When we stopped drinking cow’s milk many years ago, we tried a variety of plant milks to find ones that would be good substitutes. The thing about plant milks is that they are substitutes. None of them taste like cow’s milk and that’s a good thing. Once you stop drinking cow’s milk, you realize how gamey and gross it tastes. You are literally drinking the secretions of another mammal. Eww.
We have found that we prefer a variety of plant milks for different purposes. For example, we like almond milk in cereal. I like soy milk in coffee. My husband likes a mix of cashew milk and soy milk in coffee.
I find cashew milk works almost identically to cow’s milk in baking and is my go-to substitute. It has a neutral taste and is works well in everything from yeast breads, quick breads and pancakes.
Silk brand unsweetened cashew milk is our favorite. At 25 calories per cup, it’s even lower in calories than almond milk. However, we can’t always find it in stores. Thankfully, it’s really easy to make in a high speed blender; no soaking or straining is required. No need for a nut milk bag!
To make a thick and creamy, low-calorie cashew milk a thickener helps. Most commercial plant milks use them. I find guar gum works well. Guar gum is often used in gluten-free baking, so it’s relatively easy to find. I like the Bob’s Red Mill version.
What You Will Need
- A high speed blender. (I have a Vitamix. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, soak your cashews overnight to soften them.)
- Raw cashews (unroasted and unsalted is fine)
- Guar gum
- Filtered water
- Pinch of salt
- Vanilla and or maple syrup (This is optional. I don’t usually add it so it’s more flexible in how I use it. If you’re drinking it, vanilla is a nice addition. A bit of maple syrup also tastes great if you’re drinking it.)