Autumn is here! Autumn is here! Autumn is here!!! And you know what that means! (Well, you SHOULD anyway!) Pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING!!!!
I have recently been making my own nut milks to use in my after workout protein shakes, but the taste is slowly growing on me, to the point that these delicious, fresh, nutty milks are finding their way into my morning coffee!
With autumn officially in the air, I have been giving some serious thought as to how I am going to fill that pumpkin spice void that comes with kicking Starbucks to the curb.
One of the awesome secrets I have become privy to, is that you don’t need sugar to give your taste buds that soothing, complex autumn flavor. It all comes from the spice mix! You don’t even need pumpkin to trick your brain into tasting the commercial, cliche pumpkin flavor if the spice mix is spot on.
With these things in mind, I whipped up this sugar free vanilla pumpkin spiced cashew milk recipe in my autumn flavored frenzy, and while it tastes amazing as a standalone drink, it really shines when added to a fresh brewed cup of organic coffee! What a way to start a chilly autumn morning!
(Also, while I had originally asked my husband to make this batch so I could take photos for this blog post, my three year old ran into the kitchen and yelled, “Oooooooooo neat! Is it hard to do??” We let her try her hand at making cashew milk and.. well… she ended up being the kitchen model and budding culinary master of awesome for the remainder of the blog post images. 😉
For this recipe you will need:
1 cup of cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight
4 cups of filtered water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice mix (I use McCormicks pumpkin pie spice mix since they have gone GMO free, but to make your own mixture, just mix 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves and use one teaspoon of this mixture)
To make the vanilla pumpkin spiced cashew milk, put all ingredients, except the spices, into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the cashew blend (nut pulp and all!) into a nut milk bag, and strain by hand over a large bowl. Add spiced and mix until well blended. Store in a glass container in the fridge for up to a week, and give it a good shake before serving!
Organic Family Products Organic Cotton Nut Milk Bag
For this recipe I used an organic cotton nut milk bag from Organic Family Products, a natural and eco-friendly company founded and run by a working mom of two toddlers. (Ohhhhh, how I relate to this momma!) As a former full time market manager of three farmers markets here in Central California, I personally know how hard it can be to try to find earth kind materials and to live green with a busy schedule and little ones to care for! So to see a working mom take the initiative and MAKE the product she want to use?! Good on ya, girl!
Anyhoo, while this bag is redunkulously easy to work with and wash, in my humble opinion, the main benefit of this bag is the organic material used. And, again, this is coming from a gal who was born and raised in the cotton growing county of the Bread Basket of the World – but organic cotton means that the fields the cotton was grown in weren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms. Not only does that mean your food is safer from being prepared in cleaner materials, but in the big scheme of things, it means that harmful toxins that are horrible for farmers, workers, nearby residents, consumers, and entire wildlife eco-systems has not been rained down on entire communities!
This is SUCH a big deal guys. I remember playing outside as a kid next to the cotton field that sat to the right of our house, with pistachio trees on the other side, and watching the crop dusters fly over – spraying us in the process and getting the sticky residue on our skin and in our hair. As a teenager, I would wake up in the morning and find the sticky pesticide spray on my car, which would DISSOLVE THE PAINT when I tried to wash or chip it off! This is serious stuff, that effects real people.
When you buy organic, you are literally voting with your dollars, telling companies – from mega corporations, to innovative family run businesses like Organic Family Products – what you want to see produced, and ultimately what kind of a world you want to live in. But I digress! Off of my soap box and back to this tasty nut milk!
This nut milk bag makes it stupid easy to strain your milk, and you can squeeze away and without worrying about busting a seam, since the bag featured a durable no seam bottom so the hem wont burst. Another cute feature is the built in elastic loop on the side. Since drawstring is hard to tie or unknot when wet, the elastic band slips on like a hair band, and is easy to open, close, and wont get lost. So much win right there!
Since the holes are tighter and smaller than your typical nylon nut bag, the results are silky smooth and delicious. The bag is super easy to clean up after too – just wash in the sink and air dry or machine wash with a natural, biodegradable soap!
[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me initiating contact and incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]
So there you have it! A tasty and easy drink made in an earth friendly and easy to use bag! Hope you enjoyed this review and recipe, let me know what you think in the comments!