Cashew Milk vs Almond Milk: Which is Better? Let’s Compare

As a Certified Health Coach many of my clients ask me about cashew and almond milk. They are becoming more popular and have many similarities. This causes many of my clients to ask, which is better cashew milk vs almond milk?

Store bought cashew milk, and almond milk contains similar nutrients and offers similar benefits. Store bought nut milks are less nutrient dense than homemade nut milks. Homemade almond milk is better than homemade cashew milk due to a higher percentage of nutrients obtained from the almonds.

First this article will take a look at their pros and cons and include a side-by-side comparison of their nutrients. In addition, I’ll examine their tastes, prices, glycemic index and benefits.

I’ve researched both for my clients and my personal use. I’ve purchased, researched and consumed both prior to, during and after writing this article.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Cashew Milk

  • Creamier texture.
  • Smoother, milder taste.
  • Store bought is low in calories.
  • Store bought lasts longer than dairy milk.
  • Homemade is easy to make.

Cons of Cashew Milk

  • More difficult to find.
  • More expensive than dairy milk.
  • Store bought version is low in protein.
Almond milk and cashew milk.
Almond milk and cashew milk

Pros of Almond Milk

  • Contain more vitamin E.
  • Store bought is low in calories.
  • Nuttier flavor.
  • Store bought lasts longer than dairy milk.
  • Homemade is easy to make.

Cons of Almond Milk

  • More expensive than dairy milk.
  • Store bought version is low in protein.

Nutritional Analysis of Cashew Milk and Almond Milk

To determine which milk is healthier, we’ll first look at each one nutritional composition. The below table compares the macronutrient, vitamin and mineral content of store-bought:

Nutrient Almond Milk (1 cup)Silk Brand Cashew Milk (1 cup)Silk Brand
Calories 30 25
Fiber 0 g 0 g
Total Fat 2.5 g 2 g
Sugar 0 g 0 g
Carbohydrates 1.0 g 1.0 g
Sodium 125 mg 160 mg
Protein 1 g 1 g
Vitamin E 4 mg 4 mg
Calcium 450 mg 450 mg
Iron 0.5 mg 0.5 mg
Potassium 170 mg 0 mg

Nutrient Sources 1 2 3 4

After checking the nutrients above it’s difficult to determine which is healthier. Let’s take a closer look and answer the question, which is healthier?

Commercial almond milk and cashew milk are similar in calories, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Due to their similar nutrients, they both offer similar health benefits.

Store bought varieties aren’t as nutrient dense as their whole food form. In other words, almond and cashew nuts offer more nutrients than their store version milks.

Almond nuts contain more protein than store bought almond milk and cashew nuts contain more protein than store bought cashew milk. The same can be said for other nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

Store bought nut milks are typically fortified with calcium and vitamin D to make them more equivalent to cow milk.

I include both milks as part of my nutrition plan. Although I use almond milk more often for its higher percentage of nutrients when it’s homemade.

The following video compares both milks.

Homemade Almond Milk and Cashew Milk

Therefore, both of them made at home from the actual nuts will differ in nutrition from the ones sold at the store. Since homemade is made from the actual nuts and nothing else, their nutritional profile will more match the actual nuts themselves.

Therefore, what’s better, homemade almond milk or homemade cashew milk?

Homemade almond milk is healthier than homemade cashew milk due to a higher percentage of fiber, protein and vitamins. Homemade almond milk provides more vitamin E, vitamin A, folate, niacin, riboflavin, calcium and potassium than homemade cashew milk.

Homemade almond milk contains fewer carbohydrates and sugar.

Homemade cashew milk provides a higher percentage of B5, B6, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and zinc.

Nutrients Found in Cashews and Almonds

Since the homemade milks are made from cashews and almonds, let’s look at their nutrients. This may help you choose one of the two.

