…Oh cashew, you moon shaped delicious fatty nut celebrities avoid. You are so worthy of all of our kitchens.
Cashew cream is one of my absolute favorite secrets. You read that correctly, it’s been a hidden treasure to so many dishes that my family, and friends, have no idea that half of the “cheesy” appetizers I’ve contributed to their festivities.. actually have no cheese in them. Of course, I do announce nut allergies because, I’m not looking to kill anyone.
I wish that there was a way I could insert a “taste now” button and instantly you could taste where I am coming from. Yes, that’s super awkward but when you’re working to eliminate dairy, or you’ve been dairy free, there are things you can’t forget.
For example, Alfredo sauce (well, any cream sauce for that matter). You never forget Queso. Sweet Jesus, queso is literally the blood of every Texan. You don’t forget onion dip at parties, and you surely don’t forget cream of ____ soup.
Insert: The most versatile trick ever, Cashew Cream. This cream has saved me in sauces, soups, lasagna, and even queso. Smother it on top of a bagel as is or spice it up by seasoning to compliment your dish. Cashew Cream can be savory or sweet and can easily make it’s appearance into dairy free desserts.
Five ways to use it:
- Queso– I know. Hear me out though! If you haven’t come across Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies, I highly recommend you pop over for a visit. She shared a Vegan Queso Dip a few Super Bowls back that I have now mastered and wish I could express how much I appreciate it. If you’re in Texas, you will totally giggle when she says “I mean, how many times a year are we really having queso dip?” in her video. Daily. The answer is daily. Kidding! However, it sure does feel that way. I haven’t attended a gathering that doesn’t have queso and if I have, I left because no one needs that negativity in their lives. A few changes I do make to her already incredible recipe is lime juice instead of lemon and I try to opt for a homemade pico or salsa if I have the time. Nothing is better than a rich and warm queso with onions, fresh cilantro, garlic, and jalapenos. Now, I can not whole heartedly report that its difference has gone unnoticed but I can report it still gobbled up. If you’re willing to give it a try, pop on over to C&D here.
- Lasagna– We can sub all of the zucchini in the world but it still won’t be that big hunky square that plops down to you at an Italian restaurant. When utilizing cashew cream in lasagna, I add a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning. It bakes wells and truly resembles a cheesy delight.
- Onion Dip– Mix in a little olive oil, onions, chives, salt, and pepper. Thin out by adding a smidge of coconut milk.
- Appetizer Roll Ups– High quality lunch meat, cashew cream, and green onion. Growing up, this was at every family gathering and I stayed close and ate the entire tray 9x/10. Spread the cream onto deli style ham or turkey, lay a whole green onion onto the cream and roll. Cut into bit size pieces and secure with a tooth pick.
- Red Pepper Hummus– Cashew cream, a tablespoon of olive oil, roasted red peppers, salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice. Blend cashews as stated below, add remaining ingredients and pulse until thick. You can spoon the mixture into sweet peppers or serve with your favorite hummus pairings.
Already a cashew cream lover? Share your favorite ways to use it by commenting below!
Yields: About 8 ounces
Time: Varies by method
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup filtered water + 1/4 cup water
Directions (two methods)
- Method One– If you have the time, place cashews and water in an air tight container and soak over night in the refrigerator. Transfer cashews to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until silky smooth, about 3-4 minutes, gradually adding the water.
- Method Two– In a pinch for time? On your stove, bring water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat slightly and add cashews. Cook for 5-7 minutes until cashews become light in color and plump in texture. Be sure to stir the cashews every few minutes or so to avoid them settling to the bottom of the pan and burning. Transfer cashews to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until silky smooth, about 3-4 minutes, gradually adding the water.
Note: Slowly add additional 1/4 cup of water to think cream if desired. Depending on the size of your cashews, you may find that 1/2 cup doesn’t cream enough.