Recipe by Chef Cindy
What can you do with All-Purpose Cashew Cream?
Our All-Purpose Cashew Cream recipe is just that, a "basic" vegan cream that can be used for many purposes! What's terrific about cashew cream is there is no right or wrong on what follows with additional ingredients making it. You can change the viscosity of flavor simply by making it sweet, savory, tangy, cheesy, umami, spicy, or nutty with any of these additional ingredients added.
- Sweet: dates, maple syrup, vanilla, fruit puree
- Savory: garlic cloves, herbs (dill, basil, …), greens (spinach, arugula ...), olive oil
- Tangy: lemon, dijon, capers, apple cider vinegar
- Umami: tamari, sea salt, nutritional yeast
- Spicy: hot sauce, hot peppers, horseradish
- Nutty: sunflower seeds, pine nuts, hemp, almonds
There is no stopping your creativity with all-purpose cashew cream! Just be conscious of the consistency you desire. You can always add in more liquid ingredients (water) to thin it out or more cashew/nuts to make it thicker.
Tips for quick cashew cream recipe
When making all-purpose cashew cream, it is recommended to split the batch into two recipes. You can create one part sweet and one part savory to complement the rest of your weekly recipes. You will be surprised how often you can incorporate the cashew cream as a topping or simply extra flavoring to be stirred into a soup, sauté, or sauce.
Here are a few recipes that are great with cashew cream:
How long does cashew cream last?
Cashew cream stores up to 5 days, covered and refrigerated, or you can store it in the freezer for 1 - 3 months. When you are ready to use it again, defrost it in the refrigerator and whip it up again in a blender.
Soaking the cashews longer tends to make creamier cashew cream. An hour minimum is recommended, but an overnight soak is the best for really creamy cashew cream. You will know the cashews are properly soaked when they break apart easily pressed between 2 fingers. But when in a pinch for time, a high-speed blender will save you and still produce creamy cashew cream.
Are Cashews Sustainable?
Nuts are a great protein alternative for foodies who are mindful of their environmental footprint and want to reduce their animal product consumption. However, not all nuts are created equal. When debating the sustainability of nuts, their water footprint, carbon footprint and the health and safety of the laborers harvesting them, needs to be taken into consideration. Cashews specifically have a high water footprint requiring 1,704 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cashews. That is over 1000 gallons more than what is needed to produce 1 pound of walnuts. There are also human rights concerns that need to be mentioned when discussing the sustainability of cashews since its production creates dangerous working conditions. The cashew fruit in which cashews grow contains a potent skin irritant, Anacardic Acid. Most workers are not provided gloves to protect their skin and often suffer serious injuries that go ignored by their employers. As a result, the Human Rights Watch has put stress on big companies to put their support behind suppliers that adhere to humane production practices. There is still much work to be done to ensure that all businesses follow suit, but in the meantime here is what you can do to help-- support brands that offer certified fair trade cashews such as Uprise Foods and beyond.
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All-purpose Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight *see notes
- ½ cup water or less
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt optional
- Place cashews and water in a high speed blender and mix until creamy
- Add more water, if desired