The below table compares the macronutrient, vitamin and mineral content of cashews and almonds:

Nutrient Almonds (per 100g) Cashews (per 100g)
Calories 579 553
Fiber 12.5 g 3.3 g
Total Fat 49.9 43.8 g
Sugar 4.4 g 5.91 g
Carbohydrates 21.6 g 30.2 g
Sodium 5.95 mg 12 mg
Protein 21.2 g 18.2 g
Vitamin A 2 IU 0 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.20 mg 0.42 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1.14 mg 0.05 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 3.62 mg 1.06 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.47 mg 0.86 mg
Vitamin B6 0.13 mg 0.41 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 44 mcg 25 mcg
Vitamin E 25.6 mg 0.9 mg
Calcium 269 mg 37 mg
Magnesium 270 mg 292 mg
Iron 3.7 mg 6.7 mg
Phosphorous 481 mg 593 mg
Copper 1.03 mg 2.20 mg
Potassium 733 mg 660 mg
Zinc 3.08 mg 5.78 mg
GI (Glycemic Index) 0 22

Nutrient Sources 5 6

At home I often eat mixed nuts which contain almonds, cashews, pecans and pistachios.

Cashew or Almond, Which to Choose?

If you’re buying store bought, there is not much of a difference between the two. Since their nutrients are similar, which one you choose will come down to personal preference and taste.

If you are making yours at home from almonds and cashews, which one you choose may come down to your goals. Let’s take a look at some of those.

Weight Loss and Calories

Losing weight may be the most popular goal. If your goal is to shed some extra pounds, which homemade milk is better for weight loss?

Homemade almond milk is better for weight loss than homemade cashew milk due to its fewer carbohydrates, sugar and more fiber and protein. In addition, almonds have a lower glycemic index than cashews. This combined with more fiber results in lower blood glucose and makes you feel fuller longer.

Store bought milk is better for weight loss than homemade. Always choose the unsweetened almond milk which has fewer calories and sugar.

Almonds have a few more calories than cashews but the difference is only 7 calories per one ounce serving. This difference doesn’t have a great affect on weight loss.

Homemade milk should be consumed in moderation as the calories can add up faster than the store-bought versions.

Keto and Low-carb Diet

If your goal is a low-carb diet then carbohydrates may be your number one concern. If you’re on a Keto diet, you may ask which has more carbohydrates?

Homemade almond milk is better than homemade cashew milk for a keto or low-carb diet due to its fewer carbohydrates. Cashews contain 8.56 grams of carbohydrates per 1 ounce serving. Almonds contain 6.12 grams of carbohydrates per 1 ounce serving.

Another consideration for low-carb diets is the amount of fat. Almonds provide 14.1 grams of fat per 1 ounce serving and cashews 12.4 grams.

Store bought milk is similar for low-carb diets because they contain the same number of carbohydrates and similar number of fats.

Homemade almond milk at home.
Homemade almond milk

Gluten Free

Store bought and homemade cashew milk and almond milk are gluten free. Cashews and almonds are naturally gluten free. In addition, both nuts can be made into flour and used as a substitute for regular flour in gluten free recipes.

My Vitamix blender I use at home can make almond, cashew or any nut flour in seconds. Check out my blender review here, Vitamix Venturist V1220 Review

Bodybuilding

If your goal is to gain lean muscle mass there’s a good chance you’re lifting weights at home or in the gym. Which is better for bodybuilding?

Store bought cashew and almond milk offer similar benefits for bodybuilding due to their similar number of protein, calories and carbohydrates per serving.

Homemade milk also offer similar bodybuilding benefits. The amount of protein, carbohydrates and calories in almonds and cashews are similar.

Supplements for bodybuilding are expensive, and the costs add up pretty fast. Therefore, the price of the milk may sway your decision.

For homemade milk, cashews cost a little more than almonds, $0.07 more per ounce. The slightly more protein per ounce and cheaper price may sway some people’s decision towards homemade almond milk for bodybuilding.

I prefer almond milk for bodybuilding due to taste and availability in the stores. Immediately following a workout at the gym, I mix a chocolate fudge plant based organic protein powder with the milk.

Taste

If both of them offer equal health benefits for you and the price is similar, you may need something extra to swing the balance. In this case, taste may be the deciding factor. Therefore, what milk has the better taste?

Cashew milk tastes more buttery and rich. Cashew milk is less nutty than almond and a little more sweet. It is a little thicker and found to be slightly creamier than almond milk.

