Say hello to a self-proclaimed milk snob.

That’s me.

Since I was young, I’ve always absolutely looooathed milk. I would never ever drink it – the thought alone made me sick. The only ways I would consume it were in a bowl of cereal (only a few tablespoons to soak it though), in a milkshake (clearly) or hot chocolate and in some Quaker strawberries and cream instant oatmeal (OMG the best). When I would see others slurp the milk from a cereal bowl – pink or purple or chocolate or not – my skin crawled. Actually… it still sort of does. I didn’t even dip cookies in milk. I somewhat feel deprived of my entire youth for that, even though I still don’t have much desire to dunk a cookie in the stuff. Stop… ruining it.

I’m just WEIRD. Ignore me.

The only thing that was worse than all that was when I would see someone take a big gulp of milk MID-CHEW… which my cousin did about 20 years ago during lunch and which we still harass him over to this day. Like every time we get together. Sorry Chris.

Almond and coconut milk – especially vanilla flavored – were the answers to all of my prayers. I may be a chocolate girl at heart, but when it comes to flavored food or drink that isn’t an actual chocolate bar or brownie? Give me vanilla! I now have no problem drenching my cereals in the vanilla liquids, baking with them, pouring them in smoothies and possibly… just maybe… dipping in a cookie.

I’m not sure why or when it happened, but my cousin and I have been ob.sessed with the idea of making cashew milk.  I mean… truly ob.sessed. With that period and everything. Last fall we would take two hour walks with conversation centered around cashew milk and cashew milk only.

And I’ve been buying big bags of cashews for months… but we… eat them all before I remember to soak them. Oye.

But this was the week! The topic came up in a discussion I had with Rachel and she gave me the swift kick in the pants I needed to go downstairs to my makeshift pantry, walk back UP the stairs, dump the cashews in a bowl and fill it with water before going to bed.

I made two batches: one with actual vanilla beans, ground cinnamon and honey, and a second with pure vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks and honey. The latter came into play after my husband took one look at the milk and asked why I was drinking something with bugs in it. I adore vanilla beans – I would lick them straight outta the pod if they didn’t cost an arm and two legs – but I can see how the appearance could freak some people out. That’s why I’m showing you the freaky bean spotted milk. I love to freak you out!

Oh oh oh! And actually even crazier? I made this without a fancy blender. I actually used the stupid Magic Bullet which I’d like to throw out a ten-story window (not a fan)… and while I am dyyyying for a big time blender, I also am more concerned with these shoes and about a million other things that are more important to me than a $600 piece of plastic with blades that will most likely chop my fingers off. For a hot 30 seconds I appreciated that bullet as it gave me some thick vanilla cashew milk that I have been drowning in ever since.

And now that I’ve written more about milk than I did about pancakes and beans combined this week, I’m gonna go take a breath.

Creamy Vanilla Bean Cashew Milk

[only slightly adapted from Elana’s Pantry]

2 cups raw, unsalted cashews

6 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or 2 vanilla bean pods, seeds scraped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks

2 1/2 tablespoons honey (more if desired)

pinch of salt

Place cashews in a large glass bowl and cover with water, soaking overnight. In the morning, drain cashews and rinse until the water runs clean. Combine cashews and water in a blender (Obviously high speed blenders are the best – I did mine in batches since I used the Magic Bullet, it along with a lower end blender will give you a tiny bit more pulp) and puree until completely combined.

Using either a very fine mesh strainer or doubled-over cheesecloth (you can see I tried both methods above) placed over a large bowl, strain cashew milk, using the back of a spoon to really press ALL the liquid out – this will take a few minutes. Set the cashew “pulp” aside. Once the milk is separated from all the pulp, transfer it back to the blender and add in your ground cinnamon, salt, honey and vanilla. If you’d rather just place vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks in the milk to flavor, add the milk to the blender with the honey and salt, then pour it into a container and throw the full split beans and cinnamon sticks inside.

Refrigerate and shake before using. Should stay fresh in the fridge for a week!

Ooooh and ten points to whoever gives me the best idea for using all that cashew pulpy stuff.

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174 Responses to “Creamy Vanilla Bean Cashew Milk.”

