View Full Version : Raw Nut Milk
Ok, somewhere I have a nutmilk bag to use for this. I'll have to find it. I went to the store and bought a bag of raw cashews. Around 3/4 lb of them. If I wanted to make 1/4 gallon at a time, how much of the cashews should we use? How long should I soak them and how much water do I add?
11-10-2009, 02:03 PM
For nut milk, a good ratio is 2 cups nuts to 5 cups water. However, for the future, you might want to know that *don't want to start a raw controversy here, but this is true* cashews should be avoided. Almonds are best, though lots of other nuts make good milk.
Why should cashews be avoided? It was suggested by someone to use cashews especially since I can get them cheaper raw. Raw almonds cost me $8/lb and if I want them organic its nearly $10/lb. Raw cashews only cost me a little under $6/lb. I usually pay around $6 for a gallon of soy milk from the grocery store. Since I want to try and switch over to raw milks, and I'm on a budget, cashews seemed like a good idea.
11-10-2009, 02:59 PM
Good questions, Soka. It really depends on what you’re looking for. Are you wanting to have a truly raw milk or are you looking for a cheaper alternative to the soymilk you’re currently buying?
If you’re looking for truly raw, you should know that almonds you buy from a store are not really raw even though they now can be labeled as raw. (The exception is almonds from Europe.) Undoubtedly there are tons of threads in the archive here that deals with this controversy when the law was enacted a few years ago. To be clear: the package can say raw but the almonds are not raw. And, almost all cashews are not really raw even though they also are labeled as raw. Most assuredly, if you’re finding a cheap price on cashews, they are not raw. Really raw cashews (if there is such a thing and I’m very skeptical for good reasons) are very expensive. I’ll put some basic cashew information below for you in case you’re interested. So, I know that may be discouraging but the incredible health benefits of truly raw almonds or other truly raw nuts are so positive (and so much better than dubious soy products), that it may be worth it to look at what you’re gaining in the long run even if it may be a bit more expensive at the moment.
On the other hand, if your main goal is to get away from soy (which I congratulate you on), using a non-raw nut is better, I think, than continuing with the processed soymilk. Some may argue with me, and, as I’m a dyed-in-the-wool 100% long-time raw fooder, others may be surprised at me saying this, but each step we take is a step forward. If what works for you now is to begin substituting at this level, great!
Why don’t you make the milk and see how much you get from your pound? That’ll help you compare it to what you’re using now. Be aware that the two nuts (all nuts, of course) have very different flavors. Cashews are often used for creams because of their high-fat contact and sweetness. Almonds are sweet in a different way but the taste is a little cleaner and crisper. Hard to describe!
Whatever you do, have fun milking that bag! And maybe playing with flavors ... enjoy!
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Personal note: During my stay at Hippocrates Health Institute, I learned that cashews (and peanuts, of course) are both toxic and should be avoided. We all know about peanuts, I think, but, since cashews are ubiquitous in gourmet raw recipes, the cashew info was new. Well, actually, I knew already that it’s highly unlikely that any cashews are really raw because of how they’re processed, but I didn’t realize about the toxicity. Since I am currently eating for optimal health rather than for entertainment, it’s not really a problem for me to have eliminated them. Anyway …
Here’s the cashew info:
The cashew tree produces and fruit and a “nut" -- see picture below. Technically, the actual nut is the thick-shelled seed. The outer shell (coat) of the seed contains the poison oak allergen urushiol, and may cause dermatitis in hypersensitive people.
There is a toxic resin inside the shell layer. If the shell is not opened properly, the resin will get on the cashew nut, making it inedible. Most companies steam the shell open at a high temperature, thus cooking the cashew nut inside. A certain nut producer in Indonesia uses a special technique with specially-designed tools (without using any heat at all) to open the shell cleanly every time without ever exposing the cashew nut to the resin. The raw cashews are much sweeter, tastier, and nutritious than their cooked counterparts.
