The Creamy, Nutritious Benefits of Cashew Milk

If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious dairy-free milk alternative, cashew milk deserves a spot on your shopping list. This vegan, nut-based milk has surged in popularity in recent years thanks to its rich, creamy texture and impressive nutrient profile. Let’s explore what makes cashew milk such a fantastic option.

What is Cashew Milk? Cashew milk is made by blending raw cashews with water and then straining out the solids, resulting in a smooth, creamy liquid. Some varieties are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Low in Calories but Packed with Nutrients One of the biggest benefits of cashew milk is that it’s low in calories but nutrient-dense. A single cup (240 ml) of unsweetened cashew milk contains only around 25-50 calories, depending on the brand.

Despite its low calorie count, cashew milk provides a good amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and important micronutrients like:

  • 2 grams of plant-based protein
  • 25% of the recommended daily intake of copper
  • 17% of the RDI for magnesium
  • 10% of the RDI for phosphorus
  • Rich in bone-building nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K and zinc when fortified

These vitamins and minerals support immunity, cardiovascular function, strong bones, and more. Cashew milk is also naturally cholesterol-free.

Suitable for Dietary Restrictions For those following a vegan diet or with lactose intolerance or milk allergies, cashew milk makes an ideal milk substitute. It’s naturally free of lactose and casein, and can be used in any recipe calling for milk.

Its neutral, slightly nutty flavor means it won’t overpower dishes like smoothies, soups, oatmeal, and baked goods. You can use cashew milk as a 1:1 replacement for dairy milk in most cases.

Promotes Heart Health The fats found in cashews are primarily monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil and avocados. Numerous studies have shown that consuming foods rich in “good” monounsaturated fats may help:

  • Increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve blood sugar control

The magnesium in cashew milk also promotes healthy blood pressure levels and may mitigate diabetes risk according to research.

Free of Major Allergens With the rise of food allergies, nut milks like cashew milk have become popular alternatives for those looking to avoid major allergens found in dairy milk and soy milk. Cashew milk is naturally:

  • Dairy-free
  • Lactose-free
  • Soy-free
  • Gluten-free

While cashews themselves are tree nuts, cashew allergies are relatively rare compared to peanut allergies. Of course, cashew milk should still be avoided by those with tree nut allergies.

Easy to Make at Home While there are many quality cashew milk brands available, you can also easily make fresh cashew milk right at home. Simply blend raw cashews with filtered water at a ratio of 1 cup cashews to 4 cups water, then strain through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

Homemade cashew milk is free of additives, preservatives, and gums, and allows you to control the consistency and flavors. Try adding a pitted date or two for sweetness, vanilla extract, or a pinch of cinnamon.

5 FAQs About Cashew Milk

  1. Is cashew milk good for you? Yes, cashew milk is generally considered a healthy, nutrient-dense milk alternative. It’s low in calories yet provides healthy fats, plant-based protein, and an array of essential vitamins and minerals. Fortified varieties are an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and other bone-building nutrients.
  2. Is cashew milk dairy-free? Yes, cashew milk is 100% dairy-free and vegan since it’s made solely from cashews and water. It does not contain any dairy, lactose, or animal products.
  3. How does cashew milk compare to almond milk nutritionally? Both cashew milk and almond milk are low in calories and high in healthy fats. However, cashew milk is higher in protein, fiber, copper, magnesium and phosphorus compared to almond milk. Almond milk is higher in calcium and vitamin E when fortified.
  4. How long does cashew milk last? Fresh, refrigerated cashew milk usually lasts 5-7 days when unopened. Once opened, consume within 4-5 days. Shelf-stable cashew milk lasts several months if kept sealed. Look for signs of spoilage before consuming.
  5. Is cashew milk low-carb? Yes, unsweetened cashew milk is very low in carbs, with only 1-2 grams of carbs per serving. This makes it a great option for low-carb and keto diets. However, sweetened and flavored varieties contain added sugars and carbs.

Overall, cashew milk is a fantastic plant-based milk to incorporate into your diet. Its creamy texture and neutral flavor allow it to be used in everything from smoothies to soups to baked goods. And thanks to its rich nutritional value, cashew milk can be an excellent part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

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