Cashew milk and a spicy hot chocolate recipe

Nut milks, or as they're called 'mylks' can be a great dairy substitute for those of us unable to digest lactose. While I drink cows milk almost daily, and think it is a great option nutritionally, I also like to mix it up with nut milks every now and again, and love to use them if I make a smoothie or a hot chocolate. My favourite nut milk to make is cashew milk. It's richer and creamier than almond milk, and a lot easier to prepare as you don't have to strain the pulp out at the end.  

Soaking the nuts before you blend them into milk will lead to a creamier consistency, and that's a fact! This processing technique is also touted to make the nuts easier to digest and the nutrients more bioavailable, which just means that more of the nutrients are able to be utilized and stored by the body. While soaking nuts may make them easier to digest, and the nutrients more bioavailable -by breaking down the phytates (an inhibitor of iron and zinc absorption) contained in nuts (also in seeds, grains and legumes). These claims for nuts are currently unsubstantiated, so I can't point to evidence for this one, but if you have the time I think it's worth it, if for nothing else than a more delicious and creamy end product. 

What you need: 

1 cup of raw cashews

4 cups of water

pinch of salt, and cinnamon

1-2 dates if you're not sweet enough already 

What you do: 

Soak the nuts for 12 hours, then drain the water. Add the nuts, fresh water, salt, cinnamon and dates (if using them) to a blender and blend on high until you reach a creamy texture. 

It's that easy, and so much cheaper than buying it from your local gourmet juice bar. 

Healthy hot chocolate  


Because, who doesn't love a delicious and nutritious hot chocolate in Winter?! 

What you need: 

Heaped teaspoon of cacao powder

small teaspoon of honey

sprinkle of cinnamon

Hot water 

1 cup cashew milk (depending on the size of your mug!) 

A pinch of cayenne pepper, to spice up your Winter evening. You can omit this if you're sufficiently spicy already. 

What you do:  

Dissolve the cacao powder, honey, cinnamon (and cayenne pepper if you're game) in a quarter of a cup of hot water. Mix with a spoon to ensure there are no lumps. Add cashew milk, and warm up in the microwave or on the stove. 

Enjoy your healthy hot choc!