Friday, March 4, 2011

Let's Talk Cashew Cream.

Ah, cashew cream. I don't know how I'd manage a dairy-free existence without you! Raw, unsalted cashews, liquid,  and a good blender make a thick, creamy sauce that substitutes marvelously for heavy cream or milk in many places. We use it in soups, desserts, sauces and salad dressings where dairy would be used.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will post recipes for creamy tomato soup, Alfredo sauce, ranch dressing, cilantro lime cream, lemon-dill sauce, and sweetened cream, but today, here is the basic formula for cashew cream:

  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews (According to Tal Ronnen, you should always use whole cashews for this, because the flavor is better. I suppose that if I were a celebrity chef, I might agree, but for those of us on a realistic food budget, take heart, I don't think you can taste the difference between whole cashews and cashew pieces once they are turned into cream. At least I can't).
  • 1/2 -2/3 cup cold water
Place ingredients in a blender and process for 2-3 minutes, until the nuts and water have emulisfied into a smooth, creamy liquid. You do NOT need a Vitamix or a Blendtec to do this - I have a basic Oster blender and it works fine. Use in any recipe calling for heavy cream, except for whipped cream - I'll cover how to pull that off in a later post.

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