by guest blogger Stephanie Eckelkamp, senior associate editor at Prevention magazine
One of the perks of being a nutrition editor is getting to try the latest snacks and drinks. So a while back, Blueprint--the company that really spearheaded the juice cleanse madness with those trendy bottles prominently listing their ingredients down the front--sent me a sample cleanse.
Now, this was an all-liquid cleanse that packed around 700 calories for an entire day, so needless to say, I failed miserably and realized that I really love chewing. (In fact, here are 5 reasons you should never go on a juice cleanse or detox.) I did, however, become obsessed with their subtly sweet, deliciously creamy cashew milk made with water, cashews, vanilla, cinnamon, and agave. It was the nearly perfect on-the-go light meal (or hearty snack), containing healthy fats and some protein.
The problem: When I finally spotted a bottle at my local grocery store a few weeks ago, my initial excitement quickly faded when I saw the price: ELEVEN freakin' dollars! For nuts, water, and a little sweet and spice? That's insanity, folks. I also noticed that the sugar content was higher than I remembered--21 grams.
So I got creative. Below is my lower sugar, more economical version that's just as tasty. Each 8 oz cup clocks in at 70 cents worth of ingredients and just 7 grams of sugar. With each cup, you're getting a hefty dose of magnesium, a mineral that helps with protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and blood-sugar control.
Vanilla-Cinnamon Cashew Milk
Yields about 5 cups
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- SOAK cashews in jar overnight (or for at least 6 hours) in fridge.
- DRAIN and rinse cashews, then add to blender with maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and 2 cups cold water. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on your blender. Add 2 cups more water and blend 30 seconds more.
- POUR into glass and drink, or store cashew milk in jar with lid up to 1 week in fridge. You can add it to iced coffee or blend it into smoothies. One of our favorite combos: 1 cup iced coffee, ½ cup cashew milk, and 1 frozen banana all blended to creamy perfection.
Stephanie Eckelkamp is a senior associate editor covering food and nutrition at Prevention magazine and is also a certified holistic-health coach. She's obsessed with her pup, Milo, and loves to get a little crazy in the kitchen. For more from Stephanie, visit StephEckelkamp.com.
Adapted from a story previously published on EatClean.com
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com