Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake

I feel like I just gorged myself on a vanilla milkshake. Except I don’t feel gross about it. Because what I drank tasted just like a vanilla milkshake, but really, it was just a creamy dreamy smoothie. One with right around 12 grams of natural plant-based proteins – no protein powder, no problem.

Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake - More than 10 grams of plant-based protein (no powders!), and tastes just like a vanilla milkshake!

Please allow me to digress with a little shake vs. smoothie talk for a moment.

For awhile, I was putting ice cubes into my shake/smoothie recipes and calling them smoothies. Then I realized that smoothies don’t usually contain ice, but shakes do. Except milkshakes don’t. So basically, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t know the difference between a smoothie and a shake.

What I do know is that this Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake tastes like a freakin’ vanilla milkshake! Oh wait – I already said that. Sorry. I’m excited.

Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake - More than 10 grams of plant-based protein (no powders!), and tastes just like a vanilla milkshake!

All summer long, I’ve been going crazy for this Tastes Like Ice Cream Kale Shake from The Blender Girl. The. Best. Green smoothie. EVER. I was convinced I would forever prefer the more-neutral spinach in my green smoothies until this one came along.

I love my kale smoothies, but this time, I felt like something a little different. Plus, I was fresh out of kale. So I came up with this new version, using some of the genius ingredients/methods found in The Blender Girl’s kale shake recipe:

  • Genius idea #1: Raw cashews (no need to soak!) together with some water, blended right into smoothies and shakes, add an incredibly creamy element. No dairy needed.
  • Genius tip #2: Yes – it has a banana. But it doesn’t need to be frozen! Which is kind of unusual! And in fact, it shouldn’t even be super ripe as in with many smoothies, because you don’t want the banana flavor to take over.
  • Genius tip #3: A pinch of salt. Why didn’t I think of that?!

So yeah. A healthy, plant-based shake that pretty much tastes like a vanilla milkshake that you’d get from the best burger place in town. That’s a win right there. The fact that it’s full of satisfying protein is the (proverbial) cherry on top.

Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake - More than 10 grams of plant-based protein (no powders!), and tastes just like a vanilla milkshake!

I should have totally put a cherry on top for these photos. Let’s just pretend it’s there.

(Yay faux milkshakes!)

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Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake

A creamy, protein-rich smoothie that tastes like a vanilla milkshake!


  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup ice cubes (about 5-6 large cubes)




Place all ingredients in the pitcher of a high-powered blender (I recently got a Vitamix and haven’t looked back – totally worth the investment). Blend on low until all ingredients are fairly well incorporated, then blend on high until completely pureed, about 30 seconds. Pour into a glass and serve with a straw.

* The chia seeds are optional, but the protein will be reduced if you leave them out.

To up the protein factor, you may want to add some hemp hearts or flaxseed meal to the mix too, though they do change the taste ever so slightly.

Adapted from The Blender Girl

// All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.