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. #
    Villy @ For the love of Feeding — March 1, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    I only drink chocolate milk and coffee with milk, you are NOT weird! I’ve tried tigernut horchata (I live in Spain and practically during summer they serve it EVERYwhere, even frozen), but not cashews milk. And the vanilla sounds awesome!


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 11:08 am

      I’ve wanted horchata for ages. Must make.


  2. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — March 1, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    Raw dough balls with the cashew pulp! I can’t get enough of those things and pop at least 5 in my mouth every day.
    btw- love the bowls and plates in that last picture!


  3. #
    Kelsey — March 1, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    I’ve seen recipes online where you can use the pulp to make a sort of vegan cheese…


  4. #
    Ashley — March 1, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    Show me all of the black spots you want, because I freaking love vanilla. Probably more than chocolate! At least when it comes to ice cream and cake. This sounds fantastic.


  5. #
    Cait's Plate — March 1, 2012 @ 11:34 am

    “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.” <—- Bahahaha. That cracked me up so much.

    I adore vanilla beans too. Vanilla bean ice cream beats regular old vanilla any day in my book. It's the bugs that do it. Definitely.


    • Cait's Plate — March 1st, 2012 @ 11:34 am

      PS – LOVE the jars you stored that milk in!


  6. #
    Katie — March 1, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    Meeker does the “take a bite and take a sip of milk thing” and he dunks everything…EVERYTHING in milk. Pancakes, toast, obviously cookies…it’s disgusting.

    I hope we can still be friends.


  7. #
    Laura — March 1, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    use the pulp in smoothies or dry it out in the oven to make cashew flour!


    • Heather — March 1st, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

      Cashew flour, for sure! This is what I do with all of the nut pulp I have. Dry it out in my food dehydrator and vaccum seal it in mason jars. Store it in my fridge and use in place of grain flour for shortbread cookies, add to bread and even toss in salads. Nom!


      • Libbi — March 1st, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

        I agree with the cashew flour idea. that’s what i did when i made almond milk and you can use it in various flourless dishes. i love the nutty flavor or the nut flours and meals. i made nigella lawson’s flourless brownies last weekend with almond meal and they were SO good. people who don’t like brownies loved them!

  8. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — March 1, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    I have a recipe coming up with almonds and milk…I love that you made your own! I bet it’s so good. I love homemade cashew milk…so super cream and wonderful. Glad you got on board with the creaminess.

    LOLing about your blender vs. shoes thoughts :)


  9. #
    Melissa P — March 1, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    I only drink milk when loaded up with chocolate, so you are not at all weird. What if you used the pulp in muffins such as banana nut, or try making cashew/chocolate truffles?


  10. #
    Brittnee — March 1, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    Ice cream.. Please make it :-) thank u.


  11. #
    Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt — March 1, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    I can only imagine how amazing that would be in a smoothie!


  12. #
    Chelsy — March 1, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    I have used the cashew pulp to make a vegan basil cashew pesto “cheese”…freakin’ amazing with some penne pasta. O and parmesan cheese…because that makes sense with the vegan pesto, right? Geez. Anyway, I have always hated milk, it gives me allergies out the wa-zoo! Oh, oh! but how I do love vanilla almond milk and cashew milk. Makes my life so much better!


  13. #
    Heidi @ Food Doodles — March 1, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Wow, that looks so good, “bugs” and all. I’m totally with you on the vanilla. And I’m a huge fan of almond milk, my hubby thinks I’m crazy for drinking the unsweetened stuff right out of the carton(its OK because I’m the only one that drinks it right? Or should I go hide? haha) Cashew milk sounds incredible!


  14. #
    Allie @ sweet potato bites — March 1, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    i’m with you on the milk thing – i only put a small bit in my cereal and that’s it. drinking from the bowl? no thanks. i’ll have to try this cashew milk!


  15. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — March 1, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    Oohh this looks great!! Put the pulp in overnight oats? Yes? No? Disgusting idea? I’ll stop talking now. lol


  16. #
    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — March 1, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    I’m with you– milk grosses me out. This looks AWESOME. I’ve never made my own nut milk, but it’s on my food bucket list. Maybe one day!


  17. #
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips — March 1, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

    You say you like coconut and almond milk – have you tried the combined almond coconut milk by Blue Diamond? I am not sure if it is in vanilla, but I love the regular, unsweetened kind in banana smoothies, tea, hot chocolate. I think I need to do a blog post about the wonderfulness of this stuff.

    I have to try the cashew milk after my next trip to Costco to stock up on nuts. Can you grind the pulp some more to make some sort of cashew butter spread? Maybe add in a few more dry cashews?


  18. #
    Jeanette @ This Dusty Kitchen — March 1, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

    I’m a milk snob in the other direction. LOVE the stuff. I can down a glass of nice cold milk and pour myself another glass in about 2 seconds. In fact, it’s the only beverage that I will gulp. I grew up on a dairy farm and spent the first 12 years of my life drinking the raw stuff, thick and creamy and everything. My mom turned her nose up at anything that called itself milk that isn’t actually milk – soy was the big one at the time.

