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Cashew Milk

homemade cashew milk

Cashew milk is my new favorite. I use it in smoothies and tea or splashed over a bowl full of granola.

Smooth, creamy and naturally sweet, this milk offers a much needed respite from the ubiquitous almond, which reigns supreme in my kitchen –unlike my almond milk recipe, this cashew milk does not require any straining. It is a cinch to make. Quick and easy, I like to have a quart of cashew milk ready in the fridge at all times.

On another note, I’ve been receiving many recipe requests of late. Katie asked for a barbecue sauce that does not contain agave. I’m working on it –one with tomato sauce, smoked paprika, ground mustard seed and orange juice. Katie, let me know if juice is going to work for your California barbecues or if you are looking for something free of even a small amount of fruit sugars. If that is the case we will go in a spicy mustard-vinegar type direction.

I broke out my grill yesterday (the first of May) to experiment with the aforementioned barbecue sauce recipe; of course it snowed! The day before that was 80 degrees. Go figure. That’s just the wacky Colorado spring for you. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the baby tomato plants in my teeny backyard survive. In the meantime, here’s that creamy cashew milk recipe.

Cashew Milk

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  1. Discard soaking water and rinse cashews thoroughly until water runs clear
  2. Place cashews, (4 cups fresh) water, agave and salt in a vitamix
  3. Process on high speed 20-30 seconds
  4. Store in glass mason jar in refrigerator

This cashew milk has the viscosity of regular whole milk; if you want to make milk with the consistency of 2% cow milk, add another cup of water. For half and half (great for coffee and tea), use only 2 cups water in the above recipe.

Cashew milk is very foamy when first removed from the Vitamix; it settles nicely after sitting in the fridge overnight. Often a layer of cream forms on top of the milk, though don’t be thrown, underneath is pure, delicious white stuff.

I sure am looking forward to some warm weather and drinking a creamy Thai ice tea made with this rich and silky cashew milk!

PS. Don’t forget about the cookies!


posted on May 2, 2008

62 comments leave a comment

  1. Freedom

    What all can you use the cream stuff for? Or do you just discard it? Mix it in?

    • sara

      I made the cashew milk, my milk turned out very grainy even when we finished it we had a lot of stuff on the bottom of the jar. Is this normal or is my blender not blending it properly?
      Thanks,
      Sara

      • Holly Ellerton

        I made this milk as well and mine was grainy. I omitted the agave since I avoid sugars, so I thought this might be why but other say they have gotten good results without the agave. Any ideas out there? Maybe it is just my blender…

      • I think it is your blender. Mine doesn’t chop things like a VitaMix either. Therefore I strain the milk and use what’s left in other recipes

      • Hi Sara

        I make my own cashew milk but my recipe is slightly different. The first time I made it my milk was grainy and then I realised the best way to stop this happening was to blend the nuts in the beginning with less water. So I now blend the nuts with 1 cup of water, this ensures all the nuts are ground up. Then I add the other 3 cups of water and blend again. Hope this works for you.

      • Hi Sara

        I make my own cashew milk but my recipe is slightly different. The first time I made it my milk was grainy and then I realised the best way to stop this happening was to blend the nuts in the beginning with less water. So I now blend the nuts with 1 cup of water, this ensures all the nuts are ground up. Then I add the other 3 cups of water and blend again. Hope this works for you.

    • Cindy

      Hey all,

      In case nobody else replied yet, the cream is awesome and can be used like you would any other cream. Cashew cream is, what I find, to be the most amazing cream replacement ever! Plus you can easily find a recipe for just that, cashew cream, by doing a search online.

      As for the grainy-ness, do realize that this recipe calls for a Vita-mix. This is NOT a regular blender, and while totally amazing and (I’m sure) worth the cost, they’re expensive.

      So, if you use a regular blender/food processor, it will be grainy. If you can’t live with this, try straining it. I’ve heard that works, and perhaps that’s another online search, but I find it’s a challenge because the creme’s so thick, unless you use extra water.

