I am hardly the first person to blog about cashew cream. If you search, you’ll find lots of hits. Some just instruct to blend the cashew with water. Others call it ‘Cashew Sour Cream’ and add lemon juice, salt, and apple cider vinegar.
I used to add just lemon juice and salt, and it’s good, but the combination of vinegar with lemon juice helps give it the bite that is dairy-ish.
Last time I added dill as well, and it was too tangy for Payman’s taste but I loved it. I like tang. What can I say.
Next time I make it savory, (and that tart), I am going to add garlic and cucumber to make a dip like tsatiki sauce. That was always one of my favorite sauces, but obviously yogurt/dairy based.
The important things if you are going to make cashew cream:
The cashews must be raw. Roasted won’t do it.
You can get raw cashews for about $6 a pound at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. We don’t have access to those here where I live, and the raw cashews are a bit more expensive locally, unless you can shop on Post. I order mine online. You can order them in bulk from different places– I actually just used Amazon the last time. I got 10 pounds and store them in the freezer. It’s been about two months and I make cashew cream pretty regularly.
People often worry that dairy and gluten free replacements cost too much. I use about a cup or two of cashews at a time, which is not a whole pound, and that makes a few cups of cream. Sorry I’m not more specific. I’ve never been into measurements. I like to wing it. Either way, I don’t think it’s more expensive than any decent quality dairy, and cheaper than organic I’d bet.
After you’ve soaked your cashews, rinse them with fresh water and put into a blender. One to four with the water will make a thicker cream, and one to two with the water makes a thicker cream, i.e. 1/4 cup of water to 2 cups of cashews, or 1/2 cup of water to 2 cups of cashews.
The cashews will plump up while soaking and make also get small purplish streaks. This is normal.
Blend up the cashews with a pinch of sea salt, the juice of one lemon and and a dash of apple cider vinegar. This makes it a tad sour, giving the dairy-ish-ness. Then taste it and see if you like it more sour. I use more than this when I’m not worried about what my husband would prefer. Haha.
Or, put a dash of vanilla and a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup.
Now, if you don’t have a really high speed blender you may have to use more water instead of less. The cream will definitely thicken up in the fridge though, so if you want it thick, don’t fret.
I’d love to have a vitamix or a blendtec, but I’ve got a medium priced– more than $40 but less than $100– Cuisinart that does the job okay. You could probably do this in a food processor too. As this blender has gotten older and the blades duller, I’ve had to add more water to get all the cashews blended.
No matter how good your appliances, the end product would very very doubtfully be *bad*. I just couldn’t see it.
I also recently made a dairy, egg, and soy free potato salad by mixing up cashew cream with soy free veganaise.
This is my cashew cream musings. If you make it and have a different experiance or just something to add, please do!