Garbage Free: Making Cashew Milk

This is just a simple how to post. Nothing very inspired, but something I feel really strongly about sharing. It’s nothing more than how to make milk, how to have milk in your household, without any waste. Simple, but a big deal.

A few months ago I came into contact with a very inspiring family, the Devine family, who lives a garbage free lifestyle. I interviewed them here, and in hearing from them I was inspired to push myself further in minimizing my impact on the earth. I try my best, but I am nowhere near as effective as the Devines. However, I am happy to be finding ways to minimize each day and am constantly making small changes to move in their direction.

Then there is my friend Kylah, she’s a sixth generation farmer, living and working on a diverse organic farm and homestead that operates off-the-grid. She’s amazing. And, yes, I interviewed her too – find it here. Kylah is also a talented chef and health coach. She develops simple, wholesome, delicious, whole food recipes, that also minimize in waste. Recently, she posted to Instagram a photo and recipe for cashew milk. Tired of soaking and straining almonds to make milk (I’ve been there and given up too), she tried making milk from cashews and found there was no need to strain. Less labour and no food pulp wasted. It was genius! I tried her recipe as soon as I could and found it to be exceptionally easy and completely delicious. Best of all her recipe is vegan, plant-based, gluten free, waste free. I’ve adapted it slightly to make it fully raw, by substituting one date in place of maple syrup, and replacing vanilla extract with vanilla bean.

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Photo by Kylah Dobson

Not only was I excited that I could be self-sufficient and make my own healthy milk, it meant I could now provide our family with all the milk we needed in a garbage-free way!

Here’s how: I take my reusable produce bag (for example these) to the bulk store, fill it up with raw cashews, close it off with a rubber band or string. Soak the cashews in a mason jar, puree them with the remaining ingredients (water, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt) and then store the milk in the same mason jar. A closed loop without any wasteful packaging or food waste.

I’ve used the milk for oatmeal, tea, coffee, baked goods, vegetable purees (mashed potatoes), soups and a whole bunch of other ways with no issues (no unpleasant taste differences, and no need to adjust the amount of milk in the recipe).

Here’s Kylah’s recipe for “Creamy Cashew Milk” 

1 cup raw cashews
4 cups cold water
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional) or 1 date *my version
2 teaspoons liquid vanilla extract or vanilla powder (optional)
Pinch sea salt (optional)
Pinch cinnamon (optional) *I don’t include the cinnamon so that I can use the milk in savoury dishes

1. Soak cashews covered in water 4 hours or overnight in the fridge
2. Rinse the soaked cashews under running water until the water runs clear
3. Add cashews and 4 cups of cold water plus any of the optional ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on high for 1-2 mins until silky smooth

Makes about 5 cups and stores in the fridge for about 3-4 days. The milk may separate so just give it a quick shake before using. Add a little cacao powder and bit more sweetener for chocolate milk.

Thank you Kylah for letting me share your recipe here. Readers please visit Kylah’s blog and follow her on Instagram for healthy and inspired family meals. Thank you, as well, to the Devine Family for the inspiration to live more lightly upon the earth. Find them on Instagram or visit their website and shop Bee Eco Wraps.

If you have come up with a way to do something garbage free (or minimizing garbage) please share it here. We can all learn from it!

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