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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Boy, do I have a treat for you today! I had a cup of cashews soaking in my refrigerator and didn't end up using them for what I was going to use them for. I was kind of stuck in a rut because I didn't know what to post this week on the blog. In those times of "writer's block", it really forces you to get creative! So, I decided to try to make a simple nut milk with cashews, dates, vanilla, & cinnamon because it was something different than what I usually make/post. Homemade almond milk is great as well but I had to use these cashews up, and I am ever so glad that I did! After I whipped up the vanilla cashew milk in my Vitamix, a brilliant idea came to me. I looked in my refrigerator to see what other produce I needed to use up before departing for Los Angeles tomorrow, and there they were... perfectly ripe... sparkling... begging to be used... strawberries! Vanilla cashew milk is lovely and all, but strawberry vanilla cashew milk is other worldly! 

In addition to the tastiness of this recipe, it also could not be easier. It took under 5 minutes to make and it tastes like heaven! If you'd prefer to keep it simple, feel free to leave out the strawberries. The vanilla cashew milk is wonderful as well. You must try the strawberry version at least once though. Promise me you will! Add it to your buckwheat & fruit cereal or chocolate chia oatmeal (to make chocolate strawberry oatmeal omg yum!), dip cookies into it, enjoy it solo. So, moral of the story... when life gives you strawberries, make strawberry vanilla cashew milk!

I think we need to launch a campaign of pink vegan nut milk mustaches and phase out the unnecessary, disease-causing, acidic dairy milk. Who's with me?! :-D 

Above: Vanilla Cashew Milk

Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk
YIELD: Approx. 5 & 1/4 cups

• 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours or overnight
• 3 cups filtered water
• 2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries, halved & hulled
• 8 medjool dates, pitted
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, cut & scraped
• A pinch of fine sea salt

1. In a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix or BlendTec), blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Add more pitted dates if you prefer it sweeter. If fresh strawberries were used instead of frozen, let the nut milk chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving for the best flavor. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

"Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn't motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn't enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now, then when?" Jonathan Safran Foer


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