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. #
    Anita — March 2, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    Thanks for everything Jess. You are so ambitious. If you want to try the horchata, you might look at, the Mexican Made Easy show, Marcella Valladollid. She makes a new version of horchata, it’s very quick using strained oatmeal in place of the rice. I’ve always wanted to try it. As for the dreaded white stuff, I can’t even say it. I was thin as a kid, forced to drink 4 glasses a day. Definitely lactose intolerant. Resultantly, can’t drink anything white, can’t even look at it. Stomach turns. Cow milk is for cows anyway, just my opinion, but my husband and son can drink gallons of it. Worse warmed or as they enjoy it: “steamed”. When I was a kid in the ’50’s there was a milk strike and the farmers were dumping the milk. We could not get it. My happiest day. Anyway, thanks for everything. Be well.


  2. #
    carriethecutie — March 2, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    I use the pulp as a body scrub!


  3. #
    Marcus S — March 2, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    You can’t use the pulp in a cake batter? Replace some of the flour or something? Sounds like it would go good in a deep cake like a Carrot cake or a hummingburd cake or a cake of that nature.


  4. #
    Katie @ OhShineOn — March 2, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    ohhhh maaaa goodness. i think i just drooled out milk. i was never keen on making homemade milk, but this is super duper easy… whaaaaaat? i just don’t have a strainer…. problem. such a sad, sad problem. poor college girl.


    • Biancana — July 7th, 2012 @ 11:50 am

      Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl, I have a cheese cloth but just as good as not having one, really. I have found that the butt area of meshy/lacy undies do the trick well. I also think it is more fun. :)


  5. #
    Jacqueline Batcha — March 2, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    spread the pulp on cookie sheet, and slow roast at 350 oven (stir frequently) till dry and golden. can be used in any recipe that calls for ground nuts, or just add to cake, cookie, bread recipes for a little extra nutty flavor and great fiber.


  6. #
    Suzanne — March 2, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Use the pulp in cookies, put it in oatmeal, or smear it on bread, or eat it with a spoon…


  7. #
    Briana — March 2, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    Make cashew goat cheese! SO good.


  8. #
    Ellie@Fit for the Soul — March 2, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    You know, I made cashew milk last year and it was awesome!! But it was reallly really strange because after like, 3 days~it became sort of….slimy at the bottom. Do you know what I’m talking about? That slimy film that some foods form at the bottom? I’m not sure if it was just for me, but I’m wondering if that’s the case for anyone who’s made cashew milk.

    And your bottles look adorable!!!!! Love the labels too.


  9. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — March 2, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    I’ve always wondered how to make milk like this! Love it! And I would happily drink it with those delicious specks of vanilla beans!


  10. #
    Alissa — March 2, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    I hate milk too! It always smells like it’s already gone bad to me. Yuck.

    Can you use the cashew pulp to make a pie/tart/cheesecake crust? Maybe mix it with ground cookies or graham crackers if you need something to make it a little sturdier?


  11. #
    Amber — March 2, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    Is that an antique teacup i see?! Are you worried about lead in teacups from that time, or do my eyes deceive me? If so, where can i get antique style teacups made after 1970’s?


  12. #
    Courtney — March 2, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

    Ok, you are like my twin sister that was taken away from me at birth and sent to a family on the other side of the world!!! I too disliked milk on its own, when I was young and now I am in-love with almond milk, but yet to try the cashew milk! I know I will be adding lots of floating bugs!!! I so love your blog and relate to your ob.session with everything and anything that tastes good in this world. I suggest we re-unite one day!!!:)
    PS. Here in Australia, vanilla beans are super expensive too but I did a little research and found ways to purchase in bulk. You might find some suppliers on Ebay. But if you purchase around 150-300 beans in one go you get them soooo cheap. I went in with some friends and I tell you 300 beans goes rather quickly!


  13. #
    Doris — March 2, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    How about making macaroooooons with the cashew pulp? Cashewroonies!


  14. #
    Lisa [With Style and Grace] — March 3, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    I am so making this!!


  15. #
    Jen Laceda — March 3, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    can you dry and grind the cashew pulp into flour??


