Cashew Milk Custard

I miss drinking milk with regularity. The milk in China just doesn’t taste right. Maybe it’s because I’m suspicious of probable-possible high levels of melamine? Or I was spoiled by buying glass jars of non-homogenized organic milk from this adorable little bakery down the street from me in college? Whatever the reason, I use milk for cooking or making ricotta cheese, but rarely drink it anymore.

I decided to try making cashew milk for my breakfast quinoa. It’s quite simple, really. Soak a cup of cashews over night, drain and rinse.

Put them in a blender, cover with water, blend the heck out of them til pulverized. Thin out with more water (in total between 2-4 cups),  vanilla extract, honey, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. I’ve been told a Vitamix is necessary here. I only have my dinky little Chinese knock off magic-bullet, so it doesn’t quite pulverize the cashews as necessary. With a stronger blender, the cashews should pretty much dissolve into the water. Mine was a little gritty, even after straining. It keeps in the fridge about 4 days.

Creamy cashew-milk custard, quinoa and chia seeds, with crushed almonds and dried fruit

Creamy cashew-milk custard, quinoa and chia seeds, with crushed almonds and dried fruit

I poured some in a jar with about 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 Tbs chia seeds, dried cranberries, crushed almonds and honey/brown sugar (my go to additions for breakfast quinoa or oatmeal). It was alright, but a little bland, if something sweet can be bland, and the grittiness annoyed me. I wanted something creamy and satisfying.

It hit me, then, that I could use the cashew milk to make  custard cream. Brilliant idea.

1 cup cashew milk (poured through a strainer again. next time, I’ll strain through a clean cotton handkerchief)
1 egg, beaten with about 1/3 cup sugar, 1 Tbs cornstarch and 1 Tbs vanilla extract.

Heat the cashew milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously. After beating the sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla into the egg, temper the egg by pouring a small amount of the hot milk and beating it in. Repeat several times, until the egg mixture is warmed through. Pour it into the saucepan, and whisk thoroughly. Let it simmer for a few minutes until thickened (be sure to stir every minute or so to prevent burning and sticking)

Cool completely. The custard can be used for anything–eaten by itself, poured into a pastry tart as a filling, etc.

I mixed the custard with cold, cooked quinoa, chia seeds, crushed almonds and dried cranberry and brought it to work for a post-morning workout breakfast. You prepare several jars in one sitting, and have breakfast ready for the week. More custard to quinoa would make it more dessert like, add fresh berries, there are many ways to tweak it. The custard was pretty sweet, I could have cut back the sugar content more, and still not had to add any sweetener to the cereal.

quinoa custard jar


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