I’ve always assumed that the people who make their own nut milk are the sort of people who have their lives together. They get up early for yoga and come home to a pre-prepared chia pudding, they own a steam press iron, they fold their underwear. Having the time to make something as basic as milk, to me, seems like you’ve got it made. They’re not 10 minutes late and mildly sweaty for everything, they don’t find food in their hair/teeth/shirt as they return home for the day – basically, they’re not me.
However, when I happened upon a nut milk bag at my local bulk food store, I figured I would give nut milk a chance. After all, I find the number of additives in what is supposed to be a two ingredient product (nuts and water) pretty unimpressive. So, I made nut milk. What do you know: for all my self created hype, making nut milk was SO easy. You soak nuts in water and maybe a bit of sweetener, you blend them up, and you pour them through a bag. Although most recipes for cashew milk say that no straining is required, my blender (the 6 year old that she is) doesn’t pulverise things the way the newer varieties do. Which is probably a good thing, because I wouldn’t have discovered cashew pulp banana bread if she did.
Yes, it does taste infinitely better than the packaged variety, and yes, I can confirm that it does make you feel like your life is a bit more together. One issue I had with it, however, was the waste I was creating, particularly given my penchant for cashew milk. Mama is not made of money. So! Banana cashew bread. This loaf is gluten free, refined sugar free, and makes use of the ~waste~ product of cashew milk, meaning you don’t even have to feel guilty about your new expensive habit.
TO MAKE NUT MILK:
1 cup raw cashews
4 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Pinch of sea salt
(This ratio is applicable to most nuts I’ve tried, namely almond)
TO MAKE THE CASHEW BANANA BREAD:
1 cup cashew pulp (aka all the cashew pulp)
2 laaaaarge riiiiiipe bananas (plus an extra one, if you want to jazz up the top)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
4 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar, for a lower fructose sweetener)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
FOR THE NUT MILK:
- Place your cashews in an extra large glass jar (needs to be glass, according to the internet) along with all the ingredients for the milk. Leave them to soak for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight, if possible. Make sure you cover them and put them in the fridge if you’re going the overnight route – I have left them on my kitchen counter in hot weather, and woke up to very soured cashews. Not ideal. Defeats the purpose of this anti-waste recipe, etc.
- Once soaked, place the mixture into the blender, and blend for 2 minutes or so. You might have to divide the mixture into two batches for blending purposes.
- Pour the milk through a nut milk bag (available at health and bulk food stores in Australia) and store in a glass container, with a lid, in the fridge. You need to use the milk relatively quickly (2-3 days) because there are no preservatives. As I mentioned, you’ll be able to tell verrrrry quickly when your milk is past it’s prime.
FOR THE BANANA BREAD:
- Onto the banana bread! Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Retain the cashew pulp, and place it in a large bowl. Add the mashed bananas and egg, and then mix in the flour, cinnamon, coconut sugar and vanilla bean paste. Finally, add the baking powder and apple cider vinegar, and stir well to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a silicon loaf tin, and top with the extra banana, if you’re using it. A sprinkle of coconut sugar also works a treat here. Pop the loaf into the oven for 20-40 minutes – highly dependent on whether you’ve got the extra banana on top. Keep checking on the loaf until a skewer comes out clean and the top is golden.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.