  16. #
    the.mrs — March 3, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    Ooooh this post made me all sorts of happy. I’m a new ready, just keep stumbling upon your cute little blog and think it’s so fun.

    Not sure I’ve met anyone that I can share my hatred of milk with. Was practically gagging during your vivid descriptions of milk lovers’ activities. Torture. Will definitely be trying this! Hopefully it will get my family to stop with their ridiculous obsession with cow’s milk. *shiver*


  17. #
    Katie @ Doing Dewey — March 4, 2012 @ 2:31 am

    I also hated milk until I discovered almond milk. Have you tried chocolate almond milk? Best. Thing. Ever.


    • Mary — March 6th, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

      Cashew chocolate milk is amazing. It is a really good sport protein drink: fat, protein and a bit of cards.


  18. #
    carriekins — March 4, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Cookies! Use the mush in cookies! I bet you could make a deliciously cashew flavored version of those shortbread sandies. Nutty and buttery YUM!


    • carriekins — March 4th, 2012 @ 10:45 am

      Or a straight up tea cookie! Im surprised I forgot about this. I wanted too make a cookie made with tea leaves in it and found a very simple but yummy recipe. The first time I “made them however I wanted to add almonds to it but didn’t want huge chunks, so I took my magic bullet ripoff (I too wish I had a blender but don’t want to fork out the money D: ) and ground up some almond pretty fine, and the texture was so wonderful! Delicate buttery nutty slightly crumbly yet so scrumptious. It works with walnuts too, so I would imagine cashews would be AMAZING :3!


  19. #
    Grace — March 4, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    Mmm make cashew cookies….or cheesecake….or dip!


  20. #
    susan — March 4, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

    could you use it to make cream sauce?


  21. #
    Sarah @ The Healthy Diva — March 5, 2012 @ 3:26 am

    Use it to make ice cream!!! I use mine leftover almond pulp to make dairy free ice cream. Great recipe here: Just sub in the cashew pulp


  22. #
    AC — March 5, 2012 @ 5:00 am

    Another dumb question: do you only add the beans to the blender, or do you add the pods, too? Or do you wait and add the beans and pods to the milk after its done and in jars? Just want to make sure before my milk turns black :)


  23. #
    Elizabeth — March 5, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    This sounds amazing!


  24. #
    Debbe — March 13, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I so have to make this.


  25. #
    Carla — March 15, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    I just made this and it came out lovely! Reminds me of a light healthy horchata made with skim. As for the pulp, I’m going to try to make cashew cheese from this recipe.


  26. #
    Naomi — March 20, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    I made almond milk and added some of the pulp to cream of wheat.


  27. #
    tiffiny — April 2, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    ohhhh i hate when people drink milk mid chew. ehhhh that is one of my biggest pet peeves. i don’t really know if you’d call it a pet peeve. one of the biggest things that grosses me out? i don’t know, but i don’t like it!!!


  28. #
    Eli aka NC — April 10, 2012 @ 9:44 am

    You’re not weird and you’re not alone, I also loathe milk since I was a kid. :-)


  29. #
    Mary — July 21, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

    Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh….people who drink milk from the cereal bowl. It is just wrong.


  30. #
    Rachele — February 11, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    I just stumbled upon your site tonight and am having so much fun reading your posts! I absolutely hate milk – always have. And yes, I too thought I was alone as a weird freak. But according to the posts here, there are many of us. I hated milk so much that I poured water on my granola when I was a kid. I do like ice cream, but prefer froyo. Anyway, I love your posts. You are so fun. Thank you for sharing!! It was so much fun to read. I can not wait to try this. I mostly use rice milk and almond milk for smoothies and cooking/baking.


  31. #
    Mary — March 5, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

    I couldn’t even get started at first and went to Alana’s recipe. It’s in very poor taste to talk about how much it makes you sick to drink milk. Who cares? Not this reader. And your description is over the top on a food blog.

    I taught my children to ignore the food others were eating and refrain from commenting in a negative way. You are being rude otherwise. That way you can take your children to the home of others who don’t eat the mainstream American diet, and they will be polite, and hopefully even open-minded.

    I will try your vanilla version tomorrow.

    All the Best to You



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