What is Cashew Cream? It’s a nut-based substitute for dairy cream, which is great for vegans, those who are lactose-intolerant, or anyone who just wants to cut out the saturated fat and calories of heavy cream. It’s a staple in the raw food world, where it originated. Where can you use it? Desserts, sauces, soups, you name it! It reduces very well over heat, and will keep in the freezer for several months (or a few days refrigerated).
I’ve been meaning to try making my own cashew cream for a really long time — ever since a vegan restaurant near my old apartment told me that’s how they made creamy, decadent sauces that I couldn’t believe were dairy free. Turns out, it’s really easy to make, and a little bit goes a long way.
The first thing you need is about two cups of good quality whole cashews ~ the raw kind, not roasted or salted. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have good options, but I’m sure many supermarkets do, too. Why whole? Because cashew pieces can be dry, and you want the maximum creaminess.
Step one is to rinse the cashews very well under cold water.
Next, place the cashews in a bowl with enough cold water to cover them completely.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, rinse again under cold water and place in your blender with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Blend on high for a few minutes, until smooth.
If your blender leaves something to be desired, consider straining the cashew cream to eliminate lumps.
Use immediately, or save it in the fridge for up to three days. To keep cashew cream long term, store in a freezer-safe container for several months.
The first thing I made using cashew cream was a vegetarian pot pie (recipe coming soon). I also put it in a pasta dish I was making to mimic a creamy sauce that otherwise might have used cream cheese or bechamel. And since I had a little extra cashew cream in the blender when I first made it, I decided to piggyback on those leftovers to make a creamy fruit smoothie. Check back soon for that recipe, too!
To customize this recipe for your needs, simply reduce the amount of water you put into the blender with the cashews, and you’ll get a much thicker “cream.” Done normally, this recipe yields about 3 1/2 cups.