    I’ve since let go of my prejudices and snobbery a bit, but I have still never actually had any kind of ‘milk’ other than the stuff that comes from cows’ udders. I didn’t realize you could actually make a nut milk at home! I might have to try it out. And then serve it to my mom. Just for funsys.


  19. #
    Steph@stephsbitebybite — March 1, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    I’m worried that this milk would make me drink even more coffee than I already do. Maybe that wouldn’t be sucha bad thing though. They do say that coffee is a diuretic right? ;)


  20. #
    Mai — March 1, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    That sounds/looks delicious.

    Gena posted these:

    And I feel like they’d work beautifully with cashew pulp too… In fact, the butter cashew-ness might even take them to the next level, the the almond ones WERE in fact, amazing (I know, I made them, using an oven and not a dehydrator because I don’t own a dehydrator).


  21. #
    Zesty Cook — March 1, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    Very cool! I’ve never tried cashew milk but I love different types of milks. If I ever have the opportunity, I will definitely give it a try.


  22. #
    Jodi — March 1, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    I think this is my first time commenting … and oooh that looks so good! And grossly enough, the version with the vanilla bean speckles excited me. Reminds me of french vanilla ice cream – the REAL kind!

    I made homemade almond milk and made a raw hummus with the leftover pulp. Just combined in a food processor the pulp, tahini, garlic, olive oil, paprika, cumin, lemon juice, a la Sarah B. style on MNR ( Hope you try it… this is really good! Otherwise, I think you could add it to a smoothie. Maybe a like a cashew cookie smoothie, or a coconut milk/cashew pulp/pineapple/mango tropical type smoothie. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    Love your blog!


  23. #
    Christine — March 1, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

    OK, stupid question…

    “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.”

    Do you use the soaking water in the blender? Or throw it away and add the 6 1/2 cups water from the ingredients list?

    This sounds so yummy – I really want to try it!


    • Jessica — March 1st, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

      Discard the soaking water and use the water listed in the recipe!


      • Christine — March 1st, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

        Thank you! I will definitely be soaking cashews tonight!

  24. #
    Julie — March 1, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    I am with you on the drinking the milk out of the cereal bowl. Makes me want to gag.


  25. #
    Jenette Marie — March 1, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    Raw Alfredo Sauce – 2 c nut pulp (softer nuts are best)
    1 tsp salt
    1 clove garlic
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    Place in a blender (or your not so loved Magic Bullet) until creamy. If it needs to be thinned out at all, add water or nut milk. :)


  26. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — March 1, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    I have always hated milk too! I was FORCED to drink a glass a day when I was a kid, still traumatized! I love cashews though, this sounds like something I could go for!


  27. #
    Margarita — March 1, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    Oh my goodness! Vanilla beans and cashews in creamy, milky form… more than amazing. And to think that you made it yourself… Wow!


  28. #
    Rachel — March 1, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    I get SO grossed out when people drink their tepid, sludgy cereal milk. A few friends have joked about bottling and selling cereal milk, and the thought makes me shudder. *Gag*


    • Esther — March 1st, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

      I saw a lady from momofuku milk bar on conan the other night, and she was making cereal milk spiked MILKSHAKES!? And I guess they sell cereal milk by the jug too, and use it in all kinds of crazy stuff. People is cray.


      • Rachel — March 1st, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

        Oh Momofuku. That’s not high-fashion dining–that’s nasty!! I can see topping a normal milkshake with cereal; that could be fun. But using cereal milk with those bits floating in it?! SO gross!!!

  29. #
    Jen Marie — March 1, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    Ooh, this looks brilliant! My mom, who is dairy-free would love it!


  30. #
    Katie R — March 1, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

    Instead of a strainer or cheesecloth, go to the hardware store and buy a couple paint strainer bags. They’re cheap and definitely the easiest way to strain nut milks. Trust. P.S. Vanilla bean specks are the best, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


  31. #
    Jackie Grandy — March 1, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

    Wow! I love this post. It’s so pretty and those jars are beautiful with all the cashew milk inside. I am definitely going to pin this one!


  32. #
    Erin — March 1, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

    I ADORE milk. 2% not skim. But I also severely love vanilla almond or soy milk. It tastes so awesome in cereal. But I am asmued that you were obsessed with the idea of cashew milk because I got it into my head the other day to make cashew butter. My friend that I confessed this idea to thought I was weird, but HA! I am weird but at least I have fun company.


  33. #
    Quiche-ing Queen — March 1, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    Love how you bottled the milk. Makes it look so much tastier. I really enjoy milk and know that I would enjoy this recipe.


