When you omit dairy from your kitchen it leaves a rather large gap in the creamy ingredient stakes. Cashew cream magically manages to fill this void for those of us who aren’t content to leave behind creamy, rich textures. I know it may seem strange but cashews when soaked and blended can form the base of many traditionally dairy dishes without any giveaway clue in the taste that the base is from a nut, and not a cow. I use cashew cream pretty liberally in many of my recipes so I thought I’d include a simple run down of how I make mine. You will need a blender and do make sure you start with un-roasted, raw cashews, otherwise you’ll make cashew butter (also delicious but not what we’re after right now.) I usually buy a big bag like this which works out to be much better value than lots of little packs.
Cashew cream has so many uses in non-dairy cooking. Added to sautéed garlic mushrooms it gives you a quick creamy pasta sauce, a dollop thrown in with some mashed potatoes will take it to the next level in the creamy stakes, it makes the base for a great caesar salad dressing.. I could go on. It’s really simple, and I urge you to give it a try! I’ve given you my usual method and a quick method too if you just can’t wait.
Makes approx. 250ml
- 100g raw cashew nuts
- 100ml water
- Place cashews in a bowl or jar and cover with cold water. Leave somewhere out of the way for at least 4 hours. I usually leave them to soak overnight in the fridge. When the time is up the cashews should have visibly plumped up in size.
- Drain the water from the cashews and rinse.
- Place cashews and water into a blender and whizz up until the mixture is completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times as you go. Add a little more water if you are having trouble getting the cashews to blend. Check the texture – it should be completely smooth. If your cream is a little grainy then keep blending until the texture feels silky.
- Voila! That’s your cashew cream. It can be stored in a clean jar or tupperware in the fridge for about 5 days if you’re not using it immediately.
The Short Method: (If you need cashew cream in a hurry)
- Place cashews in a heatproof container and pour over boiling water until fully immersed and leave for 30 minutes.
- Continue steps 2-4 as above.
Although the quick method will do if you’re short on time, it doesn’t seem to produce quite as good results as doing it the old fashioned (i.e. longer) way.