How To Make Cashew Cream (The Ultimate Dairy Free Substitute)! Cashew cream is vegan, easy to make and is the perfect substitute for anything from sour cream to ricotta to Alfredo sauce to milk, and beyond! You can even freeze it!
Cashew cream! This is one of my those super recipes that has me wondering “wait – how have I never shared this?!”
I realise that I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for so long that I’m a bit out of touch with what’s well known and what isn’t. When I did a poll, 55% of you had never used/heard of cashew cream before. So I’m here to reveal the magics of it to you.
What is Cashew Cream?
Cashew cream is essentially the ultimate dairy-free substitute. Made from cashews (nutfree version below), yet tasting absolutely nothing like cashews, it’s a creamy, silky smooth cream that can be used in a numerous amount of dairy free substitutes. Everything from sour cream to ricotta to Alfredo sauce to cashew milk and beyond.
How do you make cashew cream?
You make cashew cream by soaking your cashews anywhere from 2 hours (high powered blender) to overnight. The soaking process softens the cashews enough to blend smoothly in pretty much any blender, although in a high speed blender it’ll be like a dream. If you’re low on time (like I always am) you can soak your cashews in boiling hot water for about 1 hour, or boil them for about 5-10 minutes first. This helps your cashews to produce a silky texture and to be totally dissolved. This is crucial because ideally whatever you’re replacing you don’t want to be tasting cashew pieces!
BIG QUESTION – how does it taste?
Cashew cream tastes surprisingly unlike cashews. At its base (seasoned with a bit of salt) it’s a mix of like 10% nuttiness, 30% buttery and 60% smooth creamy vanilla-y flavour, while still being neutral enough to work in anything. It’s hard to put a finger on the exact taste, especially since you can make it taste any way you want. With a touch of lemon juice, you can make it a tangy sauce. With a date (or maple syrup) and some vanilla extract, it’s suddenly this incredible dessert sauce. The point is that even at the base flavour, it’s delicious. And 100% customisable.
This is the reason why I love using it in place of coconut cream in many cases. I personally love the flavour of coconut, but if you hate it, play around and find the ratio that works best that you can substitute this in instead!
I’m sharing below MY base recipe which is a super simple 2:1 ratio. I’ll also share all the instances I make it that I switch up the ratio to make it much thicker, or much thinner. It’s incredible what cashews can do!
Can I make a substitute without cashews?
Yes! You can substitute shelled and & soaked sunflower seeds instead!
How long does cashew cream last in my fridge?
It will last at least 4 days in your fridge.
Can I freeze this cream or cashews?
Yes & yes! It may separate a little after it’s thawed but it’ll freeze perfectly. Also yes, you can freeze cashews!
How can I use cashew cream?
There are so many ways to use this and these are a few of the ways that I have already:
How To Make Cashew Cream (The Ultimate Dairy Free Substitute)
How To Make Cashew Cream (The Ultimate Dairy Free Substitute)! Cashew cream is vegan, easy to make and is the perfect substitute for anything from sour cream to ricotta to Alfredo sauce to cashew milk, and beyond! You can even freeze it!
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water in a jar (this results in about 1 ¼ cups puffed cashews) and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Savoury Flavouring Options (Choose One or Many: Up to You)
lemon or lime juice
dried chives or dill
Sweet Flavouring Options (Choose One or Many: Up to You)
maple syrup or agave nectar
In a high speed blender, blend all the ingredients together until blended and completely creamy and incorporated. Scrape down the sides if needed, and blend until to combine. Be sure to add extra water if needed to reach the desired consistency that you're looking for.
At this point, add in any extra flavourings or seasonings that you have, and blend again or stir together to combine. This is also just a great base recipe to always have on hand! Enjoy!