Monday, 30 September 2013

Creamy Cashew Milk Hot Chocolate

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!

Cashew Milk
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

  1. Soak cashews for at least 5 hours to soften up
  2. 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)
  3. Add in all other ingredients and process until smooth and creamy!
  4. Strain out any crunchy bits (I left mine in)

Hot Chocolate
makes 2 servings

2 cups cashew milk
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cacao powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon 

  1. Heat cashew milk and all ingredients on stove over medium heat, beating with a whisk until smooth and hot
  2. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy! 

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