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Dairy-Free Recipes: 7 Delicious Ways to Use Cashew Cream

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!

Cashew cream_resized

Photo by Meredith

Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup of raw cashews

1-1/2 cups of non-dairy milk (plus a little more, if needed

Instructions:

  1. Soak cashews in water for 2-3 hours. Drain.
  2. 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.

Creamy Chive Pasta with Beet Petals

Creamy chive pasta with beet petals. Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

2. Salad Dressings

Swap out the dairy in your favorite dressing recipe for an equally creamy result.

Vegan Spicy Adobo Dressing

Vegan spicy adobo dressing. Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

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.

Dill Cashew Cream

Dill cashew cream. Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

4. Mousses

By blending cashew cream with tofu, you can create a rich, thick mousse that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Vegan Lemon Mousse with Pomegranate Flair

Vegan lemon mousse. Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

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.

Vegan strawberry fruit dip. Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

6. Cream "Cheese"

If you have a high-powered blender*, you can make any number of different flavored dairy free cream cheeses.

Cashew Cream Cheese Four Ways

Cashew cream cheese. Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

(Psst! Cashew cream cheese is also amazing on pancakes!)

7. Icing

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.

Maple Cashew Cream Icing

Maple cashew cream icing. Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

Photo by Mackenzie Schiek

*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.


Browse our hundreds of dairy-free recipes.


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About Mackenzie Schieck

Writer and photographer obsessed with lattes, Mexican food, and stuff that’s funny.