  1. #
    Kathryn — March 1, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    Oooh. I don’t really like milk either but I’m totally down with something creamy and vanillay.


  2. #
    Amy @ A Stool at the Counter — March 1, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    I have been dying to make cashew milk too!…I don’t know about the pulp…maybe throw it into some muffins or something? ::shrugs::


  3. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — March 1, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    I have never had cashew milk but I would swoon over your homemade- I can just tell. It sounds so smooth, creamy, and full of delicious flavor! Mmmmm! ……Put the pulp into a cake and make a vanilla bean cashew cake! :) It’s worth a try.


  4. #
    emily — March 1, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    Do you think the pulp would dry if you spread it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at low heat? Because if so you could crumble it into a powder, or flour of sorts, and make cashew macaroons with it. 10 points?


    • emily — March 1st, 2012 @ 8:06 am

      PS – Before people get all judgey about me messing with macaroons, let me just say – one time I tried to make coconut butter in my food processor and when I created coconut flour instead (major fail) I made “fake” macaroons with it and they were amazing.


      • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 8:08 am

        Ha I would never get judgy, I think that sounds delicious.

  5. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — March 1, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    Wow – I’ve been itching to try and make a nut milk of some kind and typically all you find online is stuff for almond milk. Cashews have stolen a small piece of my heart <3 and I am so excited to try this!

    As for the pulp – I'd just use it in place of flour for a biscuit, muffin, or cake – like almond flour. I often make small microwaveable chocolate cakes. I just mix an egg, 1/4c almond flour, tablespoon of melted butter and milk (cashew milk!), some sugar, cocoa & baking powder and viola.


  6. #
    kathleen @ the daily crumb — March 1, 2012 @ 8:05 am

    i am definitely not a milk person either — eat it with cereal, but i couldn’t even tell you the last time i had a straight up glass of milk. THIS, though, looks like something worth trying! and i am obsessed with those jars. super cute.


  7. #
    Ali @ Around the VeggieTable — March 1, 2012 @ 8:05 am

    I made cashew milk last night! I don’t strain it…I just drink the pulp along with the liquid. It’s great if you need extra fat in your diet. But for everyday use it’s definitely better to strain it. And maybe…bake the pulp into some kind of nutty cracker?! IDK. Also can we talk about your awesome bottles? I love them and need to know where they came from. kthx.


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 8:09 am

      Do you have a Vitamix/Blendtec? The recipe I linked above also doesn’t strain it, but with using a lower end blender there was nooooo way I couldn’t strain it – didn’t mix as well.


      • Ali @ Around the VeggieTable — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:51 am

        Ahhhh yes I have a Vitamix…that probably helps :) Mine was a gift…no way would I pay that much for a blender. It IS glorious though.

        • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:52 am

          If I can get my grown up pants on and buy a bigtime blender, I’d love to not strain it. I think it would be ever better super thick.

          • Amanda — March 1st, 2012 @ 11:22 am

            DOOOO IT! I promise it’s worth it. My Vitamix was my Granddad’s – he bought it in 1994. 18 years of near-daily use and it’s still kicking = worthwhile purchase in my book.

    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 8:20 am

      Oh and I got the bottles at Michael’s!


  8. #
    Sally @ sally's baking addiction — March 1, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    i’m not a milk person either, but i adore vanilla almond milk.. something needs to wash down my pb&j sammies! i like cashews better than almonds, so i’m sure i’d LOVE cashew milk. looks delicious jessica!


  9. #
    Blog is the New Black — March 1, 2012 @ 8:15 am

    Soooo do you just drink this straight? Or add it to things? Enlighten me! ;)


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 8:16 am

      Both! Whatever your preference for milk is.


  10. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — March 1, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    gaaaah you’re my favorite!!!!!!!

    Make cashew pulp cookies – those would be the best!


  11. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 1, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    I’ve been wanting to try making cashew milk ever since eating amazing raw cheese and ice cream made from it!


  12. #
    Cassie — March 1, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    I have never thought of it that way, but I’m definitely a milk snob…I don’t even eat it in cereal. I only buy it to cook with and when I do buy it, I buy in small amounts and usually have to toss it when it inevitably goes bad. This sounds amazing though, love the idea and flavors!


