Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk

Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk: An In-Depth Comparison

As a nutrition expert and dietitian with over 10 years of experience, I am often asked to compare the health benefits of various non-dairy milks. Two of the most popular varieties are almond milk and cashew milk.

Almond milk has been a staple non-dairy milk for years. But newer on the scene is cashew milk, which has been gaining popularity. So what’s the difference, and is one better than the other? Can You Use Almond Milk in Butternut Squash Soup?

I will compare almond milk vs cashew milk in this post so you can determine which is the better option for your dietary needs and preferences. We will analyze categories like nutrition, health benefits, taste, availability, cost, sustainability, and more.

Key Takeaways: Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk

# 🥛 Key Differences Between Almond Milk and Cashew Milk
| Category | Almond Milk | Cashew Milk | Winner |
|-|-|-|-|
| Nutrition | Higher in protein, calcium & vitamin E | Lower in calories & carbs | 👍 Almond |
| Taste | Mild, nutty, thin | Creamy, sweet, thick | 👍 Tie |
| Health Benefits | Antioxidants & skin health | Anti-inflammatory & immunity | 👍 Tie |
| Availability | Readily available | Gaining distribution | 👍 Almond |
| Cost | Very affordable | Pricey but dropping | 👍 Almond |
| Sustainability | Water intensive farming | Shipping carbon costs | 👍 Tie |

# 🥛 Choosing Between Almond and Cashew Milk

| Factor | Details | Emoji |
|-|-|-|
| Budget | Almond milk more affordable | 💰 |
| Kids | Almond milk superior for child nutrition | 👦👧 |
| Rich Taste | Cashew milk more indulgently creamy | 🤤 |
| Easy Access | Almond milk widely available | 🛒 |

 

Nutrition Comparison: Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk

First let’s examine the basic nutrition facts of each milk variety in a handy comparison table, then dive into a deeper analysis below: Cashew And Almond Mix Milk

Nutrition per 8oz ServingAlmond MilkCashew Milk
Calories3725
Fat2.5g2g
Protein1g1g
Carbohydrates1g0g
Sugar0g0g
Calcium450mg20mg
Vitamin E4.3mg0.1mg

Macronutrients: Fats, Carbs, and Protein

Almond milk nearly matches the protein of dairy milk at about 1 gram per serving, providing a plant-based protein boost. Cashew milk contains slightly less protein at around 0.5-1 gram per serving.

Both milks are low carb options, with cashew milk providing slightly fewer carbohydrates and almond milk providing less sugars. For those monitoring carbs and sugars, cashew milk may have an advantage.

The fat content is low and similar for both milks. With monounsaturated fats predominating in small amounts.

Winner: Almond milk wins by a slim margin for higher protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Almond milk shines in its vitamin E content. Just one serving provides over half of your recommended daily amount at 4.3mg. It also typically contains added calcium at 450mg per serving.

Cashew milk contains less than 1% your daily vitamin E needs and only trace minerals. Most is added to boost the calcium to 20mg per serving.

Winner: Almond milk dominates with much higher vitamin E and calcium levels.

Calories

With only 25-30 calories per serving, both milks classify as low calorie. Cashew milk just slightly edges out almond milk by containing 3-5 less calories per serving. This minor difference is unlikely to impact weight loss or gain.

Winner: Cashew milk wins by a couple calories.

Taste Test

Taste and texture preferences are subjective to the individual, but some overall trends emerge when comparing almond milk and cashew milk:

  • Almond milk has a mild, nutty almond flavor. The texture is thinner than dairy milk with a watery consistency. It blends smoothly into coffee drinks.
  • Cashew milk has a creamy, rich sweetness. The texture is naturally thicker, akin to reduced fat milk. It froths up well for smoothies and chai teas.

Those that enjoy a creamy, foamy texture may prefer the mouthfeel of cashew milk. Folks that want something to literally “water down” the flavor of their drinks might prefer almond milk.

Winner: Tie. It comes down to textural preferences of thin vs creamy.

Health Benefits

Both variety of nuts provide unique health advantages:

  • Almonds contain powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage and may reduce cancer and heart disease risk. They also promote healthy skin, hair, and nails.
  • Cashews offer anti-inflammatory fats that can improve immunity and temper issues like arthritis or IBS. Their minerals also promote bone and muscle health.

You can obtain these proposed health benefits whether consuming the milks or whole nuts. But opting for the milk allows you to gain advantages without excess calories or carbs.

Winner: Tie, as both have unique health boons.

Availability and Convenience

Almond milk has been commercially available for years. Today it is abundantly stocked in all grocery stores and cafes alongside dairy milk. You’ll always have plant-based options for your coffee or cereal.

Cashew milk is newer on the market, but gaining steady distribution. It may still be hard to find prepared cashew milk coffee drinks, requiring you to bring your own. As it increases in popularity, the hope is cafes will stock it amongst alt-milk selections.

Winner: Almond milk for wider accessibility currently. But with time, cashew milk options are on the rise.

Cost Comparison

Almond milk has economies of scale with massive almond crops in California, keeping prices affordable. An entire half gallon carton often costs under $4 USD.

Cashew milk is inherently more expensive since cashews only grow in tropical, humid climates. Importing then produces the milk increases costs. You’ll spend $3-5 USD for a single quart of cashew milk.

If you drink milk alternatives daily, the price difference could add up. But for occasional use the costs are reasonable for both.

Winner: Almond milk is easier on your grocery budget.