Also, these bits explain simply why there aren’t really raw cashews:
So I'm not sure why everyone keeps telling me to avoid soy. I love my soy milk. I drink a ton of it every week. (I go through about a gallon a week) What is wrong with soy milk (other than the fact its not raw)
The thing is I just really can't afford the raw almonds at the store, no matter how good they are for me in the long run. I just can't afford it. :( And to get truly raw almonds is probably even more expensive.
11-11-2009, 12:09 AM
First of all, you can't eat raw soy. The milk has to be cooked.
Next, there is almost always a GMO question about the beans.
Then, there is the issue of hormones. Apparently it acts like estrogen in the body. While that might be advantageous for some if they want to avoid Hormone Replacement Therapy, there are others who DON'T need extra hormone activity. I am one of those.
We went vegan in the 60's and likely filled a lake with all the soymilk we used. I bought soymilk powders, I made soymilk and tofu myself from beans which was CHEAP. I THOUGHT I was giving us all the healthiest alternative to dairy.
Now I am dealing with ovarian cancer which was activated by the excess estrogen. I mean excess to the point where I didn't ever feel any symptoms of menopause. I kept wondering why, until other symptoms finally forced me to see a doctor and it was discovered. There is also a higher risk for breast cancer in susceptible women. You have to be tested to know, or have female relatives who had it. In that case you know you are at risk. At any rate, even if you are nowhere near menopause, I wouldn't advise you to be using so much and risking a cumulative effect on your hormones.
If you do need to UP your estrogen for some reason and know you are not at risk for any of the hormone-induced or influenced cancers, and can ignore the facts that soy milk is not raw and that the beans are genetically modified, maybe you still want to use it.
For me, I make almond and cashew milks and I don't go crazy about whether the nuts are "truly raw". I use very little milky things now that I'm used to not using them, so I don't find it such an issue. There are lots of other nut/seed milks you can make. Sesame. Sunflower seed... Google it and you'll be trying out recipes for a long time. Hopefully you'll find one that isn't too expensive and that suits your taste. Keep trying.
Funny - back in the 60's and 70's I also made almond and cashew milks. I WISH I would have done only that...but soybeans were cheaper, you know......!
11-11-2009, 12:26 AM
Here's a recipe for Walnut-Oat milk that looks interesting. Walnuts and oats are cheap. I'm going to try this too:
I even saw a recipe for Chia milk when I was researching Chia seeds.
People in many countries and cultures use non-dairy milks. In Medieval times, almond milk was hugely popular and some of the most delicate puddings were made with it. (I doubt they had a Vitamix then, HaHa. No, it was mortar and pestle for them. Talk about patience. Or maybe it was cheap servant labor.)
Anyway, there are so many possibilities, I'd say it's not worth the risk to use soy. I don't want you to feel that I am laboring the point, but after my experiences, I want to run screaming down the street wearing a sandwich board with big signs warning people against soy...and when I think of all those babies being given it for formula....:eek: I don't yet know what I did to my girls by feeding them all that soy...:(
11-11-2009, 12:39 AM
Dr. Mercola's video and collection of facts pretty much covers all the angles about soy:
For those wondering why anyone would denigrate soy, click above.
By the way ... it's everywhere! Well, rife throughout processed foods, that is. We're safe!
11-11-2009, 03:44 AM
Just a note about that Walnut-Oat Milk recipe above:
It calls for a touch of sugar if desired. Of course, we would not use regular white sugar, but a date or two would work well.
11-11-2009, 08:03 AM
Are you wanting nut-mylk daily? I think that the longer you stay raw the less you'll want your soymilk. I make nut-mylk rarely, mostly to use in a recipe. I very rarely drink it - except for cookies and mylk!