To conduct some original research and get the opinions of real people like you, I decided to poll my clients, readers and people in food groups I belong to. I asked them, which one do they prefer the taste of?

  • 55% said they preferred the taste of almond milk.
  • 37% said they preferred the taste of cashew milk.
  • 8% said they had no preference.

To conduct more original research I’d thought it would be fun to setup a blind taste test at home. I simply poured two glasses of milk, one of each. The results ended in a tie, two of us picking each variety.

In the battle of taste almond milk was the winner in the poll and it was a tie in my home, smaller sample, taste test.

Substituting for Each Other, Dairy Milk or Soy Milk

When someone can’t find one of the two called for in a recipe, a common question asked is, can I substitute one for the other?

Cashew milk and almond milk can substitute for each other and dairy milk in recipes although the taste and texture will slightly change. When substituting one for the other use equal amounts required in the recipe.

If avoiding dairy milk is the goal, either nut milk is good to use because they are each a plant-based milk. Soy milk, made from soybeans, would be another option.

Making cashew milk in a blender.
Making cashew milk in a blender

How to Make Homemade

The process is the same for making homemade milk except cashew milk may not need to be poured through a strainer. All you need are cashews, almonds, a powerful blender and water.

How to Make Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 4 cups of water (preferably filtered)

What’s Needed

  • A powerful blender
  • Strainer or nut milk bag

The more powerful the blender, the better. I own a powerful and reliable Vitamix blender (no overheating). They’re also great for making almond or cashew butter.

Instructions

  1. Soak the almonds in water for 4-6 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse them well.
  3. Combine them with water into the blender.
  4. Blend the mixture until creamy.
  5. Pour the milk through a fine strainer or nut bag for a smoother milk.
  6. Store it inside an airtight container up to four days.

The following video explains how to make almond milk at home.

How to Make Cashew Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 4 cups of water (preferably filtered)

What’s Needed

  • A powerful blender
  • Strainer (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews in water for 2-4 hours.
  2. Drain them and rinse them well.
  3. Combine them with water into the blender.
  4. Blend the mixture until smooth and creamy.
  5. Store it inside an airtight container up to four days.

Tips

  • Soaking the nuts helps remove physic acid. This helps the body get more of the nutrients and makes them easier to digest.
  • Cashews are softer than almonds. Therefore, they blend smoother and don’t require a strainer.
  • For a creamier mixture use only 2 cups of water instead of four.
  • Add maple syrup, vanilla extract or a pinch of salt to add some taste.

The following video explains how to make cashew milk at home.

Find out if it can be frozen in my article, Can Almond Milk be Frozen? Find Out Here.

How Much Do They Cost?

If you’re looking to save money, the cost of food certainly matters to most people. The price may sway your decision about which milk to buy. Therefore, which one costs more?

The price of store-bought cashew milk, and almond milk is similar. The average price for store bought almond milk is $0.42 per 1 cup serving. The average price for store bought cashew milk is $0.40 per 1 cup serving. 

The prices for both foods vary depending on the store, location and sales offered. Therefore, to conduct original research, I searched various different stores to compare the price of both.

I first visited the Shoprite supermarket for the prices:

  • Unsweetened almond (Silk brand)
    • $3.49 per 64 oz container (8 servings) equaling $0.44 per 1 cup serving.
  • Unsweetened cashew (Silk brand)
    • $3.49 per 64 oz container (8 servings) equaling $0.44 per 1 cup serving.

I then checked Walmart for the prices:

  • Unsweetened almond (Silk brand)
    • $3.28 per 64 oz container (8 servings) equaling $0.41 per 1 cup serving.
  • Unsweetened cashew (Silk brand)
    • $2.78 per 64 oz container (8 servings) equaling $0.35 per 1 cup serving

If you’re making your own milk at home, it’s made with almonds and cashews. The price of almonds and cashews will determine which milk costs more.

