Chocolate milk has long been touted as one of the best recovery drinks because of its ideal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. Nutrition Expert Rachael Hartley shares a new way to get our drink on with this amazing plant-based version without all of the added sugar: Cashew Coconut Recovery Milk

Have you heard that chocolate milk is the best way to refuel after a workout? Researchers (funded by the dairy industry, obviously) found out that chocolate milk has the perfect ratio of carbs to protein to replenish glycogen stores and build muscle after a hard workout.

True, but do you really want to get your carbs from added sugar and protein from conventional dairy? I knew there had to be a better way.

So, I started playing around with recipes and I came up with this cashew-coconut milk, which has the exact same 4:1 ratio! Not only that, but coconut water, a rich source of electrolytes like potassium, sodium and magnesium, helps rehydrate. If you want to squeeze in some extra protein, feel free to add a scoop of protein powder to the mix. You could also use almonds or any other nut you like, but I love that you don’t have to strain cashews. Just give it a good shake!


  • 1 cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
  • 5 cups coconut water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey


Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until pureed and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. I store individual servings in mason jars and give it a good shake before serving.

Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE is a private practice dietitian, food enthusiast, and nutrition expert based in Columbia, SC.  By guiding others to rediscover the joy of nourishment rather than deprivation, Rachael helps men and women alike improve their health and well-being through delicious whole food recipes and practical advice. To begin living your healthiest days ahead, connect to work with Rachael by visiting Avocado A Day Nutrition

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