Have you ever heard of cashew cream? It is a cream sauce made from pureed cashews that you can either make as a sweet or savory cream. It is very popular amongst the vegan and paleo crowd. It is a fantastic replacement for dairy and anywhere you would add a heavy cream. It can be used to make ice cream, salad dressings, or just to add to your smoothies for a boost of protein and healthy fats. I have added it to soups in place of cream (like tomato or butternut squash, for example).
A LITTLE ABOUT CASHEWS;
I realized when I started thinking about cashews that I had no idea where they came from. I was blown away when I discovered that they grow on an apple!!! They come inside a shell which has a toxic inedible oil in it and is poisonous for human consumption. The processing of cashews is a complex operation which involves drying the nut in the sun for several days to remove moisture, roasting and removing the outer shell, manually cutting the shell, roasting the inner kernel and peeling the inner shell to remove the white nut. The nuts are then "graded" or separated by different standards such as size, color, and texture.
HOW TO MAKE CASHEW CREAM:
This is pretty easy.
1. Measure out one cup of cashews
2. Add 1/2 cup of water.
3. Let the cashews and water soak for about 3 hours.
4. Strain the cashews.
5. Add 6 Tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) of the liquid of your choice to the cashews and blend in a food processor or high powered blender. Ideas for liquid can include water, rice milk, soy milk, and hemp milk. In the above example I used hemp milk.
6. Here is what it looks like after blending. It has a nice, thick, creamy consistency. If you want a thinner consistency, add more liquid. Play around until you have the consistency you need. You can make it thicker for dips and spreads, medium for salad dressings and maybe a little thinner for soups.
7. Now you have a base that you can make sweet or savory.
I used mine to make a salad dressing and it was absolutely delicious! Here is the recipe:
Mix together 3/4 cup cashew cream
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons of parmesan cheese (You can replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast if you want a dairy free dressing).
Lastly, add 1 Tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a dash of pepper, and 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Blend in a high powered blender or food processor.
Now pour generously on the greens of your choice, add some crusty croutons, and enjoy.
I'll bet you could make a fantastic ranch dressing as well!
For a sweet cream you can add maple syrup, vanilla, honey, agave, stevia, or cinnamon. It would be great to add to smoothies for an extra dose of protein and creaminess. I added maple syrup mixed with cashew cream to a strawberry banana smoothie and it gave it such a nice texture and rich flavor.
Hope you have some fun experimenting.
Thanks for stopping by!