Making your own nut milk is easy, nutritious, and fun! Get the recipe for this creamy, cinnamon vanilla cashew milk to add to oats, smoothies, cereal, or as a nice, cold glass.
BY: EMILY HOLDORF, RDN
Nut milks can be a great addition to the diet, regardless of if you can or can’t tolerate regular milk. Almond milk is the most popular, but there are also other variations such as cashew, pecan, pistachio, & more!
Before you completely convert over to nut milks, keep the following in mind:
Store-bought almond milk is not high in protein.
There’s a misconception that because almond milk is made with almonds (which are a great source of protein when eaten whole), that it’s also a good source of protein. When almonds are blended into milk, the liquid is typically strained to remove the grit, which contains the protein.
Many store-bought brands of almond milk contain very little almond and are made up of a lot of water. A glass of almond milk has a negligible 1 gram of protein, compared to 8 grams in cow’s milk. One solution to this is to make your own almond milk (or other nut milk) at home, which we’ll get to in a minute!
Nut milks aren’t always super healthy choices.
While trendy, some nut milk labels require more attention. Not only do we have to look at protein content, but we also have to pay attention to the amount of added sugar. Many nut milks in the grocery store are sweetened and have artificial flavorings added to them to make them taste better. When purchasing any nut milk make sure to buy the unsweetened versions and try to look for brands that don’t contain any artificial flavorings or preservatives.
We don’t all need to switch to plant-based milks.
People who can tolerate regular dairy to should not completely switch over to plant based milks, because they are not as nutritious as cow’s milk. However, nut milks and other plant based milks, like soy and hemp, are great alternatives and additions to add variety to your diet. They have unique, interesting flavors and can be a nice occasional substitute for regular milk. For people who do have to avoid dairy, just make sure you are getting enough protein from other foods in your diet, and pay close attention to added sugar content.
Making your own nut milk at home is super easy, and takes just a few simple ingredients. If you have a blender, you can easily make your own nut milks! This way, you can add your own flavorings and natural sweetness to make sure the nut-to-water ratio is better than your store-bought options.
If you plan to use the nut milk for smoothies or overnight oats, there is no need to strain it! Keep all that precious protein and fiber in there.
Dates are also a great way to add a little hint of sweetness, as well as cinnamon and vanilla extract to really take your nut milk to the next level!
Check out this recipe for Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk:
(Makes ~3 ½ cups of cashew milk)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3 cups of water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cinnamon to taste
- Pinch of salt
- Soak cashews for 2 to 3 hours. Drain & rinse.
- Combine water & cashews in high-powered blender & blend on high for about 2 minutes.
- Add in vanilla, cinnamon, & salt & blend to combine.
- Pour into an airtight container & refrigerate immediately.
*Note: Cashew milk doesn’t need to be strained. Keeps for 1 week in the refrigerator.
Head on over for a delicious chocolate almond milk recipe!
Emily Holdorf, RDN is a Scranton, PA-based private practice dietitian on a mission to empower others to live a healthier, happier life. By emphasizing a non-diet approach to eating, Emily helps individuals form a better relationship with food by focusing on why there’s room for every food in moderation. Find out more about about Emily at EmPowered Nutrition.