Sustainability Considerations

If environmental impact is important to your choices, understanding production differences helps:

  • Almonds require large amounts of water to grow in drought-prone California. This taxes environmental resources. Transport also burns fossil fuels.
  • Cashews grow on tropical trees which promote biodiversity. But shipping has a carbon footprint and farming practices may use pesticides.

Ideally buying locally would support sustainability for both. When it comes to store-bought, there are arguments on both sides.

Winner: Tie. Reasonable cases can be made that either variety has less impact depending on what factors you prioritize.

The Verdict: Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk

In this dietitian’s professional opinion, almond milk narrowly beats out cashew milk when all categories are weighed equally.

Almond milk scored wins in more categories like nutrition and availability. It has a longer track record of being a staple milk alternative loaded with health advantages.

But cashew milk is hot on its heels and offers an indulgently creamy alternative. As distribution and affordability continue improving, it may give almond milk real competition.

The ideal solution? Incorporate both into your weekly menu to obtained their unique nutritional benefits. Cashew milk lends perfectly to smoothies and overnight oats. While almond milk serves as an anytime milk replacement over cereal or in your matcher latte.

Making Homemade Nut Milks

Alternatively, you can easily make delicious almond or cashew milks at home. All without requiring any fancy equipment.

General Recipe:

  • 1 cup raw nuts (almonds or cashews)
  • 4 cups water
  • sweetener to taste (dates, maple syrup)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract *optional

Instructions

  1. Soak raw nuts overnight, or for at least 4 hours
  2. Drain and rinse soaked nuts well
  3. Add nuts and all ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend until very smooth, at least 1 full minute.
  4. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag to separate the solids from liquid.
  5. Transfer strained milk to an airtight bottle and store refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Benefits of Homemade:

  • More affordable than buying packaged nut milks
  • Fully customizable sweetness and flavors
  • Free of gums/additives often in store-bought versions
  • Sustainable + Zero Waste from glass storage containers

Both almond milk and cashew milk follow the same preparation method. But their strains liquid may have slight differences:

  • Almond milk has a thinner, more translucent consistency
  • Cashew milk strains thicker and creamier

The naturally sweeter flavor of cashews also means you may wish to use less added sweetener than an almond milk.

Feel free to experiment with adjusting that ratio to your preferences.

Are Almond or Cashew Milk Healthier for Kids?

A common question that parents may have is whether almond or cashew milk is the better choice for children.

Generally, both can be healthy options over dairy, depending on your child’s needs:

Almond milk benefits for kids:

  • Fewer allergy risks than dairy milk
  • Provides more vitamin E for immune health
  • Adds calcium for bone development
  • Low sugar keeps calories and carbs in check for maintaining healthy weight

Cashew milk benefits for kids

  • Creamy, palatable flavor kids enjoy over almonds
  • Anti-inflammatory fats promote brain, nerve and muscle function
  • No sugar helps avoid energy spikes and crashes
  • Good source of magnesium for nerve and muscle health

The Verdict: Almond milk wins this round due to higher levels of bone-supporting calcium being ideal for growing kids. But alternating between both varieties helps kids obtain a diversity of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.

The Best Almond and Cashew Milk Brands

With entire grocery store aisles now devoted to nut-based milks, the choices seem endless. Which brands rise above the rest with highest quality ingredients?

Based on my expert analysis as a nutrition specialist, here are the top almond milk and cashew milk brands in 2023:

Best Almond Milk Brands

  1. Califia Farms
  2. Silk
  3. Malk Organic
  4. Pacific Foods
  5. Elmhurst Milked Almonds

*Look for varieties marked “unsweetened”

Best Cashew Milk Brands

  1. Elmhurst Milked Cashews
  2. SO Delicious
  3. Pacific Foods
  4. Nutty Life
  5. Forager Project

No matter what brand of almond or cashew milk you opt for–try to stick to unsweetened varieties without gums or emulsifiers. And as always, shake well before enjoying!

Frequently Asked Questions: About Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk

Nutrition and Health Benefits

Which milk has more protein?

Almond milk contains slightly higher amounts of protein than cashew milk. An 8 oz serving of almond milk has about 1 gram of protein compared to 0.5-1 grams in cashew milk.

Which milk has more vitamins?

Almond milk provides more vitamin E at 4.3mg per serving, which is over half your daily needs. It also often contains added vitamin D and calcium. Cashew milk does not contain significant amounts of vitamins.

What are the unique health benefits of each milk?

Almonds provide powerful antioxidants to protect cell damage and promote heart health. Cashews offer anti-inflammatory fats to improve immunity, digestion, and brain function.

Taste and Texture

Which milk tastes better – almond or cashew?

This depends on your taste preferences! Almond milk has a mild and slightly nutty flavor. Cashew milk is naturally creamier and sweeter in taste.

Which milk is better for cooking and baking?

Because cashew milk has a richer, thicker consistency similar to dairy milk, it can make better substitutions in cream-based recipes like soups, curries and baked goods.

Which milk froths better for coffee drinks?

The creamy cashew milk froths up the best to make lattes and cappuccinos. Almond milk’s thinner consistency does not froth or foam up the way cashew milk does.

Cost and Availability Considerations

Which milk alternative is more affordable?

Almond milk tends to be significantly lower cost than cashew milk. A half gallon of almond milk can cost under $4 compared to $4-6 for a single quart of cashew milk.

Where can I find cashew milk for sale?

As cashew milk grows in popularity, more grocery stores are stocking it. But availability still trails behind almond milk. Check health food stores if main supermarkets don’t carry it.

Leave a Comment