For the most part, I've always steered clear of eating cream-based soups, pastas with heavy sauces, and rich desserts like, say, mousse. So, when I discovered cashew cream, it actually gave me a healthy, dairy-free way to prepare these types of dishes — in effect adding new meals to my list of options. Creamy pastas? Totally on the menu. Super-duper creamy soups? Don't mind if I do. Rich, indulgent mousse? Umm, yeah please!
Cashew cream is so much more than just a substitute for dairy. It's easy to make and absolutely delicious, so you don't ever feel like you're settling for second best. I use cashew cream with, in, and on at least half of everything I eat, and keep a batch in the fridge at all times, ready to mix and mingle with whatever I add to its neutral and welcoming flavor. The possibilities are truly endless. Try mixing up a batch -- I've included a recipe and 7 delicious ways to use it!
1 cup of raw cashews
1-1/2 cups of non-dairy milk (plus a little more, if needed
- Soak cashews in water for 2-3 hours. Drain.
- In a blender, process the cashews and non-dairy milk, adding more milk as needed until you achieve the desired consistency (e.g. as thick as possible for a cream "cheese" or creamy yet pourable for a salad dressing).
Related: 10 Gluten-Free, Diary-Free Desserts
7 Ways to Cook with Cashew Cream
1. Pasta Sauces
Add herbs, garlic, or other ingredients to make your favorite bowl of noodles.
2. Salad Dressings
Swap out the dairy in your favorite dressing recipe for an equally creamy result.
3. Veggie/Chip Dip or Sandwich Spread
Skip the mayo and heavy dips with a savory cashew cream that adds both flavor and protein to every bite.
By blending cashew cream with tofu, you can create a rich, thick mousse that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
5. Fruit Dip or Sweet Cream Topping
Blend fruit, honey, and/or maple syrup into cashew cream to pair with a fruit platter as a dip (great for a BBQ), or drizzle it over individual bowls of berries.
6. Cream "Cheese"
If you have a high-powered blender*, you can make any number of different flavored dairy free cream cheeses.
(Psst! Cashew cream cheese is also amazing on pancakes!)
This is another time when you'll want to have a high-powered blender*. Just sweeten up the cashew cream and use it in place of icing on cupcakes and cakes.
*A high-powered blender like a Vitamix allows everything to get mixed really well without having to add a lot of liquid, resulting in a creamy, yet thick consistency needed for some of these recipes.