Way back when I bought my Blendtec Blender I had grandiose notions that I would be making all of my own nut milks, soups, dips, etc in my fancy new machine. Aside from one almond milk attempt (which was great, but for some reason I never posted about it?), it has been almost exclusively a very good smoothie machine. This isn’t a bad thing – I can add pretty much anything to a smoothie and it will blend into the perfect texture. But I really feel I need to explore the possibilities of my coveted kitchen appliance more.
The other day I was rummaging through the cupboard, and found a bag of raw cashews that I had probably bought with the intent on making cashew milk or something else in the Blendtec. I decided to throw a cup into the fridge in some water to soak, not knowing what exactly I was going to do with them. I remembered (a day or two later) that they were in there, and figured I better come up with something.
My mind went to this amazingly delicious cashew whipped cream we made for the Harvest Community Dinner we hosted at UBC (that was almost 2 years ago now!) We had made it as a substitute for whipped cream for our vegan diners, and it was a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike. Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe anymore. I wasn’t really in the mood for a full blown whipped cream, nor did I just want to make cashew milk. So I did a little digging on the internet, and decided to try my hand at cashew cream.
Raw cashews are great for making milk/cream substitutes because they have very little flavour, but give you that creamy mouth feel you expect with dairy. And from what I have read, they are insanely versatile – you can freeze them, and they also reduce well to make cream sauces. Depending on what you add to them, they can be savoury or sweet. And it means you can serve these creamy creations to all of your guests whether they eat dairy or not (just don’t give them to anyone with a nut allergy ;))
I decided to make mine on the sweet side, to pair with all of the amazing summer fruit I have on hand. A little vanilla, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt was all I needed to make my sweet cashew cream. Such a nice accompaniment to a bowl full of raspberries and mango.
And in case you don’t believe just how thick and cream like it really is – look at how it clings and coats the fruit. Now I just need to get my hands on an ice cream maker (Dear wonderful boyfriend – my birthday is less than a month away. Hint hint!).
Easy Cashew Cream
makes 2 1/2 cups
You only need 3 ingredients and a blender or food processor to make this amazingly simple and totally delicious vegan cashew cream. Use it anywhere you would use regular dairy cream – because it has a high fat content, it will reduce and make delicious cream sauces. It also freezes well, and would make a great base for a vegan ice cream. Or serve it on top of your favourite fruit for a refreshing breakfast, snack, or dessert.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 – 1 c water, plus more for soaking
- pinch of salt
- optional flavourings – vanilla, sweetener, herbs, spices, lemon juice, etc
1. Soak cashews in water overnight. Try to not forget about them in your fridge for days (I know from experience). Drain.
2. In a high powered blender, add cashews and enough water to just cover them. Also add salt, and any other flavourings you wish. Blend on high for 1 minute, until you have a very smooth cream. Keeps refrigerated for 3 – 4 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.
Note: There shouldn’t be any grittiness. If you use a regular blender or food processor, you may need to double the blending time, and even strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve.
So…what would you make with this cashew cream? Any recipes to share? Any thoughts on how to convince my boyfriend to get me that ice cream maker ;)?