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Cashew Cream

March 3, 2015

Recipe for Cashew Cream

Scroll down for recipes that use cashew cream:  Alfredo sauce, lasagna, macaroni and cheace (ch+peace = cheace), homemade ‘sour cream’ over raw tacos.

The quick rundown:

  • Soak 8 ounces raw cashews covered for one hour in hot water: water should be one inch higher than the cashews
  • They are done once they have soaked up most of the water and appear lavender in color
  • Rinse
  • Place in high speed blender with fresh water
  • Voila: cashew cream, enough for 1 pound of pasta or 8 servings

For those that like more details, and some recipes below, here is way too much information (or just scroll down for recipe ideas for cashew cream:

1.  Start with raw cashews, raw being the important word.  Cashews that have been roasted will taste like roasted cashews but raw cashews will simply taste like cream.  Bits and pieces are usually 30 to 40% cheaper than whole.  This bag of Trader Joe’s raw cashew pieces for 4.99 will make two batches of cashew cream and each batch is sufficient for one pound of pasta or 8 servings.  For us it’s more like 4 servings because it is so delicious!

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If you don’t soak the cashews you may end up with a gritty cream.  Some people like everything raw but I have never done it without soaking. I have read that you may soak them overnight but I can’t wait that long.  So I bring a sauce pot of water to a boil, then remove from heat, add the cashews, cover, and let sit for one hour.  I don’t recommend putting the cashews in while the water is heating up.  You might forget about it and boil the cashews thus cooking them.  It will still turn out creamy but you will have a roasted cooked cashew flavor and not just a straight plain cream flavor.  I know this because I have done it too many times!

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Cashews after soaking. The cashews have soaked up the water and they look strangely lavender in color. It’s normal!

You will know the cashews are done because they will swell to about twice their size and they will be a pretty lavender color.  Drain off the soaking water and rinse the cashews.  Place into a high speed blender.  A regular blender will leave you with a gritty cream which is really an oxymoron so I recommend investing in a NutriBullet.  Fill the container to the level stated on the cup or a little beyond and then fill with water.  The less water, the more whipped cream like the texture, the more water the more milk like the texture. If you fill the container with cashews you will end up with cream, not nut milk.

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Use this blade from the NutriBullet

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You may add spices now if you wish, before blending.

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Blend for about one minute to 90 seconds

 

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Any thickness will do.

Recipe Ideas

Alfredo sauce:

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My leftover lunch at work. Here you can see I boiled my greens on the side but now I much prefer to boil them with the pasta. The next day the sauce will absorb into the pasta. When it’s fresh it’s really creamy.

Once cashew cream has been blended it becomes Alfredo sauce as soon as you pour it on something like pasta or gnocchi (Mama Rosie’s is vegan for now – read the label).  You will find that the sauce thickens about 3 or 4 minutes after you have mixed it into the pasta so save out a good cup of the pasta water to add back in, just enough until you bring it back to desired thickness. I often boil greens in with my pasta.  Any vitamins leaching out into the water might be soaked up by the pasta and again, added back into the Alfredo sauce with the water from the pasta for thinning to proper consistency.

Lemon Garlic Alfredo:  After mixing the cashew cream with the pasta, top with Trader Joe’s garlic salt grinder, olive oil, and the juice of one or two fresh lemon wedges.

Carbonara:  Instead of greens, boil your pasta with peas.  Top with Trader Joe’s smoke grinder and sauteed mushrooms

Lasagna

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Lasagna before going into the oven. I bake this covered at 350 degrees for one hour and then another 15 to 30 minutes uncovered. Let rest before serving. Serve with olive oil and garlic salt!

  • No-boil noodles – I prefer organic whole wheat.  Read the label.  A lot of lasagna noodles contain animal products
  • Tomato – you may use fresh and they will turn into their own sauce or use any sauce you have.  I like Bio-Natura organic strained tomatoes or for a fall treat use pureed pumpkin or winter squash.  Puree it with local maple syrup and basil or fresh garlic or whatever you like.
  • Cashew cream with or without garlic blended in with it
  • Tofu slices – this is a great peaceful replacement for ricotta.  I mix a firm brick with 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, some dried basil or Italian spices, and sea salt.
  • Vegetables – I like to use spinach or you can make a raw pesto by using diced nuts such as walnuts and kale or, my favorite, collard greens or spinach.  Blend with a little olive oil and sea salt and make this one of your layers.
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Raw Tacos with homemade sour cream

Homemade vegan sour cream

Just add fresh lime juice and sea salt to your cashew cream plus enough water for the right thickness upon blending.

For raw tacos simply grind up some nuts, I prefer walnuts, and add taco seasoning and olive oil.  Serve this filling inside of a lettuce leaf or a collard leaf with fresh tomato, avocado and your homemade vegan sour cream.  Perfect for a hot summer day!

Macaroni and Cheace

469Follow-Your-Heart-Cheddar

I don’t have a photo of this final dish but simply cut Follow Your Heart vegan cheddar, half of the block, into tiny diced cubes and add to cashew cream (originally made from 8 ounces of cashews).  For flavor add a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken base or Vegetable base.  You may also stir in a tablespoon or two of Earth’s Balance.  Stir until the cheddar melts.  Save out a cup of pasta water to add back in as the sauce will thicken beyond your liking. Hot pasta water added back in makes the creamiest mac-and-cheace.

Peace my friends!

 

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