3 Surprising Ways You Can Substitute Cashews For Dairy

Cutting out dairy can be one of the hardest modifications to make to your diet. Whether you're struggling with lactose intolerance or considering veganism, giving up cheese, milk, and ice cream can be rough. But what if you didn't have to give them up? There are all kinds of dairy substitutes out there, and one healthy substitute is cashews. Take a look at some surprising ways you can replace your favorite dairy products with raw cashews.

Cashew Milk

The flavor of cashews is mild and slightly sweet, which makes them a good flavor substitute for milk. Unlike other nuts used to make milks, such as almonds, cashews really don't have a nutty flavor. That may be because a cashew is technically a seed, not a nut. If you're not usually a fan of nuts, you may like cashew milk better than other nut milks. Cashews are also generally very creamy when they're ground up. They're also low in calories and fat, so they make a great milk for dieters.

You can make cashew milk at home yourself. All you need to do is soak your raw cashews in water for at least four hours. Then drain and wash them, and blend them with water. Add vanilla, sea salt, and a natural sweetener, like agave, maple syrup, or honey, and a pinch of cinnamon to your cashew and water mix and blend until smooth for a sweet and creamy milk.

Cashew Cheese

Cheese is an important ingredient in many recipes, and you can't deny that it tastes good. But if you're giving up dairy, cheese has to go too. Fortunately, it's easier than you think to make homemade cheese from cashews. The smooth and creamy consistency of ground cashews lends itself easily to spreadable cheeses and cream cheese substitutes, but you can also make firm, sliceable cheeses in a variety of different flavors.

For example, you can make vegan pepper jack cheese at home with raw cashews, pectin, lemon juice, and yeast, flavored with sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes. Use a cupcake tin to make your own mini-rounds of the cheese. You can store them for about a week in the fridge, or freeze them if you have extras. This is the perfect cheese to complement vegan quesadillas or burritos.

Cashew Ice Cream

Giving up dairy is no reason to give up the occasional frosty sweet treat. If you can make cashew milk, it's easy enough to make cashew ice cream for those days when you need to cool off with an icy snack. Ground cashews make a great thickener for liquids, so you can either mix up a thicker-than-average batch of cashew milk, or add some ground cashews to cashew milk that you already have made to make a thick cream. Put it into the blender with some frozen berries and a dash of vanilla for a fruit-flavored ice cream.

Giving up dairy doesn't have to mean giving up the flavors that you like. Raw cashews can go a long way toward making your transition away from dairy less difficult. Go to websites online where you can buy raw cashews to get started.