I'm pretty sure soy does not interact with your hormone levels. My husband and I are friends with many transgendered men who get their hormone levels (estrogen and testosterone) checked on a regular basis. Many of these friends decided that before they started drinking soy milk they would have their levels checked and then get their levels checked after they began ingesting soy. There was absolutely no change in their estrogen or testosterone levels.
I've also had my hormone levels checked due to a reproductive problem and my levels were so low I was considered post menopausal, hormonally. And the soy milk I drink is not made from genetically modified soybeans.
If soy is so bad for you, then how have the Japanese been eating it for centuries without issues.
About raw nut milks though, I do plan on drinking it daily. I was a big cow milk drinker when I was younger. (made the switch to soy 2-3 years ago) I used to drink 3 16oz glasses a day. I love creamy textured and creamy tasting things. I crave creamy drinks a lot.
11-11-2009, 11:29 AM
The soy that we Americans have "doctored" for money purposes IS bad. The Soy that the Asian culture has drunk for years has note been altered.
If you do a search here, you will find numerous discussions and links validating this.
11-11-2009, 11:39 AM
Bottom line: it's cooked. This is a raw food board, so you won't get ANYONE here to say that soy is good. If you want to continue to use it, that is totally your personal choice, and no-one here will come into your home and check up on you! :D But it won't be promoted on this board.
I was asking about nut milk since I do want to switch to a raw version. I was just curious at to why so many people think soy is bad. The plant estrogen argument just doesn't seem valid to me. I agree though about it being so processed and cooked. And that is the reason for this thread. :)
I can afford "raw" cashews but I cannot afford the raw almonds. I will attempt to make some cashew milk tomorrow night if I get the chance.
11-11-2009, 12:20 PM
If soy is so bad for you, then how have the Japanese been eating it for centuries without issues.
This is and has been explained in detail many places. But, I'll try to briefly do it here for you:
Basically, traditional Japanese diets contained tiny amounts of soy. Typically -- ONE bowl of miso a day or a few pieces of fresh tofu or tempeh every once in a while. (They did not typically drink soymilk like Westerners drink cow's milk, by the way.) Scientists looked at the health and longevity of Japanese villagers and saw soy (new to them) and felt that was what must have been making them so healthy. So they issued a report with that surmisal. Americans then did what we do best which is if a little is good, then let's do l-o-t-s! Bigger is better! After a while, corporations looked at all the soy byproducts they were tossing -- byproducts from animal feed, by the way -- and saw $$$. So, they came up with all different "foods" using soy plus soy powder and soy lecithin and soy as emulsifier, etc. All of this based on some research/reports that have ended up being seriously questioned.
What researchers believe now is that it the superior health and longevity of traditional Japanese villagers comes from their mostly-vegetarian diet, vigorously-active lifestyle, family and social structure, and lack of industrialization. Oh, by the way, they eat a little soy products and a little fish.
So, there you have my summary of the issue.
Bottom line, of course, is that we are all free to do whatever we want and believe whatever we want. I put the link on this thread earlier to Dr. Mercola's site so that you could see, if you choose, the medical and scientific facts about it.
The most important thing, I think, is that, whatever you do, enjoy it!
11-11-2009, 03:04 PM
Here is a link to an excerpt from the book,
Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility:
It has en excellent discussion of how soy effects the hormones
and its direct relationship to female reproductive health! MANY
sources discuss the harmful effects of soy on the thyroid and its
The mercola link listed above also has excellent information!
I think it bears repeating that soy consumption as it is done now,
especially in North America, is a COMPLETELY different animal, so to
speak, than the soy consumption of Asia. Soy milk [or the faux
meat products] are NOT traditional Asian foods. Unprocessed tofu,
fresh steamed edamame, fermented miso and fermented tempeh are
eaten in MODERATION only.
Additionally, soy can be a highly allergenic food. Many people have
"unkown" soy allergies and only after an elimination type diet know
that the soy has been at the root of many of their health problems.
