Cashew Cream

What the heck is cashew cream?  It’s a great dairy free alternative to cream in recipes, and it can take on many flavors, making it versatile for both savory and sweet recipes.  Yes, it has fat, but it is the good kind of fat.  I’ll put the recipe to make it below, and then give you some serving suggestions for using it in cooking.  It requires NO cooking and all you need is a good blender.

To make Cashew Cream:

Cashew cream is an amazing “Blank Slate” that makes whatever you add to it creamier and richer.  I use it as a base to convert many recipes to  dairy-free.  It’s much richer and thicker than soy or almond milk. Here’s how to make a homemade vegan cashew cream. As long as you use raw cashews, this even looks similar to sour cream. (Just a bit more beige).  If you want to replicate cream cheese, use less water when you “blenderize” the soaked nuts.
Now, if you’re reading this fast, I will say it again:

“If you use roasted and salted nuts, it will NOT taste right or behave like a cream.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole raw cashews
  • cold water

Preparation:

Put 2 cups whole, raw cashews (stay away from smaller pieces, which tend to be dry and end up as hard bits in the sauce) and rinse very well under cold water. Put in a bowl and add cold water to cover by an inch or two. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain the cashews and rinse with cold water.

Place the cashews in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (I use a Magic Bullet type blender for this and do small batches.  You can do it all at once if you’re using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream.  If you find it lumpy even after blending, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)  Refrigerate after making, keeps up to 2-3 days in the frig, and you can freeze, but it will be a bit lumpy when it defrosts.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups regular cashew cream.

Here’s what to do with your homemade raw cashew cream:

Not Sweet:  (Savory)

If you’re using it in a main dish or vegetable, you can add a pinch of vinegar and/or lemon juice to the final sauce.  You can also mix in dill, sun dried tomatoes, basil, or rosemary to make a great veggie dip.  Added to vegetable soups like broccoli, leek or carrot, it doubles as cream without all the bad fat!  Cook your favorite veggies in broth, season, blenderize, and add a dollop of cashew cream for a great soup!

It also makes a great alternative to sour cream or nacho cheese dip!  Add cumin for a southwest taste, Curry for Indian.  The other night I made a dairy free lasagna using it, meat sauce, and spinach between the layers of the pasta.  We didn’t miss the cheese at all.  It was great.

Add an avocado and fresh cilantro to your blender, about 1/4 cup cashew cream, and you have a creamy guacamole.  Add hot sauce to taste.

Red Potatoes?  Mix some cashew cream with avocado and lime juice and a bit of aleppo or cayenne pepper and you have a healthy dressing that is much tastier than mayo!

Add to pasta for a creamy sauce, add a bit of tomato sauce, and you have a creamy tomato based entree.

Sweet:

If you’re using it with fruit or smoothies, add a bit of fresh diced fruit, honey or cinammon to taste.

Add to non-dairy yogurt for a thicker pudding like consistency, add fresh fruit.

Experiment and let me know what you come up with!

One thought on “Cashew Cream

  1. Pingback: (Almost) Dairy Free Lasagna | Time 2 Thrive

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