Worshipping at the altar: Cashews

Come, let us create!

This is one of the reasons I LOVE unroasted cashew nuts. For years I only ate them “honey roasted”, and it wasn’t until I ate them in their bare naked glory that I realised I had never tasted them. Their sweet creamy taste was hidden under all that sugar! They truly are a delight to create with, because of their subtly sweet creaminess. Blended with water, they become a base for an endless array of dairy free delights. (I just used delight twice in the same paragraph. I am not a writer. I don’t know that many words. But I do feel delighted when I contemplate the cashew, what can I say?)

So! The tumbler in the photo above is 2 1/3 cups of cashews. That’s approximately 250g, maybe a little less. (1cup=100grams, approx) I soak them overnight to soften them. Though it can be done without soaking, I just try to be kind to my blender. It’s a part of the family.

Then, I blended with 1  3/4 cups of water. (measuring cups. That’s about 450mls)There really is no magic ratio. 1:1 is fine for a dressing, and do it with less for a thicker consistency.  The mixture in the picture is about the consistency of full fat natural yoghurt.It will thicken a little in the fridge, aswell.

So when it is blended with water it is a creamy,fluffy, snow-white, slightly-sweet-to-neutral tasting silky smooth….delight. This is now a base for lots and lots of creations. For example:

  • Blend in a nice juicy medjool date, a pinch of salt and a vanilla bean for some dairy free cashew cream to put on your fruit salad.
  • Blend with a squeeze of lemon and/or a dash of apple cider vinegar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, a few fresh basil leaves, and finally, when all is blended up, one last whirl with some dill, for a ridiculously good ranch style dressing. Just add one wholehead of romaine lettuce and a punnet of cerry tomatoes! It is so good!
  • As above, but with a couple of soaked sundried tomatoes for a different but equally delicious dressing.
  • If you initially blend up with even less water, you have a thicker base for DIPS. You may find it easier in a food processor if you use less water.
  • Add fresh lemon or lime juice (or some apple cider vinegar) for sour cream, delicious with raw tomato salsa.
  • Add to soups instead of cream.
  • Add to rice dishes and risottos at the end; I make my rice dishes with brown rice, and by adding some of this, it makes it more creamy and akin to arborio. You may wish to add in some onion powder and sea salt to perk it up.
  • Make yourself a raw “cheese” sauce, using nutritional yeast.
  • Make yourself some delicious kale chips. You truly have to try these to discover how good they are!!
  • Make a chocolate dipping sauce for strawberries. There is a recipe here, but I have not tried it yet. I will though.
  • This also happens to be the wost wonderful base for ice-cream. I will post more precise recipes for this when I am able.

Is there anyone out there reading this who reverences the cashew like I do? If so, how do you eat yours???

*You may have noticed, these are not recipesas such. I have just given you basic ideas of all the ways you can use your cashew cream. Well, I have barely scratched the surface, but it’s a start. Recipes will appear as I have time to post. But really…this is not meticulous baking, and it’s certainly not rocket science, it’s all about taste testing and tweaking it until you like it. Happy experimenting!


2 responses to this post.

  1. I love cashews too, but I have to say I have only ever used them when cooking thai food, they are fantastic in stir fries with chilli jam and loads of fresh veg just thrown into a wok and the cashews get added last. Delicious. I had no idea cashews could be used for so much.


  2. Posted by Beth on June 8, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Yum,sounds gorgeous.I love them in stir fries too.Is your chilli jam very spicey? I would love that recipe. (By the way,my girls love love love the frozen grapes,thanks!)


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