If you have ever been knocked down by stomach flu you know there is very little you can do except stay well hydrated and get lots of rest.
So when I caught the stomach flu not once but twice in less than two months, I knew that food as much as I love it was out of the question. Insta-diet it is.
When I first contracted the stomach flu, I visited my local practitioner and she recommended a diet known as the B.R.A.T diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
I love apples and bananas but the rice and toast part of the diet did not appeal to my taste buds.
So after two days of just water with an odd banana eaten here and there – my stomach was finally coming to some sort of a treaty with the rest of my body. I decided that I was going to do a cleanse.
Not the rip-roaring green juice or cayenne-lemonade for days cleanse, I didn’t want to spend the majority of my waking hours in the bathroom.
Instead I opted to try a simple five day stomach calming smoothie cleanse. This would give my digestive system a break, give my body the nutrients it needed to fight the virus, and curb my hunger. Because as sick as I was, by the third day I was starving, go figure.
Foods to Avoid When Battling a Stomach Virus
I needed foods that my stomach and intestinal tract would welcome with open arms not ones that would result in another digestive battle, so cruciferous veggies were out – no broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower, or anything my body had to work hard to digest.
Acidic foods were also off the list: no tomatoes, oranges, or lemons today.
Instead, it was going to be all about stomach soothing vegetables & spices:
But, what would I use as the base of my smoothies? I stared in my fridge finding only wine, sparkling water, organic heavy cream, and organic Greek yogurt.
When you are suffering from a stomach virus it’s best to avoid all dairy products and wine as well. Besides, wine doesn’t make a great smoothie base.
So, I looked around further and found a one pound bag of raw organic cashews in my pantry.
Are Cashews A Magic Health Potion?
Raw cashews are actually a misnomer; most cashews are not really “raw.” They undergo a heating process that removes the toxic shell from the delicious nut.
Most sellers label them “raw” because the nut is not roasted. Cashews are fruits that have two parts: the apple and the nut, they grow on an evergreen tree that thrives in hot tropical climates.
The cashew nut enjoys number two status as America’s best-loved nut right after almonds. But, I would argue they are number one, because if you place a bowl of cashews next to a bowl of almonds at your next party – check out which one disappears first. Then mail us a bag of cashews.
Cashews are loaded with minerals; one serving can provide the recommended daily allowance:
• 20% Magnesium for energy production, controls vital functions, regulates sleep cycle, reduces anxiety, nervousness, and irritability.
• 23% Manganese prevents hair loss, essential for healthy bone structure, and wound healing
• 17% Phosphorus essential for strong teeth, metabolizes fats and carbohydrates, increases memory, and maintains proper functions of the kidneys, heart, and nervous system
• 12% Vitamin K helps blood clotting and protects against heart disease and cancer
• 31% Copper that works with magnesium to provide bone strength, joint flexibility, and supports skin melanin and elastin production
In addition, cashews also contain zinc, iron, potassium, selenium, and sodium.
Cashews can help prevent mood swings and improve your ability to focus.
Feeling blue? Make cashews your go-to snack. Just two handfuls of cashews or three and a half ounces provide 470 mg of tryptophan, that’s enough to elevate and change your mood.
An Easy Cashew Milk Recipe to Soothe Your Stomach
I thought about going to the store to purchase cashew milk instead of making it with my cashew milk recipe. Silk and So Delicious sell cashew milk. However, when I examined the ingredients, I was a little bit puzzled.
Silk adds locust bean gum, sunflower lecithin, cane sugar, gellan gum, and some unknown natural flavor.
Locust bean gum can increase stomach gas and gellan gum was found to increase abnormalities in intestinal microvilli, which covers the lining of the small intestine and affects the absorption of nutrients into your blood.
So Delicious also makes their cashew milk with non-gmo canola oil (why?). Canola oil is not a health food. It is made from rapeseed and goes through a caustic process of refining turning into partially hydrogenated oil that creates inflammation in the body.