  13. #
    Vanessa — March 1, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    Hahaha I hate my magic bullet too but its a dream for making salad dressing in. This recipe sounds awesome!! but really? you would rather spend $2000 dollars on shoes rather then $400 on the best appliance ever? Just bought the vita-mix from Costco BEST investment ever. I am soooo happy with it. I am just surprised for someone who loves to cook as much as you that you don’t have one already! well any-who… I made almond milk with my vita-mix and it was amazing so I cant wait to try this cashew milk, thanks =)


  14. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — March 1, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    Wooohhh! That is so cool!! I’m doing this this weekend!! Totally awesome idea!!!


  15. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — March 1, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    Cashew milk is the shiz but if you really want to rock your world, try adding some cacoa nibs before you whiz it up. You’ll want to marry it.


  16. #
    Catalina @ Cake with Love — March 1, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    I had almond milk, but never cashew, glad you posted this recipe since I have some cashews that I have to use! Looks very creamy and delicious!


  17. #
    Blondie — March 1, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    Cashew pulp macarons, maybe? Instead of the almond flour?


  18. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — March 1, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    Firstly, I LOVE the photo of the bottles side by side – did you just re-use old vinegar bottles or something? Genius! And milk… I haven’t been drinking much cow’s milk at all, and I think it’s because when I was a kid I got too much of it. My sister and I would always have to have a glass at dinner and when I moved to the Middle East for 5 years, it just didn’t taste the same. It was like it never got cold enough, which to me is gross. However… your recipe sounds to die for! Vanilla and cashews are an awesome combo. Now I know who buys those massive vats of nuts at Costco. ;)


  19. #
    chels — March 1, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    The pulp is called okara! Google it, mon frere
    e.g.,: – baked yums – cashew ricotta – Korean okara pancakes


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:43 am



  20. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — March 1, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    Girl you are ambitious! :-)


  21. #
    Kelly — March 1, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    I drank so much milk as a kid I made myself lactose intolerant. No joke. I would literally drink a gallon of milk every 2 days. I loved it. My favorite snack was a glass of milk. Then somewhere in high school I started feeling funny whenever I drank it. The doctors concluded that I drank too much that my body couldn’t process it anymore. I was like a milkacholic going to rehab…it was bad.


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:43 am

      This… blows my mind. I love you now but not so sure me and your milk drinking face coulda been friends back in the day.


  22. #
    Simply Life — March 1, 2012 @ 8:55 am

    oh so fun! I’ve never had cashew milk, but now I want to try!


  23. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — March 1, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    i’m not a big milk person either but i would drink the heck out of this in a heartbeat! vanilla makes it all better :)


  24. #
    Michaela — March 1, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    I love everything about the post (incl. the shoes).
    Maybe you should get a Soyabella if you plan on further milk experiments?
    And you are NOT weird, I have never liked milk, either :)


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:43 am

      Whaaaa? What is a Soyabella??


  25. #
    Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama — March 1, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    Very impressive! I can imagine this tastes incredible.


  26. #
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — March 1, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    I have just died and gone to heaven! This is such a fantastic idea! I LOATHE milk as well I never drank it and never understand how people can sit down and just chug a glass of milk it makes me want to vom. But almond milk is a godsend, especially trader joes almond milk, I live for that stuff and really want to try and make my own. But now cashew milk that sounds fantastic, cashews are my favorite!

    Make a pie and use the cashew pulp in the crust!


  27. #
    Cookbook Queen — March 1, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    My husband and I actually have Milk Rules. And the first rule about Milk, is don’t talk about milk.

    Second rule of milk is that if our kid slurps his cereal milk in front of us, he is grounded for life. Foreeeeevvvverrrrrrr.

    This is obviously the answer to my problems. As for the pulpy stuff, I vote for a skin conditioning mask.


  28. #
    Sarah W — March 1, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    When I make almond milk, I use the pulp in granola bars


  29. #
    Amy W — March 1, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    Use it in a facial scrub!!!!


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:42 am



  30. #
    art and lemons — March 1, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    Love cashew milk! I use the pulp for baking tea breads and muffins or savory meatless loafs and casserole-type dishes.


