When cashews are blended with water, the result is a creamy liquid referred to as cashew milk. Cashew milk is lactose-free, but the nutrients vary depending on whether you make it at home or buy a commercially prepared product. You'll even find differences between store-bought brands because they're fortified with varying amounts of vitamins and minerals.
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Cashew Milk Ingredients
When you make cashew milk at home you may add a small amount of flavorings, such as cinnamon and vanilla extract, but the primary ingredients are just water and cashews. It takes about 1/4 cup of cashews to make 1 cup of cashew milk. Different brands of commercially produced cashew milk contain a variety of ingredients, so check the label on the brand you buy. Some contain canola oil or salt and most brands have several thickeners, such as guar gum and xanthan gum.
One cup of homemade cashew milk made using 1/4 cup of cashews has 189 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. Store-bought cashew milk has 40 calories and 3 grams of carbs in a 1-cup serving. You'll get 6 grams of protein from the homemade version, while the commercial brand has less than 1 gram of protein. Homemade cashew milk contains 15 grams of fat per serving. The commercially prepared brand has 5 grams of fat.
Nutrients in Homemade
The nutrients in homemade cashew milk reflect the vitamins and minerals from 1/4 cup of cashews. One cup of homemade cashew milk contains 15 percent of the daily value, or DV, for vitamin K, based on consuming 2,000 calories daily. Vitamin K is an essential part of several different proteins that are responsible for making blood clot and building strong bones. You’ll also get 13 percent of the DV for iron and 25 percent for magnesium from 1 cup of homemade cashew milk. Magnesium works with hundreds of enzymes that produce energy and synthesize proteins, while you need iron to carry oxygen in red blood cells and to support your immune system.
Nutritional Value of Store-Bought
Store-bought cashew milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamins A, D and B-12. One brand has 10 percent of the DV for calcium, 35 percent of vitamin D and 60 percent of the DV for vitamin B-12. Another brand supplies 30 percent of the DV for calcium, 25 percent of vitamin D and 50 percent of vitamin B-12. Both contain 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin A.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Cashew Nuts, Raw
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide: Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients
- Bastyr University: Vitamin K
- Linus Pauling Institute: Iron
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives and Colors
- Community Table From Epicurious: Easy Homemade Cashew Milk
- VitaCost.com: So Delicious Cashew Milk Beverage Unsweetened Vanilla
- VitaCost.com: Imagine Foods Cashew Dream Cashew Drink Unsweetened Original