      By the way, when I’ve made this I didn’t make milk, I made cream. And while on that thought, the extra cream on top, the left over, might be more of a light cream than regular cashew cream.

      Enjoy!

  2. even though I usually prefer buying my milk alternatives from the store where they are enriched in much-needed calcium, I think I’ll throw caution to the wind and make your beautiful version!

  3. Hmm, I’ve never had cashew milk. Sounds really good. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll defiantly be trying this!

  4. Bonnie

    Hi Elana,

    I have to say I love your website. My husband is on the Specific Carb Diet and needless to say it has been challenging to cook for him. He is Italian and has a real passion for food in general. Thanks to you, I now have 2 cases of Papadini pasta I can get creative with and satisfy his cravings.

    I have a question about the cashew milk. You didn’t specify, but I’m assuming you use raw cashews in the recipe? I’ve never tried “nut milk”, but I’d like to give it a shot.

    thanks,
    Bon

  5. Elana, I had my first “frappocino” in four years yesterday. thank you. I’ve tried to make them with almond milk but dislike the taste of almond milk. I can’t believe I didn’t think to try cashew nuts before this. I look forward to trying to make Thai tea with the cashew milk. Is the soaking absolutely necessary?
    Shez

  6. Beautiful, I was just about to make some cashew milk today! Thank you for the great recipe.

  7. abigail

    I’m quite interested in the barbeque sauce recipe! I can’t do agave or fruit sweeteners, so I’m quite interested to see the spicy mustard-vinegar one if you end up making it!

  8. Freedom -I use the cream stuff on top for tea, or I simply mix it in.

    Celine -Thanks for your kind words.

    Tarah -You are so welcome.

    Bonnie -I am a HUGE fan of the SCD. I would recommend raw cashews for this recipe, have not ever made it with roasted, don’t think it would be the same thing. I will add “raw” to the instructions on the post above; thanks much for pointing this out!

    Shez -Yes, isn’t cashew milk the greatest? I think the soaking is necessary as when I have reduced soaking time for this recipe (in a rush), the milk was not quite as creamy. If you experiment and come up with a different end result, please let us know. BTW, what’s in your frappucino recipe? Sounds delicious!

    Alisa -I hope you are well! Everyone who needs dairy-free recipes, make sure to stop by Alisa’s Site, godairyfree.com

    Abigail -I will add your bbq sauce request to my list, as the one I came up with for Katie has some OJ in it.

  9. I blended a cup of the cashew milk with an extra handful of cashews (unsoaked). When it was smooth, I added a shot of espresso, some agave nectar and around 10 ice cubes. Blended until the ice was smooth. It’s really good.

  10. Shez -That sounds AMAZING; I’m going to the kitchen right now to make some with my organic decaf coffee. Yum! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

    I’m back, just made the frapuccino –it is very similar to my coffee ice cream recipe, except it is instant! No waiting for the ice cream maker to get going! Thanks.

  11. I have been wanting to make nut milks. Yours looks creamy. Thank you for the recipe.

  12. This sounds amazing! I’d love to try it. How long will this keep for in the fridge?

  13. Elana–bless you, bless you, bless you for cooking and eating this way. I found your blog through Elise at simplyrecipes.com. She had linked to your chicken piccata and I LOVED your recipe.

    I’ve suspected for a while that I have a wheat sensitivity and I’ve really been trying hard to remake my life as gluten-free. What I found though is that was not the core of the problem. I also have metabolic syndrome and am very carb sensitive and the last month, I’ve been working on editing all carbs (potatoes, rice, corn, and all grains) from my diet. It has been more difficult than I imagined. I started to believe that I would never be able to bake again in my life and that I must be the only person on the planet who can’t eat dairy, grains, potatoes or corn. Thank you for making me aware that I’m not the only one.

    I’m already a fan and I only discovered your site yesterday! I can’t wait to try out the recipes.

