I especially miss eating dairy around the holidays. Luscious pumpkin pie…creamy mashed potatoes…thick caesar salad dressing…richly creamed soups. I vividly remember that I literally got teary eyed a few years ago when I first made cashew cream–a dairy free replacement for cream. Finally…an amazing sweet or savory substitute for heavy cream to make all of my holiday favorites taste just like they used to.
Cashew cream is made from raw cashews that have a very neutral, but slightly sweet flavor. When soaked in water and then blended, these high fat nuts become a lusciously soft and silky cream. You can use this dairy free cream in any recipe that calls for milk, half and half, or heavy cream.
Since the holidays are just around the corner (scary, isn’t it?) I thought I’d start trying new dishes with cashew cream. Although cashew cream is a cinch to make, it’s not quick to make because you have to soak the nuts overnight in water. The good news though is that you can make cashew cream ahead of time and keep it in your freezer for up to six months.
Today I made a big batch of cashew cream with the intention of starting my freezer stash, but my kids (who are on Fall Break) and I ended up eating most of it! My kids gobbled it up on fresh berries and I had a “treat” cup of decaf coffee with cashew cream and a little cinnamon and honey–yum! I continued our cashew cream frenzy by playing with a chocolate ganache recipe that I’ll use for my son’s birthday cake this week.
Thank goodness I still have some raw cashews ready to soak for another day…The possibilities are endless!
* 2 cups raw cashews
* 1 cup filtered water
1) Place raw cashews in jar and cover completely with filtered water. Place in refrigerator and soak overnight or up to 14 hours.
2) Using a strainer, drain water from cashews and rinse nuts thoroughly with cold water.
3) Place cashews and 1 cup of filtered water into a high powered blender. Blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes. The resulting cream should be very smooth and silky. If needed, press cream thru a fine sieve to remove any larger pieces. (this will not be necessary if you’re able to use a high powered Vitamix or comparable blender)
4) This will produce a thick cream. If you want a thinner cream, add more filtered water–a little at at time.
WHIPPED CASHEW CREAM
* 1/2 cup cashew cream (from above)
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid)
1) Blend the cashew cream, honey and vanilla together well.
2) Using an hand mixer or blender, start whipping the cashew cream/honey/vanilla mixture at a high speed. While whipping, slowly drizzle the coconut oil into the mixture to emulsify. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Stir before serving.