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Maybe you’re starting the vegan lifestyle and would like to find dairy-free milk. Maybe dairy products are unhealthy and you would like to find a substitute.
Or maybe you just like to try one of those creamy hazelnut milks that are all over the internet.
Regardless of your answer to the question of why you started using cashew milk, other questions remain.
What Does Cashew Milk Really Look Like?
How do you prepare it?
Can you froth cashew milk, and if so, how?
Cashew milk vs almond milk
It goes without saying that cashew milk is obtained from cashew nuts. However, it is far from the only nut milk, as almond milk is just as popular, if not more so.
That said, unless you’re a nut milk expert, you might not always be able to tell which one you’re getting. Commercial nut milks are even common different nut extracts mixed together.
Still, for discerning dairy-free enthusiasts, there are several ways to distinguish cashew milk from other hazelnut competitors.
For starters, cashew milk is generally sweeter than almond milk, which tends to have a heartier flavor.
On the other hand, unlike almond milk, you don’t need to strain the cashew milk.
Almond milk tends to have a creamy texture and a nutty flavor. It’s also slightly higher in sodium than its cow-produced competitor, with a cup of unsweetened almond milk containing 160 mg compared to 125 mg in cow’s milk.
It is often very thin, just like cashew milk, which is why both usually receive thickeners in the production process. Cashew milk is not only sweeter, but also often healthier than almond milk.
Almond and cashew milk are sometimes given a vitamin D supplement as well as other supplemental nutrients from corporate vendors, so you’ll want to check the label to see exactly what’s in the carton of cashew milk you’re considering buying.
There are many reasons why people are increasingly interested in nutty milks such as cashew milk, the main one being its potential as a healthy alternative to milk.
For example, a 2015 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology compared saturated and unsaturated fats, showing the importance of replacing the former with the latter in reducing the risk of heart disease. Cashew milk is rich in nutrients and unsaturated fats, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a more comforting morning drink.
Cashew nuts also contain a lot lutein and zeaxanthinthese are antioxidants that can help improve your eye health.
Although vitamin K deficiencies are rare, they can be more common in people with inflammatory bowel diseasemaking cashew milk a potentially beneficial addition to their diet.
A 2010 study in Molecular nutrition and nutritional research found that cashews are high in anacardic acid, which has shown promise for regulating blood sugar.
Anacardic acid may also help fight cancer by fighting against free radicals. They are unstable molecules that, when activated, can stimulate cell growth.
A 2010 study published in Molecular Cancer Therapies found that anacardic acid could stop the spread of breast cancer cells.
Cashews also contain a ton of copper, and while that may sound unattractive, it’s great news for your skin. Copper plays a huge role in getting the nutrients your skin needs. Vitamin C is also good for your skin, and when combined with cashew milk, it can help your body absorb iron better.
These health benefits are just the tip of the iceberg, as research into the effects of cashew milk is ongoing and new benefits are constantly being discovered.
When it comes to healthy alternatives to cow’s milk, it’s hard to beat cashew milk.
Make cashew milk
An easy way to avoid these problems is to simply make your own cashew milk.
To do this, you want:
- Soak the cashews. This can be done by placing them in water and allowing them to soak slowly for several hours (this will take about an entire night) or by soaking them in hot water for half an hour before using them.
- Drain and rinse your cashews.
- Place them in a blender with three to four cups of water and blend everything together.
- Again, straining cashew milk is not as necessary as making almond milk. If you choose to strain it, use a cheesecloth, towel or similar.
- Avoid using salted cashews. Find and use roasted cashews if possible.
- If you’re in the mood for additional flavor or ingredients, vanilla extract and cocoa powder are popular additions.
Cashew milk and coffee
When heated and foaming, cashew milk tends to produce large bubbles which, as some baristas were quick to point outcan be problematic when trying to use them with tea or coffee.
Cashew milk can stretch well when steamed. This, combined with the larger bubbles, can give your milk a much less dense and therefore less satisfying soapy texture than cow’s milk.
Whether you can overcome this is a complex question.
On the one hand, there are obvious downsides to frothing milk for coffee. As mentioned above, milk can become quite runny and plagued with large bubbles, which can ruin the texture of your coffee.
Also, although cashew milk can be foamed, this causes it to separate quickly, which in turn can spoil the viscosity. Not only does this mean it’s not ideal for latte art, but it also makes your coffee look unattractive.
Also, although cashew milk is sweeter than almond milk, it can be a strange aftertaste when preparing froth for coffee.
That said, there are those who still believe that cashew milk can work when frothed and added to coffee. It takes a lot of extra work, but it’s possible to save your cashew milk froth plans.
A recipe frothing and serving high quality cashew milk requires:
- Soak and drain the cashews.
- Put everything in a high-speed blender for a few minutes until the solution is nice and frothy.
- Heat 1.5 cups of cashew milk in a saucepan over high heat.
- Remove the mixture from the pan before adding the vanilla extract.
- Mix again on the highest setting with any additives you wish to add.
As is often the case in life, there is a clear distinction between what you can and must do.
Can you froth cashew milk?
Yes, it is technically possible to do so. Recipes like the one above can help you find ways to address the natural weaknesses of cashew milk and add it to your coffee.
That said, should you worry about it in the first place? That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself, but it’s fair to say that frothing cashew milk while trying to overcome the thinness, bubbles, foamy aftertaste and other issues may be more difficult than it’s worth.
I have a bachelor’s degree in film/video/media studies and an associate’s degree in communications. I started producing music videos and recordings almost 15 years ago. I’m a guitarist and bassist in southwest Michigan and have been in several different bands since 2009. In 2012 I also started making custom guitars and basses in my home workshop. When I’m home, I enjoy spending time with my three pets (a dog, a cat, and a snake) and gardening in my backyard.
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