Cashews, the cows of the vegan world, yield delicious milk and cream. Raw cashew milk is rich and buttery, and most closely resembles the look and texture of dairy milk. By blending cashews and water, you can make a milk that's incredibly smooth, and doesn't need straining.
Cashew milk is delicious in smoothies, creamy cocktails, desserts, soups, and stews. I use raw cashews to replicate the buttery pastry flavor of pie crust in dessert smoothies: apple pie smoothie, pecan pie smoothie, sweet potato pie smoothie, banana coconut cream pie smoothie, lemon cheesecake smoothie, and tastes-like-ice-cream kale shake.
When making cashew milk, purchase fresh raw cashews from a supplier with a high turnover. Like all nuts, the high fat content makes them susceptible to rancidity. Store your cashews them in an airtight glass container in the fridge. They should keep fresh like this for about 4 months.
Most "raw cashews" are not truly raw. They're just “not roasted”, and have been steamed out of their shells. "Truly Raw" cashews are harvested without heating, and are, instead, split open and out of their shell by hand, leaving the cashew nut raw. The bud is left in tact, and can sprout and grow. These truly raw cashews are amazing. They're a little bit sweeter and contain more nutrients. But, they're extremely expensive, making them cost prohibitive for most of us on an average grocery budget. Regular cashews are expensive enough. So, for everyday purposes, I'm calling all regular "raw" cashews raw. But, I thought I'd share some nutty knowledge.
Cashews are a good source of protein, vitamins B and E, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, and calcium to support heathy bones, teeth, and muscles. Cashews have a lower fat content per serving than peanuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans, and their monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol for heart health. These nifty nuts also have a high energy density to combat fatigue.
Having said all of this, I use cashews sparingly to make treats. I don't consume them on a daily or even weekly basis as they contain over 25 different strains of fungi, which means they can be high in bacteria, yeast, fungus and mold, which can produce mycotoxins in the body.
But, I do love cashew milk as a treat.