Wednesday, July 03, 2013

DIY cashew-vanilla-agave milk

I adore browsing in the food market. My food-nerd idea of fun is spending a leisurely hour at any given grocery store, scoping out new items, reading labels and dreaming up what I could make with exotic, mystical ingredients. [I realize that some of you may think I need to get a life.]

A few days ago as I cruised by the juice aisle in Whole Foods, a small white container from the Blueprint Cleanse caught my eye. Cashew Cinnamon Vanilla Agave Juice? Yes, please!

I don't usually splurge for juices, but that flavor combination totally whetted my whistle, pardon the pun. That is, until I spied the price tag – nearly $12 for an 8 ounce bottle of juice. I'd have to be nuts to pay that much! [groan] Seriously, I almost choked. I put back the juice, and took a detour to the raw cashew bulk bin. Then I swiped my debit card and was on my merry way, determined to make a better, cheaper version.

There's a new nut milk in town: DIY cashew-vanilla-agave
I am in love with my resulting recipe for Cashew Vanilla Agave Milk: creamy, sweet, refreshing, raw and best of all, much more affordable than the storebought version. My recipe made a generous quart of nut milk for about $3. I skipped the cinnamon because I wanted to make an all-purpose nut milk, but you could add cinnamon to taste, or even some raw cacao powder for a chocolate version.

Ice pop made with the cashew milk. Check out the vanilla bean flecks.

After this cashew milk is chilled, it is addictively refreshing, especially after a long run in this crazy heat and humidity. Somehow, I managed enough self control to pour a few ice pops. The stippled vanilla beans looks so pretty contrasted against the creamy cashew. I also used some in a banana smoothie – divine! – and poured some over cereal. This is my new, go-to nut milk. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Enjoy your 4th. And please check out these tips to keep your pets safe during this loud, rollicking holiday.

Cashew-Vanilla-Agave Nut Milk

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 3-4 hours, then drained
  • About 2-3 cups pure water [depends on how thick you want your nut milk]
  • About 3 T raw agave nectar, or to taste
  • Scrapings from one vanilla bean [You can substitute about 1 tsp vanilla extract – but please try the vanilla bean version at least once!]
  • Pinch sea salt
Makes about 1 quart

Pour everything in a blender and process on high until completely smooth. Strain, if desired [I didn't] and decant into glass jars. Serve well chilled.

Store in refrigerator and drink within a few days.

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Veggie polyglotographer said...

Interesting! I never thought of a combination like that before. Now if my parents don't freak out (they don't want me to be vegan) I'll make this. :)

Johanna said...

Yeah, those cleansing bevies in the refrigerated section are insane. They've crossed over from being part of a mail-order cleansing routine I've seen people say they are doing. They cost more than eating out every day.

echowoman said...

I have seen the drink you are talking about at my whole foods and while it always sounds so good, I am stunned that it is that expensive! I made my own one time to experiment and it turned out really good...I am dying to try yours and make those Popsicles. They look delicious and perfect for this muggy weather.
And I am the same geek when it comes to food stores...whenever we have gone to another country, I swear my favorite pasttime is going to all their supermarkets and bringing home foreign cereals and jam!

Suzanne said...

I love making my own nut milk! Its so satisfying to make it yourself :)

Lizzie Bordello said...

This looks fantastic! I'm going to make some and use it in a strawberry shake!

Andrea said...

I can relate to the price tag shock. We were given samples of beet juice and cucumber juice at WF yesterday — both delicious and $7 for a small bottle. We walked over to the produce dept. and bought cucumbers instead. It's odd to think of cashews as juice — nut milk is a better name, and your recipe sounds perfect.

Speaking of nut milks, the 365 organic almond milk has disappeared and WF doesn't know when it will return. Do you make your own?

urban vegan said...

Andrea: You can follow the same steps to make almond milk. I'm not the world's biggest almond milk fan but I do mix it up now and then. I swear I recall seeing 365 almond milk in my WF yesterday--will have to check. Oddly, my WF has stopped stocking my favorite soy yogurt. Le sigh,

Terri Cole said...

I just made a batch of this and boy is it good! The only change I made was subbing brown rice syrup for agave. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

GlutenFreeHappyTummy said...

wow what a great and helpful post! sounds creamy and delicious!

Joey said...

The weather's boiling over here right now - and that ice lolly is looking so good right now!

Anonymous said...

I love my home-made nut milks myself too &your creation is a really good & tasty one. Here is my link, if you want to read it too:

Jessica Seamons said...

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Anonymous said...

this is probably a stupid question, but after you soak and drain the cashews, do you juice the cashews, or just use the "milk"? or both?

Alyssa De La Torre said...

When you say 3 T raw agave nectar. Is that tablespoons??