  31. #
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — March 1, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    I literally squealed out loud when I found the vanilla almond coconut milk blend sitting on the shelves of my Giant. It’s fine, there was only one person around (and between you and me, I think she was knocking on 80’s door and not so hot in the hearing department.)
    This is really impressive, and if I wasn’t so lazy I would totally try it. Feel free to ship some my way, I mean, it’s only like a 3 hour drive in a UPS truck.


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:42 am

      I’m actually dying, because I can’t find the almond coconut blend ANYWHERE.


      • betty — March 1st, 2012 @ 10:17 am

        do you have a fresh market anywhere around? that’s the only place i found it around central va.

        • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 10:18 am

          Unfortunately no!

  32. #
    Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery — March 1, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Whoa. Did I write this??? I too have hated milk as long as I can remember. Vanilla almond is the answer to my prayers. And fake chocolate things… like chocolate pudding? BLEH. Give me a solid brick of chocolate or give me vanilla.

    As for the cashew pulp, I would probably make pesto.


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:42 am

      Ooooh love that idea my friend!


  33. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — March 1, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Never been a milk lover, but can only drink it while dunking Chocolate Chip or Oreo cookies in it. This stuff looks incredibly delicious, Jessica. I cannot wait to try it!
    So, no Magic Bullet, hunh? I was thinking of sending my daughter off o college with one. Rethink!


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 9:49 am

      Oh Lynne! Take what I say with a grain of salt. I actually think it would be perfect for a college kid – I know I would have loved having it in college. And it is nice that it’s very compact. I think I’m just sick of trying to make things that require a much larger blender – like pureeing soups, etc. Also, it isn’t large enough to make 2 smoothies/shakes for my husband and I, so we have to do it twice if we both want one. But for one person, it would be perfect.


  34. #
    Tanya — March 1, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    I say you have to go two ways…. cookies & crackers! Can’t wait to see what you end up with!
    P.S. I loathe milk, just looking at that creamy liquid makes my skin crawl. :)


  35. #
    Amelia — March 1, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    The cashew milk looks delicious! I have never been a huge fan of milk either. I love almond milk though!

    Maybe go the macaroon route like suggested by others or maybe turn the pulp into a crust for a tart, cookies, granola, fruit crisp, frozen banana bites dipped in chocolate and rolled in the cashew pulp? I don’t know, but with how creative you are, I am sure whatever you come up with will be phenomenal! :)


  36. #
    Larissa — March 1, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    Ok, so why hasn’t anyone told me that if I don’t like cow’s milk I might like almond milk??? I only have milk in my cereal (and not so much that there is leftover, either, just enough to convey the cereal to my mouth). I’ve always been afraid of the non-cow’s milk. It’s kinda expensive and what if I don’t like it? Now, I’m gonna have to try it. Wonder if I can find a small carton just in case I don’t like it?
    Oh, and dunking cookies into your milk/tea/coffee…ewwwwwww. Why do you want crumbs – moist, gooey clumps, actually – in your drink??? I’ll never understand that.
    It’s good to know there are others out there like me.


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      Oh my gosssssh… Larissa you MUST try! You can find almond milk in 32oz cartons and it is so delicious, creamy, thick and vanilla like. I will admit that I don’t straight up drink it, but using it in things like cereal, hot cocoa, pancakes, milkshakes – it makes them SO GOOD.


  37. #
    Christin — March 1, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    I’m glad I like milk milk because I think this could be an expensive way of filling the void! If I had it as an option somewhere I’d definitely try it because it looks delicious. I wonder how it would taste in coffee.

    I almost fell off my chair when I looked at the price of those shoes. You’d really not rather have an awesome big-girl blender?? You’d have some cash left over for a nice pedi and a pair of flip-flops. ;)


  38. #
    Katie — March 1, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    Re-blend the cashew mush with some water to make cashew “cream” – it stays homogenized and fluffy in the fridge and is a great substitute for cream when cooking. I’ve added it to tomato soup and curries.


  39. #
    micah — March 1, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    The pulp is so versatile- mix it with some honey or maple syrup and cinnamon, and put it in the oven @ 350-375 until dry and crisp, then crumble it up as use it as granola! Sometimes I add mine to oatmeal. I usually have a bag of nut pulp in the freezer for oats or to dehydrate into nut flour


  40. #
    betty — March 1, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    whereeee do i find cheesecloth??? i don’t know the first place to look! this is awesome, def going to give this a try!