Therefore, I checked Shoprite again for the price of both nuts:

  • Whole cashews (store brand)
    • $6.99 per 12 oz container (12 servings) equaling $0.58 per 1 ounce serving
  • Whole almonds (store brand)
    • $3.69 per 6 oz container (6 servings) equaling $0.62 per 1 ounce serving

I then checked Walmart:

  • Whole cashews (store brand)
    • $8.58 per 16 oz container (16 servings) equaling $0.54 per 1 ounce serving.
  • Whole natural almonds (store brand)
    • $5.98 per 16 oz bag (16 servings) equaling $0.37 per 1 ounce serving

Homemade cashew milk costs more than homemade almond milk. This is due to cashews costing more than almonds per serving. The average price for whole almonds is $0.49 per 1 ounce serving. The average price for whole cashews is $0.56 per 1 ounce serving.

Kevin Garce checking the prices of cashew and almond milk in his local supermarket.
Checking the prices of cashew and almond milk in my local supermarket

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of food is important especially if blood sugar levels are a concern. Avoiding blood sugar spikes is an important part of consuming healthy food. This is true for diabetics or anyone worrying about their health 7.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale measuring how fast a particular food raises the blood sugar in the blood. Blood sugar spikes can lead to health complications with the heart, nerves, kidneys and eyes 8

Foods on the GI scale are categorized as:

  • Low-GI foods: 55 or under
  • Medium-GI foods: 56-69
  • High-GI foods: 70 or over

How blood sugars levels are affected:

  • Foods with a glycemic index 70 or more cause a quicker spike in blood sugar levels.
  • Foods with a glycemic index 56 to 69 cause a moderate spike in blood sugar levels.
  • Foods with a glycemic index 55 or less cause a slow spike in blood sugar levels.

Having more knowledge of the glycemic index of food and how it raises blood sugar, many people ask, which one has a higher glycemic index?

Homemade almond milk has a lower glycemic index than homemade cashew milk. Almonds have a GI of zero, and cashews have a GI of 22. Almond milk has a glycemic index of 25.

For those fasting in the mornings, check out my article, Will Almond Milk Break My Fast?

Health Benefits

The nutrients in the store-bought varieties is almost identical. For this reason, the benefits from both are similar.

Homemade milk differ more in nutrients and are more nutrient dense than the store-bought milks. Therefore, homemade milk offers more benefits than store bought milks.

The following describes how each nutrient may benefit health.

Minerals

Cashews have a higher percentage of minerals than almonds. Therefore, homemade cashew milk has a higher percentage of minerals.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these minerals and how they benefit health.

Magnesium

Homemade cashew milk provides more magnesium.

Magnesium helps keep blood pressure levels stable and balanced. Recent scientific research examined previous studies and concluded magnesium supplementation decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure 9.

Magnesium helps control the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Nerve function
  • Muscle

In the heart and muscles, magnesium competes with calcium to help the muscles relax after contracting. When the body is low in magnesium, calcium can over stimulate the heart muscle’s cells causing a rapid or irregular heartbeat 10.

One reason many people supplement with magnesium in the evening is because it helps calm the whole-body including blood vessels.

Potassium

Homemade almond milk provides more potassium.

Potassium helps the body get rid of excess sodium reducing fluid build-up. These helps keep systolic and diastolic blood pressure lower 11.

Some medical experts recommend the potassium to sodium ratio of 4:1. Consuming too much sodium or not enough potassium throws off the delicate balance the kidneys need to remove the excess water 12.

According to Harvard Health, a number of studies have shown a connection between low potassium levels and high blood pressure 13. The more potassium, the more sodium your body will lose.

Phosphorus

Homemade cashew milk provides more phosphorus.

Phosphorus has been shown in scientific studies to help with the following:

  • Muscle recovery and contraction.
  • Promote healthy nerve conduction.
  • Promote bone and teeth strength.
  • Help the kidneys remove waste.
  • Help the body manage and store energy.

Calcium

Homemade almond milk provides more calcium.

Calcium is important for the heart and blood pressure. Harvard Health reports calcium helps maintain blood pressure by helping in the controlling of the relaxing and tightening of blood vessels 14.

Calcium also helps the following:

  • Help the muscles to function properly.
  • Helps nerve function.
  • Maintain and build strong bones.

Iron

Homemade cashew milk provides more iron.

