Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vegan Ensure

I used to drink an Ensure everyday. Its really handy if I cant get enough food in me but it is very, very far from being vegan. And because I haven't had dairy in so long, my body just physically cannot handle it.

That's where this creation comes into place. Ive heard some ideas before about nut milks before but I don't have a Vitamix, a food processor, or a soy-milk maker. I figured it was impossible. But I needed something. So I soaked the nuts and said "what the heck" and used my blender.

To my surprise, it worked pretty well! And it tasted AMAZING. I was a bit skeptical but I am now a believer.

VEGAN ENSURE aka Cashew Milk
(one serving)

1oz. cashews (unsalted, preferably raw)
1c. water
pinch of salt
sweetener to taste

Take your cashews and soak them in 1 cup of water. (You can speed up the soaking by boiling them for five minutes and then letting them sit a few hours. Otherwise, they should soak overnight.)
Then when there done soaking, pop em in a blender, Vitamix* or food processor with a bit of salt (or not) and sweetner of choice (I use stevia powder, Splenda will kill you haha) and let it go until its as smooth as it can get. (This can take a while.)
Once thats done, strain them through a double layer of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. You should let it sit then, again, so all the liquid drains into your container of choice.
Chill or heat up and YUM.

For a October inspired variation add back to the blender after straining and add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to taste. Now you have Pumpkin Pie Cashew Milk!

*You can skip the straining if youre lucky enough to be in possession of a Vitamix.

An ounce of cashews has about 160 calories. After you strain it theres some of the cashew pulp left over so the total caloric value of the milk will be somewhat less for a glass. If you need the caloric value to be increased and dont want to drink 5 glasses, just add an extra ounce or two of nuts to the same amount of water. You could also add maple syrup or agave nectar to sweeten it. Just remember this is NOT a complete nutrition drink. This should in no way be your sole source of nutrition, just a help to get extra calories throughout the day.

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