When my naturopath told me almonds were a no-go, I didn't know what to think. Almonds are/were a huge staple in my diet. I eat them by the handful, plain or stuffed in olives (I confess I finished off a whole jar of almond stuffed olives the day I found out I was intolerant), I inhale almond butter by the spoonful and use it in a ton of baking, and I use almond milk for all my dairy replacement needs.
Since then, I have been using a little more dairy than normal as a stop-gap measure. Unfortunately, my naturopath said that dairy in the amounts I was already eating (i.e. minimal) was fine, not that I could go crazy adding in a ton more.
Luckily for me, there are a ton of other non-dairy options. I'm not a huge fan of coconut milk (from the carton that is...I love the stuff from the can for cooking), or soy milk, but there are many home-made options that I have yet to try, such as oat milk, hazelnut milk, and cashew milk (expect to see me experiment with these over the coming months).
Today I was in the mood for hot chocolate, so I decided to begin with a cashew milk (based on this recipe by Cookie and Kate), allegedly the easiest of the bunch as no straining is required. Unfortunately, making home-made non-dairy milks requires soaking, so I had to wait a full 5 hours to satisfy my cravings!
Definitely worth it! Cashew milk is creamy, and super simple to make. I decided to go plain with my first attempt, but this would be awesome with the addition of a hint of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, or all of the above. I did not strain mine as I enjoy a bit of crunch, but you could easily do so (I suspect that if I had the patience or forethought to let my cashews soak overnight my problem would disappear).
I've never been a huge milk drinker, but in hot chocolate this is just divine!
Makes ~5 cups
1 cup raw cashew nuts
water for soaking
4 cups water (adjust water amount if you want more or less creamy)
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
- Soak cashews for at least 5 hours to soften up
- Strain, rinse and add to food processor (or blender, but I killed my parent's blender with an attempt to blend unsoaked dates and have not yet replaced it)
- Add in all other ingredients and process until smooth and creamy!
- Strain out any crunchy bits (I left mine in)
makes 2 servings
2 cups cashew milk
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cacao powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Heat cashew milk and all ingredients on stove over medium heat, beating with a whisk until smooth and hot
- Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy!