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April 18, 2020

An Easy {Vegan} Way to make almost every recipe Creamier, Richer, & Kinder.

Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon

 

Cashew Cream 101: How to make any recipe better with limited ingredients and pretty much nonexistent skills in the kitchen. 

My first career path was as a vegan, plant-based personal chef.

I helped folks make the transition to more plant-based meals. Or I helped them navigate the confusing path of food allergies, having many myself. I had a few secrets up my sleeve and this—cashew cream—was the clear winner for anyone who could eat cashews. Not everyone can.

However, if you can—dust off your blender and add raw cashews to your shopping list. You’ll thank me later (comment below if you try this!). 

I use cashew cream to replace cream cheese on English muffins.

I use it as a sour cream replacement on baked potatoes.

I use it to make creamy salad dressings like ranch and Caesar.

And I use it to make creamy, rich, full-bodied soups that would otherwise have called for heavy cream—most definitely not vegan, and not something I often kept in my house before I was. 

And that’s just it: whether you’re vegan or not right now, this is easy. This isn’t just a replacement for food products you may not have around during the Coronavirus shelter-in-place situations we find ourselves in right now. This is a way to make it yourself and to explore new tastes, new methods, and a kinder, more sustainable way of looking at your kitchen. 

Carpe diem

And with that, let’s get cooking. 

Simple Cashew Cream Base

  • 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews (it’s very important that they not be cooked at all.)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water (this depends on how thick you want your cream base to be.) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Optional savory add-ins: 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar & pinch of onion granules 

  1. The raw cashews will need to be soaked. You can soak them overnight (ideal), or you can do a quick soak using boiling water. If you’re soaking the quick method, make sure to let them soak 20-30 minutes before using. If soaking overnight, I slip them in the fridge so that there’s no rush to get to them the next morning.
  2. Drain the cashews and rinse them well. 
  3. Add to a blender with the water. A high-speed blender works best, but if the cashews are soft from soaking any blender should work. 
  4. Add the salt + the optional add-ins if you would prefer a “sour” cream to use as a savory addition. I almost always add lemon juice and vinegar myself, unless I know I’ll be using it in a sweet dish. 
  5. Blend—using a tamper if you need to—until the mixture is entirely smooth. Add more water if necessary. 
  6. And it’s done!

This will keep in a fridge for five to six days. 

Tonight I’m using it in place of mayonnaise to make a spring pasta salad. 

Tomorrow I’m going to use the leftovers to make a skillet vegan lasagna. 

The options are endless. Let me know in the comments how you used it! 

Enjoy! 

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Molly Murphy  |  Contribution: 19,605