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 10:19 am

      Ha- funny you should ask because the thought of finding cheesecloth was giving me major anxiety. I had never used it before either so I was shocked when I happened to look in the kitchen supply aisle of my grocery store and there it was. And my store rarely has anything. So I would think your grocery store should definitely have it, because it’s pretty common.


  41. #
    Emily @Livinglongfellow — March 1, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    wow I love your jars!!! where could they be from??


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 10:24 am

      Michael’s! They were like 99 cents or something!


  42. #
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — March 1, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    Sounds lovely! I bought raw cashews last month with the intent of making milk. I’m a slow milker, lol.


  43. #
    sarah — March 1, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    I make my own cashew milk too and have tried a few things with the pulp.

    I made hummus with the stuff. I even sweeten my milk a little, but when I added tahini and lemon and garlic the sweetness was gone. It was very good. I also spread it out on a baking sheet and dried it out and added it to granola. I think you could dry it out and just sprinkle over yogurt or ice cream. I’m going to try to use it in some sort of vegan cup cake for binder/texture. We’ll see how that works out.

    I love how made it pretty in jars and the addition of cinnamon would make my cereal so very lovely.


  44. #
    heather — March 1, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    get a ninja blender! they’re about $100 and rock. I have one and love it. yes, i know next to a vitamix it wouldn’t stand up. but i’m never going to buy a vitamix because 1. they’re ridiculously expensive and 2. i love my ninja too much :)


  45. #
    Kristina — March 1, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    I make all kinds of cashew dips – both with whole cashews and with pulp… we had one last night that was spicy with tabasco, onion powder, oh good gravy all kinds of good stuff and now I want it for breakfast.

    YAY for making your own cashew milk!! isn’t it dreamy? (I realize I sound like Marsha Brady). cashew milk is still dreamy.


  46. #
    Erika D — March 1, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    My little secret for cheap vanilla beans….Restaurant Depot! If you have one, they should give you a visitors pass if you ask. I know that my store hides the vanilla beans in the front office, so you have to ask. They cost $15 for a tube of about 50 bean pods!!! Best deal I’ve found. Now I use them in anything, even make my own extract in a bottle of cheap vodka.


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 10:44 am

      Holy crap! I have a friend that was a former restaurant owner and still is a member. I’m going!


  47. #
    Kendra — March 1, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    You should definitely get those shoes.


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 10:46 am

      I KNOW RIGHT?!


  48. #
    Diana @ frontyardfoodie — March 1, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    Mmmmm vanilla beans are my favorite thing ever. I’d rub them on my skin for perfume if I didn’t feel that it was a waste. hehe

    If my hubby wasn’t so danged allergic to nuts I’d make this stuff all the time. I already have to sneak peanut butter when he isn’t home and make sure to brush my teeth and wash my hands before coming in contact with him!


  49. #
    Rachel Wilkerson — March 1, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    WOOO for this recipe! I’m so glad I could provide the kick in the pants!

    And now, a novel:

    Since I made this over the weekend, I used the recipe from the Blueprint Cleanse cookbook. It only has you soak the cashews for an hour and that worked fine, so just FYI if you ever want to make this stuff and don’t want to wait overnight. (Which is likely because it’s so delicious.) I ended up going the extract route because I couldn’t justify my firstborn child for the vanilla beans, and also because I was afraid I’d get addicted to the expensive version and then I’d never be willing to switch to extract and then I would go broke. But I gotta say, I’m pretty happy with my spotless vanilla extract cashew milk. The recipe I used adds in a couple teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil which I highly recommend trying…I’m convinced that the oil + the cashews are going to give me the Softest Skin Ever. Also, I love the idea someone suggested of using the pulp as facial scrub. Again…Softest Skin Ever.

    PS Your bottles are beautiful!
    PPS I cannot believe all the Magic Bullet blasphemy going on here!!!


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 11:05 am

      OMG coconut oil?!? Ugh I must make this again right now. Thanks for the info!!


  50. #
    Ashley@BakerbyNature — March 1, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    My new boyfriend seriously won’t touch a drop of milk, but he loves cashews like you wouldn’t believe – giving this a go this weekend! You’re amazing, lady!


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