The Best Alternative Milk

September 26, 2012
Quick & Easy Cashew milk


Cashew milk is the easiest nut milk to make because cashews are a very soft nut – so it does not typically require straining.  Cashews are naturally high heart protective healthy monounsaturated fats, zinc, protein, copper, manganese, vitamin K, and magnesium (which over 70% of the population is deficient, key for bone health). It is also a beautiful white color when it is done – so it looks the closest to regular milk too.  Add the sesame and chia and it is high in omega 3s and calcium too.  Delicious and energizing – give it a try!!


  • 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews
  • 2-3 cups of filtered water (use less water if you want a thicker creamier milk, more if you want a thinner milk)
  • a couple pinches of Himalyan sea salt


  • 2 teaspoons of white sesame seeds, or 1 tsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)- adds calcium
  • 2-4 teaspoons of white chia seeds – adds fiber, protein, and omega 3s
  • a pinch of vanilla powder (or a few drops of vanilla extract if you can’t find powder)
  • approx. 5-10 drops of stevia or a teaspoon of raw honey or your choice of sweetener (to taste)


  1. Cover the raw cashews with filtered water (make sure the water is about 1 inch higher than the cashews – as they expand as they soak it up).
  2. Soak the cashews for at least 10 minutes, up to 6 hours.
  3. Drain & discard the soaking water from the cashews.
  4. Add the cashews, fresh filtered water, and other ingredients to the blender, and start on low, then blend on high for a couple minutes.
  5. You may strain it in a milk bag, but cashews are a very soft nut, if you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix, you probably do not need to strain.
  6. Taste and adjust salt, vanilla, sweetener as needed.
  7. Pour into a glass container and store in the refrigerator.
  8. Enjoy!


There are a number of reasons people might want to consider taking a break from pasteurized dairy:

  • Studies show that countries with the highest milk consumption also have the highest rates of fractures and osteoporosis.
  • A majority of the population does not actually have the ability to digest milk at all, which can interfere with nutrient absorption.
  • Studies show that cows milk consumption is linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, especially prostate and ovarian. Read more about the possible hormonal implications of drinking milk.
  • Dairy is one of the first foods I recommend eliminating when there is acne, skin rashes, and bed wetting.
  • Dairy is has been linked to ADD-like symptoms in certain kids with sensitivities (read this article from Gaia, and this one from author Kris Carr).

I recommend against drinking soy milk, because unfermented soy is generally not well-digested by humans, and unless you are getting organic, is one of the most genetically modified foods. Some studies have linked soy milk consumption in men to increased female hormones (read: Soy’s Negative Effects in Men’s Health Magazine).

But recently, we have been reading about the negative health implications of carrageenan – which is added to many alternative milks to keep the ingredients from separating, and also to give it a good “mouth feel.” According to Rodale, carrageenan wreaks havoc on our gut health, and could even be a potential carcinogen.



Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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