Cashew milk is a creamy, lactose-free drink that's made by blending raw cashews with water. With approximately 65 percent of humans being intolerant to lactose, as per the U.S. National Library of Medicine, making the switch to dairy alternatives like cashew milk is more important than ever.
According to the Nielsen Company, non-dairy milks like cashew milk and almond milk have garnered $8.7 billion in sales. This is a result of the changing preferences of consumers to products containing no artificial flavors and ones that are made from fruit and vegetable ingredients.
Cashew Milk Calories
The UMass Center for Applied Nutrition explains that unsweetened milks that contain no added sugars are the best choice as they contain the lowest number of calories per serving. According to the USDA, one cup of So Delicious unsweetened cashew milk contains 36 calories and 3.50 grams of fat.
The calorie content of cashew milk depends on flavorings and added sweeteners — there are 156 calories in one cup of Urban Remedy's cashew milk and 11 grams of fat, which contributes 17 percent of one's total daily value. A cup of strawberry cashew milk by Whole Foods contains 180 calories and provides 8.01 grams, or 12 percent, of the total daily value of fat.
One serving of homemade cashew milk requires two-thirds of a cup of raw cashews to make 16 ounces of cashew milk. It has approximately 272 calories and 15 grams, or 21 percent, total daily value of fat, as well as 27 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein.
Cashew Milk Nutrition
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the recommended daily intake for dairy products is only three servings, primarily due to the high nutrient content of dairy. Commercially produced non-dairy milk alternatives such as cashew milk have to be fortified with vitamins and minerals in order to provide the same nutritional benefits as cow's milk. Always check the nutrition label on cashew milk packaging.
Read More: The Pros and Cons of Almond Milk
A cup of So Delicious cashew milk contains no trans or saturated fats or cholesterol, making it a less caloric alternative to canned coconut milk and almond milk. It is also fortified with calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamin A and vitamin D. Cedars Sinai explains that these important nutrients are conventionally present in cow's milk; however, nut milks like cashew milk that have been fortified with the key vitamins and minerals serve as an acceptable alternative.
Cashew Milk Benefits
The creaminess of cashew milk makes it a good vegan substitute in dishes that typically call for cow's milk. It also works well in desserts like ice cream, as well as dairy-free nut cheeses and savory pasta sauces. And, according to a September 2016 study in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, cashew milk may also serve as a cheaper alternative to dairy in developing countries where access to cow's milk is inadequate.
For anyone that's allergic to milk — which according to Cleveland Clinic is one of the most prevalent food allergies affecting people today — cashew milk serves as a great alternative beverage. Store-bought cashew milk is usually fortified with vitamin A and vitamin D, which are essential for good health. Vitamin D, in particular, is a fat-soluble vitamin that has a variety of benefits, including helping the body better absorb minerals like calcium and preventing osteoporosis.
- US National Library of Medicine: Lactose Intolerance
- Nielsen Company: Americans are Nuts for Almond Milk
- USDA National Nutrient Database: So Delicious Dairy Free, Cashew Milk Beverage, Unsweetened
- USDA FoodData Central: Cashew Milk
- USDA FoodData Central: Strawberry Cashew Milk
- UMass Center for Applied Nutrition: The IBD-AID Diet: Dairy and Milk Alternatives
- Cleveland Clinic: Who Gets a Milk Allergy?
- Practical Gastroenterology: Moo-ove Over, Cow’s Milk: The Rise of Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives
- Cedars Sinai: Milk Mania: Cow vs. Soy vs. Nut
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Raw Jumbo Cashews
- Journal of Food Science and Technology: Plant-Based Milk Alternatives an Emerging Segment of Functional Beverages: A Review
- Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Appendix E-3.6: Dairy Group and Alternatives
- Community Table From Epicurious: Easy Homemade Cashew Milk
- VitaCost.com: So Delicious Cashew Milk Beverage Unsweetened Vanilla
- VitaCost.com: Imagine Foods Cashew Dream Cashew Drink Unsweetened Original