  14. Mary Beth Fifer

    Elana,

    I made the cashew milk two days ago. It was so easy! Zack, my big 16 year old who is really trying to stay away from dairy to clear up his face loved it as did my husband. They made smoothies with it. Zack said that it tasted like the milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl when you are done with the cereal. I have to make more tonight.

    Thank you for all your good work in this area.

    Love,
    Mary Beth

  15. Maya -You are very welcome.
    Amy -Mine keeps for about 5 days, if it lasts that long.
    Eden -Yes, this is such an odd little eating plan that you and I (and I suspect more people than we know) are on, that it really defies description to some degree. There is so much that we CAN eat though, isn’t there?! For that I am most grateful.
    Mary Beth -So great to see you here. I am glad that you, your husband and Zack enjoyed the cashew milk. My boys are STILL talking about his amazing performance in the school play! xo E.

  16. Courtney

    Eden-

    I am right here with you… no potatoes, rice, corn, wheat… You are in for a REAL treat. I made Elana’s Thai Chicken soup the other night for dinner and I was able to enjoy it with all of my guest. Blueberry muffins, chocolate cake, fish sticks… It’s all here! Up next I am going to make Elana’s Chipotle Orange Chicken and Lemon Chicken Piccata. ENTICING!

    Elana-

    Coffee ice cream? That has been my favorite flavor of ice cream since being a little girl. I cannot wait to try Shez’s frappucino! I would like to serve up your version of the peanut butter bars on Mother’s Day. Have you got your “taste-testers” approval with your latest version? If your recipe still needs some work, let me know your suggestion for a memorable Mother’s day treat (you have probably already posted). I am having my Mother-in-law over for a Mothers Day Dinner and i will be the head chef!

  17. Courtney- Yes, Shez’s frap is amazing! I have been partaking daily since she posted her recipe here in the comments section of cashew milk. I will post the Kelly recipe for you Friday if possible; however, I don’t want you to be disappointed, I use almond butter instead of peanut since I avoid peanuts to some extent. I hope you will still like it though –my hub loves it and my little league team devoured it when I brought it as snack for our last game! xo Elana

  18. question how/where do you put in the Agave nectar and salt, as you left that out of the instructions. I’m assuming you put it in with the Water when you blend the Cashews?

  19. Courtney Holden @ benefityourlifestore.com

    I actually prefer almond butter so this will suit me well. Thanks Elanna.

  20. What a great recipe, Elana! This sounds delicious.

  21. elana

    TC -Thanks for catching that omission in the instructions, if you look at the recipe you will find it is corrected!
    Courtney -That’s great; looking forward to meeting you.
    Tiffany -Thanks much. It is one of my favorites.

  22. Meredith

    Hi Elana, have just spent the last 24 hours reading through just about everything on your site. Love your photos and am keen to try your recipes. Question about the cashew milk – I heard cashews are poisonous unless treated (and thats why they are so expensive) – do you know anything about that? My husband came home with salted roasted cashews and said that was all that was available. Also how essential is the agave? I generally use stevia, and have never used agave,but am hesitant to substitute stevia because of the after taste. Any ideas?
    Thanks

  23. Hi Merideth,

    I think truly raw cashews may be poisonous until they are treated. So when we buy “raw” cashews, they aren’t really “raw,” they’ve been processed, though I’m not exactly sure how. I don’t think this recipe would work with roasted, salted cashews, though if you find it does, please let me know as a few others have asked about this as well.

    Per your agave question, I think it will taste fine with out adding the small bit of agave the recipe calls for. I myself often make mine sans agave and it’s delicious (to me). Hope this helps to answer your questions and thanks so much for stopping by.

    Elana

  24. freedumryder

    The cashew milk reminds me of a gravy that I used to make with cashews.You simply make the milk without the soaking and add your favorite spices or blend of spices,I used powdered garlic powdered onion and some salt,heat until it thickens(without a thickener) and viola cashew gravy.

  25. feedumryder -that sounds delicious; thanks for sharing!

