Vegan or not, this cashew cream is too rich and delicious to pass up! Make your own with 3 simple ingredients.
Cashew cream is a rich, creamy condiment you will want to put on everything! It’s a vegan’s trick of the trade to magically replace butter and dairy while still managing the texture and richness those ingredients provide.
But first, what’s so great about cashews?
1 ounce of cashews contains 12g of fat and 5g of protein. They are good sources of the minerals copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc, as well as good sources of the vitamins thiamin, vitamin K and vitamin B6. Cashews are a nutrient dense source of fats, but most of these fats are monounsaturated fats (7g) which are heart-healthy fats that are essential to lowering LDL-cholesterol while increasing HDL levels.
So how do you make cashew cream?
This basic cashew cream is a kitchen staple for recipes, no matter your dietary preference. It’s such a simple all-purpose ingredient that can be used as a base for creamy sauces or provide a rich, creamy texture to soups, casseroles, and desserts that you typically get from dairy. Depending on the thickness you can basically substitute it anywhere you would typically use cream, yogurt, sour cream or other dairy components.
While there are numerous dairy-free ways achieve a creamy texture, cashew cream has a very mild flavor that won’t overpower the other flavors of your dish as would coconut milk. It’s a neutral creamy base that is delicious enough to be used as is or easily made sweet or savory depending on how you want to use it.
All you need is 3 ingredients -raw cashews, water and a pinch of salt – and a little soaking.
It comes together within seconds using a high-speed blender. But don’t worry if you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can also make cashew cream in a regular blender or food processor. You will just need to soak the cashews a little bit longer and have a little more patience with the blending process.
Soaking the cashews is an essential step as it allows the cashews to become incredibly soft and blend with ease. Two hours of soaking is typically good enough, but you can always let them soak longer. Blending for a good amount of time will help ensure an ultra smooth texture.
This eventually becomes a cashew cream base that can then be seasoned any way you like, both sweet or savory.
Savory cashew cream can be used in recipes such as alfredo, macaroni, or gravy, but the sweet cashew cream is what really draws my attention. It becomes the perfect ingredient for ice creams, tarts, or frosting, but can really be one of the most satisfying and delicious condiments.
Use it as a fruit dip, top it on oatmeal, spread it on toast, or use it in place of whipped cream! A dollop of sweet cashew cream can really take a dish to the next level and bring a greater sense of satiety that typically comes from rich foods.
The good news is that cashew cream is rich in heart-healthy nutrients, making it a sweet treat for everyone!
For the full recipe, instructions, and consistency variations, read the full article.
HEADER IMAGE: JESSICA KELLEY
Jessica Kelley, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian based in St. Louis, MO. She promotes a healthy lifestyle that focuses on wholesome, natural ingredients to fuel our everyday lives to lay the foundation for balance without obsessing over numbers or fad diets. Read more from Jessica at Nourished by Nutrition.