Iron is essential in the creation of red blood cells and is a necessary part of any healthy diet. Iron is also vital for growth and development, as some hormones need iron to be appropriately balanced 15. 

For more information check out my article, Can Almond Milk Cause Constipation?

making almond milk in a blender
Making almond milk in a blender

Macros & Fiber

Fiber

Homemade almond milk provides more fiber.

Soluble fiber is helpful for many reasons 16. What makes fiber soluble is it dissolves in water. 

Soluble fiber is known for the following:

  • Help overall digestive health.
  • Manage the blood glucose levels which helps decrease the risk of diabetes.
  • Helps avoid constipation and have a more regular stool.
  • Aids greatly in weight management because it allows you to feel full faster and eat less. 

Protein

Homemade almond milk provides more protein.

Both nuts are a good source of protein. Protein may help benefit the following:

  • Reduce appetite
  • Build and repair muscle
  • Boost metabolism
  • Weight loss

Vitamins

Almonds provide more vitamin A and E. Cashews and almonds provide about an equal number of B vitamins.

Vitamin E

Homemade almond milk provides more vitamin E.

Vitamin E has powerful antioxidant effects. It helps protect cells from oxidative stress by neutralizing the harmful free radicals 17.

Vitamin E is need for proper immune function.

  • May benefit skin health.
  • Helps to reduce the markers of oxidative stress.
  • May reduce heart disease.
  • May improve immune function.
  • Helps to fight inflammation.

B Vitamins

Almonds and cashews provide a higher percentage of three of the six B vitamins listed below. The B vitamins provided include the following:

  1. B1 (thiamin)
  2. B2 (riboflavin)
  3. B3 (niacin)
  4. B5
  5. B6
  6. B9 (folate)

B vitamins help support the following:

  • Brain function.
  • Red blood cells.
  • Digestion.
  • Nerve function.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Energy levels.

A lack of B vitamins has been associated with oxidative stress and neural inflammation.

In a study released in 2018 32 healthy adults were given B vitamin supplementation for six months. The results indicated preliminary evidence B vitamin supplementation reduced oxidative stress and inflammation 18.

The Milk Market and Environmental Impact

Between 2005 and 2015, emissions from the global dairy sector increased. In the U.S. the dairy sector, including the milk market, decreased.

Even though the U.S. dairy industry only accounts for about 2% of U.S. gas emissions, dairy farmers are working on ways to improve their environmental impact.

The large move by consumers to plant based milks, like cashew and almond, also helps to decrease emissions and is better for the environment.

If you have any questions about this article don’t hesitate to email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

Read Next – More Food vs Food Articles!

Almond Milk vs Skim Milk: A Complete Comparison

Cashews vs Almonds: Which is Better? Let’s Compare

Pistachios vs Almonds: Which is Better? Let’s Compare

Peanuts vs Almonds: Which is Healthier? Let’s Compare

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. Silk: Unsweet Cashew Milk[]
  2. Silk: Unsweet Almond Milk[]
  3. USDA: Almond milk, unsweetened, plain, refrigerated[]
  4. USDA: Unsweetened Cashew Plant Based Beverage, Unsweetened Cashew[]
  5. USDA: Nuts, almonds[]
  6. USDA: Nuts, cashew nuts, raw[]
  7. The University of Sydney: Your GI Shopping Guide[]
  8. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them to Manage Your Diabetes[]
  9. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis[]
  10. National Institutes of Health: Magnesium[]
  11. American Heart Association: How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure[]
  12. National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Effect of the Sodium to Potassium Ratio on Hypertension Prevalence: A Propensity Score Matching Approach[]
  13. Harvard Health: Potassium lowers blood pressure[]
  14. Harvard Health: Key minerals to help control blood pressure[]
  15. National Institutes of Health: Iron[]
  16. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Mechanisms linking dietary fiber, gut microbiota and colon cancer prevention[]
  17. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effects of High-dose Vitamin E Supplementation on Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk and Oxidative Stress in Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy: a Randomized Double-blinded Controlled Trial[]
  18. National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Effect of a High-Dose Vitamin B Multivitamin Supplement on the Relationship between Brain Metabolism and Blood Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress: A Randomized Control Trial[]

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