Cashew cream has long been a staple in the vegan world —and for good reason! It just may be the queen of dairy-free alternative toppings. Cashew cream, it is rumored, can make even non-vegans forget about everything from mayonnaise to sour cream, cream cheese, full-fat diary cream and cream sauces. Can you imagine?! It is as versatile as it is easy to make. Simply soak the cashews, drain, blend, then add seasoning.
Planning ahead for adequate soaking time makes a big difference. You can soak the cashews for as little as two hours and get decent results. But, to get that dairy-like creaminess, soak the cashews longer, at least eight hours. For that reason, I like to keep processed cashews in the refrigerator, then season a portion to compliment whatever I am preparing to eat with it.
Cashew cream can be made with raw or roasted cashews. To speed up soaking time, soak the cashews in the same amount of boiling water. Just keep in mind that the cashew cream will no longer be a raw food, as it would be otherwise.
Nutritionally, cashews are an excellent source of copper, and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Unfortunately, most people focus first on the fat content of cashew -and nuts in general. Cashews not only have a lower fat content than most other nuts, they have a very favorable fat profile. Approximately 82% of the fat in cashews is unsaturated fatty acids, 66% of which are monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to be heart healthy.
BASIC CASHEW CREAM RECIPE
As versatile as it is easy, cashew cream will add a buttery richness and warmth to almost everything from fruits to sandwiches or burritos. Try adding some to smoothies or soups as a thickener! Rather than simply adding calories, cashew cream provides heart healthy fats which increase satiety as well as a protein bump at 5 grams per ounce of cashews.
- 1 cup organic raw cashews soaked for at least 8 hours
- 1/4-3/4 cup filtered water (depending on desired consistency)
- 1/4 cup for cream cheese or nut butter consistency
- 1/2 cup for a mayonnaise consistency
- 3/4 cup for a thin, cream sauce
- a pinch of sea salt (optional)
- For an alternative to a sweet cream sauce: Add 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract, or a little more to taste. Cinnamon is a nice addition as well. This is excellent drizzled on top of fruit, oatmeal, desserts…pretty much everything.
- For an alternative to a mayonnaise or sour cream: Add 1/2 lemon or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. This works well on sandwiches, burritos, vegetables…pretty much everything.
- Place the cashews in a blender and cover with filtered water. For this size batch, a person-size blender jar works best.
- Cover the container and let sit for at least 8 hours.
- Drain the cashews.
- Add 1/4 cup of filtered water. Blend the cashews, cleaning down the sides of the jar, if needed. Add more water, a small amount at a time, for desired consistency.
- Store covered and refrigerated for up to one week.
Have you tried making cashew cream? If so, what is your favorite way to use it? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!