Third day of Vegan MOFO. We will be posting a minimum of twenty-six days in the month of October to celebrate. We have chosen the theme “Vegan A-Z” and will be going through the alphabet highlighting different things we find important about vegan food and nutrition. We have also been asked to be guest writers on Vegan Mainstream and our first post will be up on October 7th. Make sure you check out the blog roll on VeganMOFO to see all the other amazing bloggers participating.
For the last week I have been going back and forth trying to decided whether “C’ should be for cashew cream or cheesy sauces which I love creating. Yesterday my mind was made up when I found myself selling the joys of using cashew cream to someone who I find very savvy when it comes to creating vegan fare. It made me realize that not everyone has experienced one of my new favorite things. Plus on Day 1 of MOFO I spoke about cheese.
I was first introduced to raw cashews as a dairy substitute about two years ago when a friend told me that you could make sour cream out of them. Though my little vegan has never tried dairy of any kind she loves Tofutti sour cream. I find it to be a great substitute but the ingredient list is not my favorite so I was completely open-minded to making my own. We followed the directions exactly, which may have been the problem because I have a real hard time with recipes coming out good. Needless to say, this mock sour cream I created was inedible (if any one has a sour cream recipe they like, I would love it,) and it completely destroyed the idea of cashew cream for me.
Fast forward a year and my mom made me the most amazing vegan (or non-vegan) French Toast I had ever tasted and she had used cashew cream in the batter. Since that moment I have been sold and many of my recipes now use cashew cream, both desserts and savory dishes. I am on the mission to get everyone to try it, at least once, especially if you are trying to entice that non-vegan, dairy loving, “I can taste soy a mile away” person. I guarantee that if it wasn’t for the fact that a vegan was making it they would never know that heavy cream hadn’t been used. Don’t like cashews? I have friends that don’t either, but they love cashew cream. Oh and it doesn’t taste so great or smell so good on its own but it’s not intended for solitary use. No cashew farmers are not paying me for this endorsement!
How do you make it?
Take 1 lb of raw cashews and soak them over night in water. Some people say you don’t need to soak them or that you can soak for less time but I get a far creamier consistency when I soak them over night, trust me, I’ve tried all variations.
After soaking the cashews over night rinse and place in a high-powered blender (I am fortunate enough to have a vita-mix thanks to my parents.) Pour water to just the top of the cashews. Blend on High until creamy smooth. When making in other blenders you make need to strain it to get rid of some of the chunks. I have had to do the same when I don’t soak them long enough. That’s it, there ain’t no more. Super easy!
It will keep in the fridge for 5 days or you may freeze. I freeze mine in 3/4 cup containers and pop out when ready to use. Due to this freezing method most of my recipes call for 3/4 cups not because of any scientific proof that it’s the right portion but rather out of convenience.
One more thing…do not let cashew cream boil. It will separate and not give that creamy texture you are probably searching for. I usually add my cashew cream at the very end to avoid this.