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.
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.
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.
I should have totally put a cherry on top for these photos. Let’s just pretend it’s there.
(Yay faux milkshakes!)
Vegan Vanilla Cashew Shake
- 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.
I don’t know the difference between a shake and a smoothie either – all I know is they are gooood! Love the cashews and banana – this is probably just like a milk shake. Aka the perfect breakfast!
Absolutely delicious looking! I want a taste now! I think it might taste Superb when i make and drink it 🙂
Shake vs Smoothie. I don’t know! Sometimes I leave my smoothie in the fridge overnight and have to shake it all back together a little. Does that mean that by that action I changed it from a smoothie to a shake! So confused…
Despite my confusion over terminology in that case, I can see that there is a perfect word for this recipe: delicious! I can’t wait to try it out. A healthy, ice cream tasting treat! Without the icky feeling of too much sugar and bad fats afterwards? Sign me up!
Why should you feel gross when drinking a milkshake? Why should one feel gross at all, when eating? “Food guilt” is something that comes up everywhere these days. I feel guilty sometimes too, but I wish I didn’t.
But my comments aside; I really like your recipe. I usually make a protein shake after training, but I would like to try substituting the protein powder with cashews.
I think that a shake has to have ice cream in it. If it doesn’t have ice cream then it isn’t a shake, it’s a smoothie. Maybe that helps. This looks great and I loooove me some cashews. I will likely give this a go!
This is the ultimate vegan dessert. I’m drinking it now and I might faint. THANK YOU!
did you happen to calculate the protein in this drink? It was really good! I like to figure out how much protein I am getting. thx!
Hi Andrea, yes – it has around 10-11 grams of protein. 🙂
This was so, so good!! First smoothie I ever made that tasted and looked as good as the picture. Thank you! xx
Ahmazing. This didn’t taste like cashews, bananas, or the unflavoured pea protein powder I slipped in (have you ever tried that? it’s not so much unflavoured as ‘without a pleasant flavour’), but just like the greatest thing. Cool!
I’m so glad you liked it! I’ve not tried pea protein powder but now I’m intrigued!
This milkshake looks so creamy and amazing! I need to try this with a cherry on top! 🙂 Deelish!
Any recommendations to make this banana free?
Leave out the banana.
John, you are awesome.
I love this and it is so good,
Absolutely love this recipe! Looks so delicious. Just made a cashew date smoothie the other day and it is the creamiest thing in the world. Non-vegans could never tell it’s dairy-free.
Gotta try this one asap 🙂
Wow-this is delicious! I didn’t have any cashews, but had cashew milk (used 1 cup). So creamy! Perfect breakfast 🙂 Thank you!
This is flippin delicious.
Wow this is so good! I’ve tried a lot of different protein shakes and think they’re all disgusting so I was searching for something I could make myself. This really is as good as you describe! I’ve made it 5 times already. I use a frozen banana and no ice then add 1 tbsp peanut butter to add 4g protein. Now I keep cashews soaking in my fridge at all times so I can make this anytime! I have a cheap blender so soaking really helps. Thanks for the great recipe!
Yum! Subbed with macadamias because I was out of cashews. Nice, creamy, and refreshing.
Ooh, that sounds like a seriously tasty substitution!
Love this! I just started putting raw cashews into my smoothies and they add such an awesome creamy element! I’ve been doing green smoothies, but I needed a little break today from drinking my spinach. This little gem fits the bill perfectly! Also love the addition of chia seeds 🙂
I always use frozen fruits and they make “ice cream.”
Do you know the nutritional information aside from the protein?
I’m trying to figure out the macros to this.
I added a tablespoon of gelatin (for two cups liquid, a scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder, chia, and some homemade dried orange peel for a truly delicious creamsicle flavor! Thank you so much for this creative, satisfying drink.
Do you put the chia seeds in dry or do you soak them first?
Love, love, love! We have made this twice now. Such an amazing Vanilla Shake! So good, I had to share on IG. TY.
Thank you for this recipe. I didn’t think anything could pry that pop tart out of my daughter’s hand on her way to school every morning. She loves this shake and my hubby does to. It’s also a great base for added in other flavors.
This shake was delicious! Thanks for sharing.
So glad you liked it! Thanks so much for your review.
Wow, this recipe really is a milkshake. I used just a regular old Oster blender, and it came out great. Also, I added peanut butter because my friend loves pb shakes!
Oh my goodness I need to try this with peanut butter – sounds delicious!
Do you know how many calories are in this smoothie? Looks delicious but I’m trying to lose weight 🙁
Just tried this with what I had on hand and it was great! I used almonds and sugar, but I’d love to try it with cashews and syrup. Great base idea for using various fruits and nuts!
This doesn’t taste like vanilla… the 1 whole banana over powers the entire thing. It is still good if you rename it a banana milkshake
Hmm … maybe try a less-ripe banana next time? The riper the banana the more banana-y the taste.
Taste wonderful!! Thank you!!
do you know what the macros are for this? i’m guessing its pretty high in fat (cashews) and i’m currently on a HCLF diet so trying to keep my fat macros pretty low
if you don’t want the extra cals from the cashews i suggest substituting them for some extra banana or some low fat peanut butter powder (although it’s gonna make it taste more peanut like)
Oh my gosh this was amazing!!! I soaked my cashews, only because I’m in the habit of it, and I’ve read before that it’s good for digestion. I used a teaspoon of vanilla bean powder, not extract (I love vanilla!) and a frozen banana, instead of fresh. I also sprinted some extra salt on at the end, and it was one of the yummiest smoothies I’ve ever made!!!!! Thank you for this amazing recipe!
I just made this for my husband who’s just been put on a very strict diet. He is DELIGHTED that he doesn’t have to give up on vanilla milkshakes. HAH! I did tell him the truth about the ingredients. I’m going to see what happens if I throw in a few strawberries next time….Thanks so much.
Recommendation for subbing out the banana? I detest them and all vegan “dessert” shakes seem to have them! I can sub in berries for a lot of them, but for ones that are mixed with peanut butter or chocolate, etc, I don’t like using berries.
i love this shake!! so easy, and the ingredients are so simple too. i recommend adding some extra maple, and to make it even more protein rich i suggest adding some protein powder
With a little tweak this is the vanilla shake I will come back to. It was a bit too sweet and thick so I just added about 1/3 c almond milk and it was perfect for my taste. Delish!