  34. #
    Carly — March 1, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Ewww I hate when people take a sip of their drink mid-chew as well hahaha too funny


  35. #
    vanillasugarblog — March 1, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    oh boy
    can’t say i’ve never been on this bandwagon b4, BUT
    I might give it a go if it’s got lots of flavoring.
    girl I never see you at my blog?
    missing the how sweet LURVE.
    good luck on “the homies” nominations. wouldn’t it be great if one of the underdogs stole that show? hells yes!


  36. #
    Cara — March 1, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    I’ve been meaning to this as well! I hear you can make some fabulous crackers with the leftover pulp. But I’d opt for cookies instead :)


  37. #
    Jolene ( — March 1, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    Cool! I always use almond milk, but haven’t tried any other type of nut milk.


  38. #
    Lyn @LovelyPantry — March 1, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    I love milk and almond milk. I only heard that cashew milk existed a few days ago. And then you go and MAKE it. *faints* I’m so going to make this. I’ll even use my magic bullet lol! I’m not a fan but it has saved me a few times. I swear, you live in my head sometimes :-) I’m going to share this with my foodie friends on twitter. *HUGS*


  39. #
    bcaf — March 1, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

    I would probably make hummus with the pulp! A rosemary roasted garlic one, perhaps?


  40. #
    Holly Moser — March 1, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

    I looove milk but it gives me the heebie jeebies when people drink their cereal milk. That stuff is just dis.gusting (with the period and all : ) I recently discovered almond milk and truly enjoy it but it’s so dang expensive. Maybe I’ll try this recipe but with almonds.


  41. #
    tracy — March 2, 2012 @ 12:12 am

    get out of my brain!!
    i don’t like normal milk either! I am so obsessed with vanilla almond milk right now. it’s SUPER. been using it for my cappuccinos every morning.

    those vanilla beans look BOMB!


  42. #
    Amanda — March 2, 2012 @ 12:41 am

    Um, seriously, magic bullet = hate.
    I got it for free and I hate it. I got rid of it.


  43. #
    Amanda — March 2, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    Also, random but… where did you get those glass jars for the milk? ADORABLE!


  44. #
    CouponClippingCook — March 2, 2012 @ 2:51 am

    What a unique recipe…sounds like fun to make. Your dishes are so pretty too.


  45. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — March 2, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    I love your enthusiasm about food. And, I love that you are not afraid to make anything. Actually, I just love your blog. Period. Happy Friday!


    • Jessica — March 2nd, 2012 @ 8:07 am

      Thank you so much Natalie!


  46. #
    Hilary Powell — March 2, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    Fab recipe for cashew milk – I’ve not heard of nut milks before. But I’ll give this a go – sounds lovely.
    I was thinking a Fruit and nut cake maybe? Or nut bread ? Or for vegetarians nut loaf ? I make an almond marmalade fruit cake (Robert Carrier) don’t see why you shouldn’t substitute cashews for it. Cashew shortbread, coffe and walnut cake but substitute the cashews, muffins choc and cashew, brownies, cashew meringue, (I make it with hazelnuts normally) but why not?, chicken and cashew nut stir fry, stuffed chicken with cashews mushroom and garlic butter, coronation chicken, Vienna schnitchell pork fillets bashed out thinly and coated with breadcrumbs sub half bread crumbs for cashews yummmmm .
    Dry out nut pulp in oven on low heat on large baking sheets then put in storage jars
    Oh I’ve just thought of something really yummy apricot and almond (cashew) cake oh it’s divine – Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall – pudding cake!!!!! Pear mincemeat and almond (cashew) cake that’s pretty good too!


  47. #
    cecilia g — March 2, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    very pretty and you and i am delightfully poles apart, i am growing my own COW so that i have plentiful access to raw cows milk! Wonderful! c


  48. #
    Loretta — March 2, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    I’d make some sort of delicious, chocolatey power bar with the pulp. Don’t know if it would work, but I’d try it anyways! I would sure hate to waste those expensive nuts.


  49. #
    JLL — March 2, 2012 @ 9:10 am

    Looks good! For the ‘pulp’ just add it to whatever you are baking, ie cakes, cookes, bars….it will be a bonus of extra goodness for you.


  50. #
    Hilary Powell — March 2, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    I was just wondering if you could make marzipan with cashew pulp?
    You cold try flourless chocolate cake: 200g 70 percent dark choc, 90g unsalted butter, plus a bit extra for tin 55g caster sugar, 2eggs, 150g ground almonds (cashew pulp) handful blueberries, cocoa for dusting,
    Heat oven to 180c/fan160c/gas4, butter and base line18cm non stick spring form tin,
    Melt choc and butter in microwave, stirring occasionally till melted, leave to cool slightly.
    Use electric mixer to beat sugar and eggs till pale and fluffy then gently fold in melted choc and gr cashews into egg mix using metal spoon. Pour into tin bake 30mins or until skewer comes out clean.
    Decorate with blueberries and dust with cocoa.



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