  26. Amanda

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I have been craving a chai tea “latte” and this was just the right recipe to use. I just subbed 4 cups strong chai tea for the water. YUM!!!

  27. Amanda,

    Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    Elana

  28. Greg

    I am a very sensitive celiac. I can’t tolerate dairy. Do you have any suggestions for a good source of calcium- natural or supplement?

    Thanks
    Greg

  29. Greg,

    Here are a couple of suggestions:

    I did a google search for “vegetables with calcium” and found the following link which looks very helpful.

    You could also try my forums, there are lots of super helpful folks over there who may be in the same boat as you.

    Hope this helps.

    Elana

  30. Meredith

    Elana – any chance you could please work on a cashew milk custard recipe?

    Since reading this recipe and posting a while back, cashew milk is now our regular milk and I’ve found it works great in coffee, in baking and so forth, but when I come to making custard it’s just not so good. Previously I was using soy milk, egg, vanilla and stevia and I could make wonderful custard, better tasting than in commercially produced custard tarts. I’m wanting to get away from the processing of the soy milk though, (and have lactose intolerance in the family so milk is a no go). Happy to use eggs though – any help you can give would be great – the family is missing custard!!

  31. Meredith -I do use the cashews with some success (I think) in this Pumpkin Custard recipe. I will be experimenting in the future with panna cottas and more custards, so stay tuned and thanks so much for your comment.

  32. Eva

    Elana, you had me at poisonous….now the thought of trying cashew milk for my 2 1/2 yr old son has flown out the window. Actually “raw” cashews are steamed, but my son’s sensitivities concern me since he’s having such a rough time with most foods (especially high phenol as of late among many others). He hates almond milk..double ouch and OY!

  33. Stacie K

    THANK YOU! I have used half-and-half in my coffee for 20 years now. It is the last dairy item I felt I couldn’t live without. I have tried so many substitutes without finding one I could enjoy-even a little. This morning I made organic cashew milk; steamed it, mixed it with my organic, swiss water processed decaf coffee-and it was delicious! I can finally say good-bye to the fat-laden half-and-half and go completely dairy free. I can’t wait to try the chai and some fresh fruit smoothies with this! Elana, your fantastic, gluten-free, nutritious recipes have truly been a God-send for me.

  34. Ana

    Hi Elana! I am trying gluten-free, vegan when possible recipes, and I am slowly being introduced to this world…I just have one question about the cashews…I soaked mine for about 2 hrs and they were soft but kind of greyish…Is this normal??? I don’t think its mold, but wanted to ask…Congratulations on your website! My nephews are going to love your recipes!
    Alsooo, have you tried replacing the eggs in your recipes with egg replacer??? I am going to try that just to have them low cholesterol for my father…
    Thanx!

    • Ana, mine usually turn a whitish grey after a couple of hours of soaking too, I don’t think this is really abnormal, just a sign that they are starting to degrade (as in come apart and break down). See my FAQ for more info on substitutions such as eggs. Thanks for stopping by!

  35. marlene

    I am wondering if you know of any use for the soaking water after? It tastes delicious and I wonder about the nutrient value. Any ideas on that?
    I just added ice and lime to it and YUM!

  36. Tirza

    Hi,
    Good information and hints here. Thanks!

    Hope I didn’t miss it, but I am wondering about the calorie content of cashew milk.

    As for custard, I found a really good, super healthy and easy method:
    -Make thick cashew milk (1c Cashews, 2c water)
    -Add flavorings like vanilla or chocolate/carob
    -Add a pinch of salt
    -Add sweetening: honey, stevia, or dates
    -Blend in high speed blender.
    -Stir in 1/4 c of chia seeds.
    -Put it into a jar with a lid and let sit for a few hours in the fridge or overnight. Give it a good shake a couple of times, or stir it up with a wire whip. It can clump a bit otherwise. But no worries-just wire whip it.
    -If you like tapioca, you’re all set to go right there.
    -If you want it smooth, put it back into the blender and it turns out very nicely.

