Nut Milks and Cooking?

Never been a nut milk guy, but am thinking about it… but if I have to keep real milk around for cooking, I’ll probably pass.

Things I do with milk include bechamel and other sauces, mashed potatoes, pancakes, and of course baking.

So my question is… can you do the above with nut milks? And if so, what are the pros and cons?

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Not sure. I feel using nutmilk for cooking is probably ok. It may taste different, but it may work. Baking is different because now we are talking about texture and firmness… which I think many types of nut milk cannot do the same.

nutmilks are usually lower in fat than regular whole milk and fat carries flavor.

am thinking you don’t want the bechamel to taste of… nothing?

I’ve never used whole milk (usually 2%). Definitely not trying to argue with you, but don’t nuts have fat? Plus some flavor of their own? Granted I have no experience here, and if you do I am interested in hearing about it.

Sure, but it won’t taste the same — the same way that coffee with almond milk isn’t remotely similar to that with dairy milk.

I’ve cooked with nut milks when food allergies had to be accounted for — but it took. a lot of adjustment to taste… good.


Thanks. Real experience is what I am looking for.

Any ideas on how to use a carton of almond milk to make a dish that will taste good? I don’t like it in my coffee.

I’ve used oat milk and nut milks to make the Greek milk pie galaktoboureko ( and it has always turned out really well. I suspect that when you make a rich custard, the relative proportion of milkfat may be less of an issue (though I also tend to use extra creamy versions of non dairy milks).

Rice pudding has turned out well with almond milk, and I bet that galaktoboureko would, too. Potato, tapioca, or corn starch can help with the lack of thickening that can occur when cooking with the lower fat mylks (as can butter, if you can use it).

I think the trickiest part for me is figuring out how all of the stabilizers (eg xanthan, guar gum) will impact the overall dish. Haven’t run into a disaster yet, but I can imagine it happening.

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Thanks! Bougatsa and galatoboureko are also often thickened with cream of wheat or semolina.

I think I’ll try making a rice pudding!

yes nuts have fat, but notice how thin the “milks” are? it’ not like eating almond butter. if you check the nutrition labels, a serving of almond milk has 3 gms of fat and even 2% milk has 4.5gms.

i haven’t bothered to cook with it because:

it tastes disgusting and the texture is incredibly off-putting to me
it’s expensive
i have no allergies to lactose

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My husband makes cashew milk by blending cashews and water. No soaking or straining. It comes out creamy , frothy, and thicker and whiter than commercial nut milks. His coffee looks like he put full fat dairy milk in it. I sometimes use it in things like mashed potatoes if I don’t have milk on hand. It works pretty well. Better than almond milk.

I sometimes use commercial almond milk to make cook-n-serve instant pudding. It works fine for that. It does not work for regular instant pudding.

I have read that cashew milk is among the better nut milks… but when you say “pretty well”, what are the caveats?

I am not in love with the flavor of cashew milk in the potatoes. It has a sweetness to it that I would not like if I were eating mashed potatoes on their own. Plus, it does not come out as fluffy, not as much body or maybe I just mean a different mouth feel than traditionally made mashed potatoes. I don’t mind it served with a heavily flavored stew but would not serve as a Thanksgiving side dish. Some people might not notice. Especially if they did not know I made the substitution. But then some people say they don’t notice when their mashed potatoes are laced with mashed cauliflower.

Almond milk tends to have a drab color and a thin texture. At least the ones I have used. As a result, the mashed potatoes made with almond milk comes out flat and greyish in color. I do not recall liking homemade almond milk much better than commercial. I think because the almond milk needs to be strained so it has less body.

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Macadamia milk is the best nut milk I’ve tried. It actually tasted good in a latte.

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I don’t like it in my coffee either.

I think this might be a case of throwing good ingredients after bad — I’m going to suggest you not try to turn it into anything else…

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@Rainycatcooks you might try using pureed soaked cashew paste instead of the thinner milk form — that’s used in some indian dishes for richness instead of (or in addition to) dairy, and it works pretty well paired with faux-bechamel for mac and cheese without milk. But yes, there’s a sweetness that has to be offset.


Might be worth the $3.50 loss vs the small cost of my rice, spices and energy to cook it.

Tempted to make rice pudding to see how it turns out- the cost of the rice and spice would be buck or 2, I mean, maybe sugar, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon can work some magic!

You’ll have to add back the richness that makes rice pudding delicious. Again… you’ll need to do a lot to fix the basic issue, which is the almond milk.

Oh - smoothies. Puree it with fruit. It won’t make that worse.

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Can you believe I’ve never made a smoothie at home? I don’t like cleaning blenders! LOL. I am worried that I won’t like the smoothie- even orange juice and apple juice ruin smoothies for me, I know almond milk would! I basically only like mango lassi or strawberry lassi- that’s as close to a smoothie that I would choose to drink!

Or a Piña Colada, with coconut cream, fresh pineapple , dark rum and no almond milk!

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One of my favs (with a dash of vanilla and a squeeze of lime), with or without booze.

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