Locust bean gum, gellan gum, and guar gum all increase gas production and can lead to abdominal discomfort.
Then both manufacturers add back in vitamins removed in processing.
Why ingest ingredients that could only further aggravate your stomach?
Nope. I definitely was going to make my own cashew milk. It’s so simple, creamy, delicious, and addictive – the hardest part of making cashew milk is the doing nothing part, waiting for the nuts to soak and soften.
To make your own homemade cashew milk you will need a sturdy blender.
If you have a powerful one like a Vita-Mix or Blendtec, those make it super easy. If you don’t have a high-speed blender then you will just need to blend on the highest speed for a minute or two longer.
The wonderful thing about cashew milk is that there is no straining or filtering needed like almond milk. Just blend and you’re done! Creamy goodness awaits.
Try your cashew milk first without adding any sweeteners. If you want it sweetened then add two pitted Medjool dates then blend again. The consistency will be around the same as whole milk.
Simple Cashew Milk Recipe
Makes 5 cups of cashew milk.
- 1 cup of raw organic cashew nuts
- 6 cups filtered water (divided)
- 1 pinch sea salt (1/2 tsp)
- 1 tablespoon good vanilla extract
- 2 Medjool dates pitted (optional)
- Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with 2 cups of water
- Let sit room temperature or in fridge for 4 hours
- Drain cashews in colander and rinse well
- Add cashews to blender cover with 2 cups of water
- Start blender on high speed for 2 minutes. If your cashews are not completely broken down, then blend on high speed for another minute.
- Add vanilla and sea salt and add the remaining 2 cups of water, blend for 30 seconds to a minute.
Fresh cashew milk will be frothy but the foam will dissipate as it sits. Store in a large covered glass or mason jar. Cashew milk will remain good for 3-4 days. It will settle in the fridge, always give it a good shake before using.
Daily Uses for Homemade Cashew Milk
- Use in coffee or cappuccino as an alternative to cream or milk
- Splash in hot or cold cereals
- Use as an alternative to dairy milk in baking
- A mid-afternoon pick me up, sip cashew milk warmed with a dash of cinnamon
Once I drank a cup of this delicious milk alternative, my stomach immediately felt better. This tummy saving smoothie with a cashew milk base eased my stomach cramps and lessened my abdominal pain in just one day… Check out the recipe below.
Plus, I included 2 other recipes that are indulgent delicious desserts.
Don’t worry, these are all healthy options to reap the health benefits of the wonderful cashew!
Cashew Milk Tummy Saver Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup homemade cashew milk
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 banana
- ½ an apple (use red delicious, Fiji, or gala)
- Pinch of sea salt
Add milk then fruit and spices to blender. Blend well for one to two minutes on high depending on your blender speed and enjoy. Serves one.
Cacao Berry Cashew Milk Smoothie Recipe
This is a delicious indulgent dessert smoothie, that’s thick like pudding. Enjoy!
- 1 cup homemade cashew milk
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder (cacao powder tends to be bitter so use a little less if you don’t like the strong taste)
- ½ pitted, deseeded, and cut Hass avocado
- ½ cup chopped strawberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 2 Medjool dates pitted
- Dash of cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
Add milk then fruit and spices to blender. Blend well for one to two minutes on high depending on your blender speed and enjoy. Serves 2 or one if you want it all.
Raw Banana Chia Cashew Milk Pudding Recipe
- 2 cups of homemade cashew milk + 1/4 cup of cashew milk
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon good vanilla extract
- 2 frozen bananas (chop up bananas before placing in freezer, this will make it easier to blend)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Medjooldates pitted or 2 tablespoons raw honey
- Freeze bananas
- Stir chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in cashew milk for one minute. Refrigerate and stir every 30 minutes to an hour. This will help the chia seeds plump up. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Add frozen bananas to a blender with ¼ cup of cashew milk, with dates or honey. Blend well on high speed until creamy and ice cream like consistency.
- Add banana mixture to pudding, stir well, and serve immediately. Serves four.