    We really love this and I especially love the added health benefits from Chia seeds. Check it out. Their nutrient content is really impressive and they regulate blood sugar, so are fantastic for diabetics.

  37. Tirza

    I don’t think I’d worry about cashew milk. My 3 kids are all in their 30′s and they had homemade cashew or almond milk or a half and half combination of the two all through their lives from when they were weaned.
    The light untoasted cashews are not completely raw as found by the “Raw Diet” movement. They specially import true raw cashews and use them with not apparent problems.
    You can always try a very small amount on him to check for his particular reaction.
    Enjoy.

  38. Carrol

    Just wondered if anyone has tried straining the milk and using the pulp. I strained mine because it seemed like I was always getting solids at the bottom of my coffee cup. Since the texture of the cashew pulp reminded me of ricotta cheese, I used it in my version of a lemon zest and ricotta pancake recipe. They turned out great – light and fluffy with a hint of nuttiness.

  39. i made some raw cashew milk for a recipe but was not able to make it. how will i know when the milk has gone bad or off? it’s been a few days at least and i hate to waste it but i don’t want to drink something toxic either. thanks!

  40. Dawn

    Can cashew milk be made in a regular blender? I do not have a Vitamix, but as I love Almond Milk (which I purchase) – I am sure I would like cashew milk – and would like to try making my own.

    Thank you!

    • jessica

      I’m curious if anyone has had success with this as well, would be a great question to pose over in the forums:

      http://www.elanaspantry.com/forums/

    • Tirza

      As I mentioned above, I made almond and cashew milks and a mix of both, as well as soy milk and tofu from soy beans back in the 60′s and 70′s. I had one of those general-use Osterizer “beehive” types which only had 2 speeds, was very basic, not super-powered like my KTec today. I would soak the nuts, blend and strain through a bag and it was fine. I actually removed the skins from the almonds first back then by putting boiling water over them and popping them off when they loosened. Now I don’t do that with my KTec. It blends things up so fine I don’t need to, and the milk stays white. I used to worry that the milk might look dirty with the skins blended in.
      So I can tell you that there is no problem making milk with a regular blender. You might have a little more pulp left, but now I recall that I used to put the pulp back in the blender with a little more water, whiz it up again then pour that through the bag, making more milk. Of course that left the pulp with less nutrients remaining in it which might be an issue if you want to use the pulp for something.

  41. Rukayat @ rukayat.com

    I’m wondering why the water from soaking gets thrown out? I know a lot of folks do it but I’m wondering what the logic is behind it? Thanks

    p.s. I made a batch last night with out throwing out the water and it tasted great.

  42. Cindy

    You might want to look into green, leafy vegetables. I’ve read this before, but research it yourself, PLEASE! You should know for sure. My rule of thumb is to find at least three sources that are legit, and that are consistent in their info, before acting on anything when it comes to anything as serious as health.

    But I wrote a paper on calcium in college, and my findings showed dairy is supposed to be a poor source because it has a diverse affect since protein leeches it out of our bones, and supposedly western diets get overloads of calcium as is. American women, with our huge dairy intakes, have an incredibly higher rate of bone disease than areas that don’t eat as much dairy.

    Do be aware that the need for calcium, while important, has been overblown by the dairy industries influence over our government to get us to buy more of their product. This is debatable, so realize I’m biased. But I’ve also heard that just eating fruits & veggies provides us with plenty of calcium, and even protein, and that Americans get way too much calcium as is, to the point beyond healthy. I read a report a surgeon gave that he had to cut through arteries, that should be supple, but that instead crunched because they were coated with calcium the body had been overloaded with.

    I’ve also heard some calcium supplements won’t absorb in our bodies. I don’t know how to tell if one is good or not, so other than researching that as well, I do know that regular supplements should be tested in water ahead of time. If they don’t dissolve, DON’T use them. Many elderly people have serious problems with their systems being overloaded with supplements that haven’t dissolved.

