5 Ways to Use Cashews Instead of Cream (and Not Want to Cry One Bit)

Years ago on this site I let you know that “you won’t find me noshing contentedly cashew cheese in this lifetime.” Despite our leaning further away from animal products over time and my even having taken a raw foods class where I learned to make cashew cheese, that’s still a true statement. Cashew cheese may be many things to many people, some of whom are no doubt more enlightened, better at inverted eagle pose, and less prone to bouts of moodiness and unexplained blogging hiatuses than I am. But though cashew cheese may be many things to many people, there’s one thing that cashew cheese most certainly is not. And that thing, of course, is cheese.

If a cashew cheese rant seems a little arbitrary on this lovely Friday in June, I should tell you that I’m doing it to establish credibility. It seems only fair to let you know where my personal limits lie before launching into this post on how great it can be to use cashews instead of cream in a wide variety of foods. I wouldn’t trust me either about the cream situation if I’d said I think cashew cheese is cheese. Just sayin’. So. Are we cool?

I first learned about cashew cream from vegan chef Tal Ronnen, whose book The Conscious Cook was named a best cookbook of 2009 by Epicurious. Ronnen uses cashew cream in a wide variety of dishes, from twice-baked fingerling potatoes, to artichoke ricotta tortellini with saffron cream sauce, to black pepper shortcakes with blackberry basil sauce and cinnamon cream. How’s that for a party you’d be lucky to attend? One thing to note in cooking with cashew cream is that it thickens very quickly in comparison to dairy cream. This can actually be a great feature, but you need to be ready for it when you’re standing at the stove.

There are almost as many ways to use cashew cream as there are ways to use cream, and I’ve included the basic recipe for cashew cream below so you can experiment with it to your heart’s desire. But to get you started, here are five easy places where cashews will add a perfect richness, heft, and creaminess to your cooking, and no one will stop to wonder where the dairy went.

  1. Creamy tomato soup, recipe below
  2. Blended with poblano peppers into a gorgeous crema for enchiladas
  3. The Liquid Love Smoothie, which pretty much speaks for itself (or any creamy smoothie where you’d rather not use dairy)
  4. Cashew Dreamcake, the most tempting raw dessert I’ve ever seen — except maybe a perfectly ripe nectarine, but who’s counting
  5. Flavor some cashew cream with a little maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and drizzle it over your morning oatmeal

I’d love to know how you’ve been using cashew cream in your cooking, or if this is your first time, then how it went! Talk to you soon.

  • I love this! I’ve used cashews before to make an enchilada-like sauce but am very excited to try out these other recipes (especially the tomato soup, it looks wonderful!).ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for including me here! Glad to hear you’ve been converted to the cashew :)ReplyCancel

  • Great post! I love cashews and love using them in vegan cooking. I can’t wait to try that tomato soup, it sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Wow i wud love to try the soup. Bookmarking this one:). First time to your site and am so glad to be here. You have a great blog. Will keep coming:)ReplyCancel

  • I am not a fan of raw cashew “cheese” either but you’ve totally sold me on this cashew cream concept. Can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • [...] Five ways to use cashews instead of cream (and not want to cry one bit) @ Umami Girl [...]ReplyCancel

  • This: “black pepper shortcakes with blackberry basil sauce and cinnamon cream” just made my head spin. A lot of my vegan friends swear by this and even though I’m not vegan, I want to try it!ReplyCancel

  • barbara

    Just found your blog,love your post on cashew cream, I totally agree, I like using cashew cream in chowder type soups. It is a huge relief to have found something that my “dairy loving” family doesn’t notice as “fake”. Your humor is great too.ReplyCancel

  • I couldn’t agree more about cashew cheese. It is just not cheese. I love cashew creme though, I use it as my base for raw ice creams and I’ve also used it in soups. Particularly a raw “cream” corn soup that is simply divine. I can’t wait to try your tomato soup!ReplyCancel

  • wendy vos

    Loving these recipies.. just breaking in to veganReplyCancel

  • Glen Ellen Chandler

    I have been a vegan for years and I have just now learned about cashew cream. I think I will be able to use it a lot! Thanks for the Tomato Soup recipe.ReplyCancel

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