Anyone who's ever reluctantly gone dairy-free knows all too well the lackluster options that populate the "milk" aisle.
Almond milk is nice enough, but lacks the viscosity to be a truly worthy companion to our coffee or Nana Joe's granola. Coconut milk? Lovely in theory. Soy? Blech.
But cashew milk? Cashew milk is a marvelous milky treat, and if you've ever been served at glass at Meadowood in St. Helena, you too may have kissed cow milk and its many imitators goodbye forever. Meadowood's cashew milk is rich and creamy, with hints of sweetness and spice, and a nutty texture that lends it a mouthfeel that easily takes the place of full-fat dairy. It stands up to our morning espresso, granola, and fresh fruit, and is a delish treat on its own. Enjoy!
Meadowood Napa Valley's Cashew Milk
By Chef Victoria Acosta, The Grill at Meadowood
(Makes approximately 32 ounces)
6 cups of raw cashews
4-6 cups of water
4-6 each Medjool dates, pitted
1 each vanilla bean, scarped
1T ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Cover the cashews in water and soak for 6-8 hours in the refrigerator.
2. Strain out the water and place cashews in a blender along with the dates, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt.
3. Add a cup of fresh water at a time, blending the ingrediants and adding more water until smooth and desired consistency is reached.
4. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and refrigerate.
1. Keep in an air tight container for 2-3 days.
Editor's Note: After the milk is strained through the sieve, don't throw out that custardy goodness left behind. Scoop it into a ramekin, toss in some berries, and eat it like pudding for a sweet reward!