I make this super easy cashew cream for a lot of things in my regular rotation, so I like to keep a jar of it in my fridge at all times. It’s really versatile and can be used in countless dishes and to replicate amazing things.
I personally have used it so far by:
soaking day old bread in it for french toast
mixing with fresh nutmeg and garlic for a creamy alfredo sauce
blending with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and fresh basil for ricotta for lasagna
blending with lime juice and cilantro and silken tofu to make sour cream
combining with whole seed dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar for a sauce great over roasted asparagus and tofu
blending with silken tofu and seasoned with garlic,onion, dill and apple cider vinegar to make ranch dressing
melting with butter and sugar to make sea salt caramels that I gave as Christmas gifts this year!
I’m probably forgetting a few things I’ve made with it, too. I’ll have a longer list in no time, this stuff is incredible!
I usually start out with two cups of whole raw cashews. I buy them from Trader Joe’s, I think they’re about 3 cups or so in each bag, but I don’t have a jar big enough to keep all the cream that yields from that many cashews so I only do 2 cups at a time, for now.
Take your raw cashews in an appropriately sized mixing bowl, and cover them with cold water.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge over night. I know lots of recipes say anywhere from half an hour to over night, but I’ve always done it the night before so I can’t attest to how soft the cashews get after only 30 minutes, but you can try if you’re rushed!
Once you’ve soaked them for your chosen amount of time, rinse them off, and add to your food processor or high powered blender. For a thick ricotta-like cream, add just a few table spoons of cold water, just so that your processor has something to work with. Otherwise, for a thinner cream, just barley cover the cashews in water. Pulse a few times, just to see what your consistency is like. If it’s too thick, add more water and blend for a few seconds, and keep doing that until you have your desired thickness. For most uses, other than the thicker ricotta, you will want your cream to be about as thick as dairy cream.
Any thinner, like milk, wont be as useful or as textually similar when making dishes that replicate dairy products. When making a cashew cream for most uses, after it is the consistency of dairy cream, you might want to use a small mesh sieve to strain the cream, unless you have like a Vitamix or something crazy, which I don’t. I have a cool Ninja, but it doesn’t always get the cashew cream perfectly smooth, but I don’t mind and don’t take the time to strain it, but that’s up to you whether or not it’s worth the extra effort, it’s a texture thing.
This is the texture I’m stopping at for this batch, since it will be used for ricotta in my lasagna on Thursday, but if I want to use any of it but need it thinner, it can be added to the food processor again with a tablespoon of water at a time until it’s where you want it.
This jar would be full if it were a thinner cream, and can last in the fridge for about 3-4 days, after that it starts to smell off and doesn’t taste good, the oils in the cashews start to go rancid.
This is just a basic recipe that can be used for anything, and since I’m not actually cooking anything other than this right now, I don’t have a recipe to showcase it in, just yet! But I will be using it in a day or two to make LASAGNA so look out for that one and you can see how this is used to make cashew ricotta cheese that would fool anyone!