in the fridge to chill.
Side notes: It is possible to make this milk in a food processor. I broke my previous blender in a freak accident. Think cashewy water pouring all over the counter top. Instead of dumping all of the water in, add it gradually but be careful of your liquid line on your food processor. The milk will not be as smooth but is totally drinkable!
Cashews and other nuts can be bought in 1kg bags on Amazon for cheaper than high street prices. Do your research!