Whenever I crave something rich and creamy, yet healthy, the first natural ingredient I think
about is cashews.
Cashews are used to create amazing creamy raw milks, sauces, yogurts, desserts, soups, spreads,
dips and more.
Thought cashews were originally native to northeastern Brazil, the cashew tree is now widely
grown in tropical regions.
Nigeria and Vietnam, India, Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia are now major producers.
The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped drupe that grows at the end of the
The drupe develops first on the tree, and then the pedicel expands to become the cashew apple.
Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut.
Although a nut in the culinary sense, the nut of the cashew is actually a seed in the botanical sense
It is important to note that the shell of the cashew nut is toxic, which is why the shell is removed
before it is sold to consumers.
The cashew seed is surrounded by a double shell containing an allergenic phenolic resin,
anacardic acid, which is a potent skin irritant chemically related to the allergenic oil,
urushiol which is also a toxin found in the related poison ivy.
Soaking cashews for at least 6 hours in filtered water is important to get rid of any
Soaking also releases enzyme inhibitors and makes them easier to digest.
Soak your cashews for 2- 6 hours.
Drain and rinse the soaked cashews before using them.
Health & Nutritional Benefits
Cashews provide important health benefits.
As with other tree nuts, cashews are a good source of antioxidants.
Alkyl phenols, in particular, are abundant in cashews.
Cashews are also a source of dietary trace minerals copper, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.
Approximately 75% of the fat in cashews is unsaturated fatty acids, primarily oleic acid, which is the
same monounsaturated fat in olive oil.
The good news is that the fat found in cashews is heart-healthy and can help lower your risk of heart
disease and stroke.
One way to enjoy the nutritional benefits of cashews is to make your own raw cashew milk.
It’s such a versatile base for many other delights.
I like to use cashew milk as a delicious milk substitute in my green tea, coffee, smoothies,
cereals and blended soups.
Make this basic raw cashew milk recipe then get creative by adding other ingredients.
Basic Raw Cashew Milk
Servings: Makes about 1 quart cashew milk
1 cup raw, organic, unsalted cashews
4 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking cashews
6 whole pitted organic (soaked) dates
1/2 tsp organic vanilla
As noted above, soak raw cashews in a bowl of filtered cold water for at least 6 hours.
Drain and rinse well after soaking.
Combine soaked cashews and filtered water in a blender.
For a thinner texture, feel free to add more water a little at a time until the texture
seems right to you.
Blend until the cashews are pulverized and the milk is completely smooth.
Add soaked dates and vanilla.
Blend dates and vanilla with cashew liquid until it’s completely combined.
I prefer my cashew milk thick and creamy, however, if you wish to have a thinner milk,
strain your cashew milk through a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth or nut bag into a
storage container such as a mason jar.
Store your cashew milk in the refrigerator and chill thoroughly.
Cashew milk should keep for 3 – 4 days, if refrigerated.
Shake or stir your cashew milk before using to make sure it’s well blended.
Note: Don’t discard the creamy solids left after straining your cashew milk.
You can mix this cashew paste with other flavors, eat it like a pudding, use it as a parfait
filling or in raw cheesecakes.
Have you ever made your own cashew milk?
What are your favorite cashew milk ingredients?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.