Let me be clear: this cashew cream recipe is for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an alternative to heavy creams or to reduce or eliminate your consumption of dairy products, this quick and easy cashew cream recipe is for you. It is the perfect base for so many sauces, dips, and dressings. It is also the ideal weekday recipe, as it doesn’t take long to make. Seriously, my family loves it, and they don’t even realize it’s dairy-free!
Cashew Cream Recipe: Why use cashews?
Cashews are the perfect base for cream sauces because they:
- Have a mild flavor
- Yield a creamy and silky texture, and
- Soften quickly
These three attributes make them the perfect base to turn this cream sauce into many different dishes!
Cashew Cream Recipe: Ingredients
This recipe comes together with just a few simple ingredients:
It’s essential to use raw cashews and not roasted or salted cashews. Using raw cashews allows your sauce to retain a mild flavor and is also healthier as you aren’t introducing additional oil or salt into your meal.
You will be soaking your cashews, and the water they absorb will make a good amount of your sauce, so you’ll want to ensure you are using clean, filtered water. We love our Berkey Water Purification System because it not only filters but also purifies our water by addressing over 200 contaminants.
You’ll want a small amount of salt to help flavor your cashew cream, and this will also provide an excellent base for additional flavoring that allows you to change up your cashew cream in various ways.
Spices and seasonings that fit your dish
Depending on how you use your cashew cream, you may want to add additional flavor to the final product. Some spices and seasonings that are my go-to’s are tarragon, garlic oil, ranch seasoning, and taco seasoning.
Cashew Cream Recipe: How to Use
I love using this cashew cream recipe for:
- Creamy Mushroom Chicken
- Homemade Ranch Dressing
- Avocado Lime Cilantro Sauce
- 7-Layer Bean Dip
- An easy thickening agent for soups and gravy
Cashew Cream Recipe: How to Make
Step 1: Soak your cashews.
Place your cashews in a bowl, fill it with water to cover them by about an inch (the cashews will swell as they absorb the water), and then cover the bowl with a dish towel or a beeswax wrap. If you use room temperature water (from your Berkey Water Purification System) or cold tap water, you will want to soak the cashews for 4+ hours. If you are in a time crunch (because: life) and need your cashew cream to be ready in under 30 minutes, use boiling water and soak for 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Drain and rinse your cashews
Once the cashews have softened (see timing above), you want to drain off the soaking water and give them a quick rinse.
Step 3: Blend your cashews into cream
Yes, it really is this easy! Once your cashews are softened, place them in the bottom of a high-speed blender. Add a large pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and 1/2 cup of water. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if necessary. When I want a thick dip or topping for a dish, I may only use 1/2 cup of water. If I want a sauce or cream that is runnier, I will add more water, up to 3/4 cup total. Once you reach your desired consistency, taste and adjust the flavor by adding more salt if necessary.
As you can see, this recipe is super versatile, and you can adjust it in so many ways.
Cashew Cream Recipe: The Details
- 1 c raw cashews
- Water for soaking
- 1/2-3/4 c filtered water for blending
- 1/2 t of sea salt (or more to taste)
- Any additional spices or seasonings
Once you prepare your cashew cream, you can use it immediately (which is perfect if you are using it in a hot dish), or you can put it in the fridge for at least an hour to have it chill and firm up a bit (best for dips and toppings).
Store the cashew cream in an airtight container for up to a week.