Nuts can be very expensive on the food budget! I wonder if you could satisfy
that craving for creamy drinks by making smoothies that have just a
few nuts blended in instead of relying so much on milks?
11-11-2009, 05:01 PM
Thanks for posting the information, Raw Truth and Irpurro,
It is true that Orientals have never historically eaten huge amounts of soy. Of course they had some, but then much of that was fermented (Miso, Tempeh, Natto, Soy Sauce). I know many people from various countries in the Far East and they confirm this historical view. However, since so many manufactured products have soy in them nowadays and with the emphasis on soy here - along with all other things Western, soy seems to be bouncing back to the countries of origin and in a much different form so even they are using more now than they used to use. My daughter was teaching English in Seoul for 7 years, traveled extensively in all the other Oriental countries and researched this while she was there. And it is certainly true that they did not drink soy milk or any kind of milk - just to drink it or pour it or add it to so much like our society does.
As to why we in the West feel we need milk from animal or vegetable sources: Can you believe it that Western Society is the only place you can find people who continue to think they need milk beyond weaning age? NO other animal continues to use milk in their diet after they are weaned. Not in the wild, under natural circumstances. No-by the time they are weaned off their mother's milk, they have been weaned ON to the natural food for their species. Not another kind of milk. No more milk for them. But we took it farther than that. While we Westerners feed babies milk, as they get older they add indigestible cheeses, ice creams and everything imaginable made out of milk - which would never be fed to a nursing baby. We keep "nursing" - but in a different form with those manufactured foods.
I know that no one here is championing the cause of dairy products, but we have been sold into the idea so strongly that we feel we must substitute and replace it with other foods to become as similar to our favorite products as possible. We in the West are the ones who have developed the taste and feel the need for milk into adulthood (STRONGLY encouraged by the Dairy Industry and government "food pyramids" - again, STRONGLY influenced by the Dairy (and Meat) Industry Lobby). So then if we don't use the milk of animals, we still seem to want something else that will satisfy our developed tastes and our perceived need for the nutrients we feel we would be missing.
IF soy has no effect on hormones, WHY are women who need estrogen but can't or won't take HRT being advised to use soy? It is people like me who have too much estrogen and have contracted a disease to prove it, who are being told to cut it out of our diets.
It's a puzzle...we hear so many things, it's hard to know what to believe. But as was said above, we on this forum don't have to worry about that particular issue if we are really raw. Even if I was aiming for 80-90% raw and allowing some cooked, it wouldn't be soy. I can think of other less questionable things I would choose for my little ration of cooked - like maybe a few cashews or almonds with which to make a creamy soup or sauce or ice cream that I miss from the old dairy consumption days. Or a little miso as a soup base. Or ... :D
11-11-2009, 08:28 PM
More on the hormone issues
"IF soy has no effect on hormones, WHY are women who need estrogen but can't or won't take HRT being advised to use soy? It is people like me who have too much estrogen and have contracted a disease to prove it, who are being told to cut it out of our diets."
What a great point! So sorry that you got a disease before you knew to cut this out of your diet!
There are lots of studies and writings that discuss this hyper-estrogenic state that is common in modern times and especially in Western cultures.
From everything I know about human biology and endocrinology, women are just not meant to have the sustained HIGH levels of estrogen in their bodies. It is biologically NOT the norm.
In traditional societies, women would begin bearing children at a much younger age and they would be breastfeeding for years until the nursing child tapered down their nursing enough that their fertility returned and they would become pregnant again. And so on and so on, the cycle would continue until they entered menopause.
Under almost no circumstances, would women have sustained HIGH levels of estrogen in their bodies. As always, if we look to nature and the natural state of the body, it teaches us.
Many of the "reasons" that women take, or are encouraged to take replacement hormones is to suppress the natural aging processes that occur as women grow older. Especially in regards to looks and sexual functions. Modern society teaches women that all those changes are to feared and stopped if at all possible.
Just more stuff I thought of after seeing Tirza's post...
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