Cashew cream. This little legume masquerading as a nut has made dairy-free cooking a thing of the past. Creamy pasta’s miss nothing, nacho dips are still the hit of the party, and silky dressings gets everyone to eat their vegetables. The possibilities are endless, but we’ve managed to narrow down the variations of cashew cream to a tidy seven that you will use over and over again. Cashew cream can be used both raw and cooked, just note that it will get drier if cooked and therefore adding additional water is necessary if a creamier consistency is to be maintained.
1) Basic savory cashew cream: Measure 1 cup raw cashews in a glass bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Allow to stand for 20 minutes, rinse and drain. Add cashews, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp granulated garlic to blender along with 1/2 cup fresh water. Blend on high, adding small amounts of water as needed, until creamy. (This may take up to 10 minutes, check for graininess.)
2) Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream: Substitute one whole head roasted garlic for granulated garlic, and continue with recipe.
3) Sun-dried Tomato Cashew Cream: Add 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (re-hydrated if using dried instead of oil packed). Double granulated garlic to 2 tsp and add additional 1/4 water or more as necessary.
4) Lemon Garlic Cashew Cream: Add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (not from concentrate, as this could contain sweeteners), add an additional 1 tsp granulated garlic, reduce water to 1/4 cup. Add more water a little at a time as necessary.
5) Spring Herb Cashew Cream: Add 1 cup loosely packed herb combo of chives, parsley, dill, and oregano. (Any ratio of herbs will work according to preference, just be sure to add at least two.) Add 1 tsp granulated onion.
6) Spicy Cheesy Cashew Cream: Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and increase nutritional yeast to 1/4 cup. Add 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and 1 tsp granulated onion.
7) Cilantro-Lime Cashew Cream: Add juice of 2 limes and 1/2 cup packed cilantro.