    Of course, getting our vitamins, minerals, protein etc. is best done through food. It’s not always possible to do. SAD! But do realize that one of the reasons you want to eat food before supplements is because if it’s in the food, your body has to work to get it out. If it’s just given to your bod in a supplement, it’ll take the easy way out and become weaker in the long run. Force it to do the exercise!

    I hope I didn’t overwhelm you, and good luck to you!

  43. Desi@thepalatepeacemaker.com @ thepalatepeacemaker.com

    Elana! LOVE this recipe. I made a few adjustments and made a cashew cream out of it. I posted it here:

    http://thepalatepeacemaker.com/2010/11/05/cashew-cream/

    It’s so exciting because now I can make creamy pasta dishes again! Hooray!

    Thank you so much!

    :)

  44. Why is it, whenever I think, “This sounds good! I’ll google around to see if anyone has made this yet!” Your site always pops up? Beet hummus? Coconut milk masterpieces? And now Cashew milk? Your site is amazing. I’m off to soak some cashews.

  45. Melissa

    I’ve been experimenting with nut milks a lot lately since I can’t have dairy, soy or coconut (or gluten). I noticed a lot of questions here, though old, about using regular blenders. If you are going to use a regular blender for nut milks, you really need a nut milk bag. I found mine on Amazon for around $8. You won’t be sorry, and you will get a very smooth, creamy milk with no grainy bits. Apparently Vitamix blenders are a whole different breed and I’ve now added one to my wish list.

    Thanks for the great recipe! I’m enjoying “cream” in my coffee for the first time in months. It has such a mild flavor. I’m looking forward to experimenting with the cashew cream in other recipes as well.

  46. Melissa

    Thank you for the recipe it was delicious. I added it to my corn chowder and it turned out great. Also I didn’t have any of the agave syrup so I used honey, it tasted wonderful.

  47. Angela

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it to use in coffee -used the 2 cups instead of four! Yummy!!
    Tonight my husband used it to make strawberry-rhubarb frozen dessert. A definite crowd pleaser.!

  48. yvonne

    I think it is hilarious that you wrote this post years ago and I read it one day after Colorado was slammed with another winter storm on May 1st. Thanks for the recipe. I was getting tired of almond milk and wanted to try cashew. When my shipment of cashews get here, I will dive right in. :-D

    • yvonne

      I have made this milk twice now and made ice cream with part of the first batch. I made the half & half version. I used to drink raw milk and this version is much closer to the consistency I am used to than the 4 cups of water version (or almond milk, which I also make). Love that this milk makes my latte creamy. Love it.

      I have tried this strained and unstrained. Yes, it is thicker if unstrained, but cashews have a silty quality (unlike, but much nicer than the grainy quality of almonds). So if you don’t mind that silt, leave it unstrained. I can only drink a cup or two this way and then I have to strain it. Unlike almond milk though (but more like soy milk), the straining is better if it is passive. At least for me, my Soyajoy milk machine breaks the cashews down so finely that the silt goes through even a doubled nut milk sack. The most effective way is to just let it sit and strain on its own (occasionally replacing the used cloth with new to get more out). That does not remove ALL of the silt, but it will remove a sizable amount.

      That being said, the more silt you remove the less thick the milk gets so you’ll need to play with what is the right amount of straining for you. To me, that makes this the best milk ever. It is very customizable and, depending on the recipe, that is an absolute plus. Some recipes would be just fine with the unstrained version so in this second batch of milk, I am keeping some milk unstrained to use for specific recipes. I also did not need to sweeten or salt this milk. It is just fine plain (better than plain almond IMO).

      All in all, I like this milk so much, I can’t see making almond milk anymore. BTW…the cashew milk ice cream was by far the best non-dairy ice cream I have ever made. The texture and creaminess far surpasses almond and coconut milk ice cream. I used to eat Haagen-Dazs and this is the closest I have ever gotten to copying it. It isn’t the full fat dairy version, but man it is awfully close. I highly recommend it. :-)

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