Cashew Milk RecipeOctober 31, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Homemade cashew milk is a valuable resource for anyone who’s interested in improving hydration, nutrient density and/or promoting weight gain. The first two objectives are fairly commonplace. Many people admit that they don’t drink enough water or eat enough whole foods. The issue of healthful weight gain isn’t as prevalent a concern. However, it does apply to a significant portion of the population for various reasons ranging from weight loss associated with disease states to eating disorders.
There are several non-dairy “milks” widely available in the marketplace. Cashew milk is not one of them. And, that’s a shame because cashews harbor important fatty acids (monounsaturated fat), nutrients (magnesium, potassium) and phytochemicals (anacardic acid, proanthocyanidins) which have been shown to support cardiovascular health, cognitive functioning and may provide protection against select cancers. Cashews are also among the mildest, sweetest tasting of all tree nuts.
I’ve developed a few variations of the recipe posted below. The original calls for adding two Medjool dates. In a previous column, I explained in detail why dates can be a valuable addition to many diets. In this case, they also contribute a source of concentrated calories and nutrition. For those on lower carbohydrate diets, consider using a liquid stevia extract instead – about 5 to 10 drops. The stevia version of this cashew milk contains approximately 130 fewer calories and 36 fewer grams of carbohydrates.
Homemade Cashew Milk
12 oz cold, purified water
1/3 cup raw, organic cashews
2 organic Medjool dates (pitted)
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/8 tsp organic cinnamon and nutmeg
a dash of NutraSalt brand sea salt
Nutritional Content: Calories: 315. Protein: 5 grams. Fat: 13 grams. Carbohydrates: 45 grams. Fiber: 5 grams.
Combine all of the ingredients in a high powdered blender. The cashews can be soaked overnight in order to soften them for easier blending. Alternate blending and pulsing until a milky, smooth consistency is reached. I personally used a potent “food extractor” known as a NutriBullet. It works very well in rendering solid ingredients, such as nuts and seeds, into liquids.
Note: I’m not a paid spokesman for the NutriBullet product. In fact, it was given to me as gift by my parents.
A few final notes about my version of homemade cashew milk: A small percentage of people are allergic to cashews and individual reactions can be quite serious, so avoid them if in doubt. Secondly, I did some blood sugar testing to determine my own reaction to the cashew milk with dates. I had only a minimal elevation in my glucose reading – about 5 mg/dL, 30 minutes post consumption. Why does this matter? Ideally, required weight gain should be accomplished without dramatic fluctuations in postprandial blood sugar. Major swings in blood glucose have been increasingly associated with poor health outcomes.
Click on the following links to learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column:
Study 1 - Hydro-Ethanolic Extract of Cashew Tree (Anacardium Occidentale) Nut … (link)
Study 2 - Cancer Chemoprevention and Nutri-Epigenetics: State of the Art … (link)
Study 3 - Tree Nut Consumption Improves Nutrient Intake and Diet Quality … (link)
Study 4 - Phytochemical Composition of Nuts (link)
Study 5 - Consumption of a High Monounsaturated Fat Diet Reduces Oxidative … (link)
Study 6 – Dietary Fat Types and 4-Year Cognitive Change in Community-Dwelling … (link)
Study 7 – Cashew Nut Allergy is Associated with a High Risk of Anaphylaxis … (link)
Study 8 - Higher Normal Fasting Plasma Glucose is Associated w/ Hippocampal … (link)
Study 9 – Chronic Hyperglycemia and Subclinical Myocardial Injury … (link)
Study 10 - Prospective Study on Metabolic Factors and Risk of Prostate Cancer … (link)
Monounsaturated Fats May Promote Beneficial Brain Activity
Source: Diabetes. 2012 Jul;61(7):1669-79. (link)
Tags: Cashews, Dates, Milk, Weight
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Recipes