Cashew sauce 3 ways
Cashews are magical. Cashews are rich in Vitamins C, E, and K, phosphorous, iron, magnesium and zinc and also contain antioxidants, phytochemicals and protein. Cashews Improve the health of your heart, are an excellent detox agent, promotes healthy bones, can help prevent cancer, improves the health of skin and hair, aids weight loss, improves the nerves in your body, boosts brain function and memory, strengthens your immune system, assists the body in creating energy, and Cashew nuts can even help treat depression. It has been claimed that a couple of handfuls of cashews has the equivalent effect of a prescription anti-depressant, and so much more.
Going dairy free is hard, I get it, cheese is addictive! You’ve got to try cashew cheese, here are some amazing go-to dairy free substitutes made from cashews. I’ve made meals with these recipes for people who were none the wiser that they weren’t eating dairy.
Cashew sour cream
1 cup raw cashews- soaked in hot water for at least an hour, or overnight if you don’t have a high-powered blender. (My vitamix, while expensive, has been the best kitchen investment I’ve ever made in myself)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, about the juice from half a lemon
1/2-3/4 cup water, or as needed
1 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
Drain and rinse the cashews. Next, blend together the cashews, water, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, until you reach a really smooth consistency.
Add more water until you reach the desired thickness. For instance, for more of a cream-like consistency, add more water until you reach a thinner, but still smooth, consistency.
For a more neutral flavored cashew cream, omit the lemon juice and apple cider from the recipe.
I use the cashew sour cream in so many things, a sauté of greens served as a side dish or over brown rice, on top of tacos, mixed in potato salad, add some fresh herbs and use as a dip, I make a tuna-less tuna salad with the cashew sour cream replacing the mayo (and mashed garbanzo’s replacing the tuna).
Cashew Alfredo/Béchamel sauce (basic white sauce)
2 cups raw cashews soaked in water to soften, at least a few hours or overnight if you don’t have a high-speed blender, then drained.
1-cup onion, diced 2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil (optional if you choose to use oil in this dish)
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast 1 tbsp. onion granules pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of white pepper (black pepper can be used, it just changes the color of the sauce)
1 tsp. sea salt (optional)
Heat the pan to low to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and sweat for at least 5-8 minutes to bring out the flavor until translucent. Continue by then adding the garlic and sweat for an additional couple minutes.
Remove from heat.
Transfer the cooked onions and garlic into the blender.
To finish the sauce, add the cashews, the remaining vegetable stock, white wine, garlic, nutritional yeast, onion granules, nutmeg, white pepper and salt (if using). Blend on high speed until smooth. Add more liquid if you choose to have a thinner consistency. This sauce will reduce and continue to thicken when cooked.
When I’m short on time or ingredients I make this recipe without the nutmeg, white wine or vegetable stock, and substitute water for the two liquids. I also like to add the juice of half a lemon.
I love making this white sauce for pasta and adding pea’s, mushrooms, onions and asparagus. I also add this sauce to soups to make them creamy, and mashed potatoes instead of adding milk. This sauce is incredibly versatile with multiple applications.
Cashew Cream Cheese
1/2-cup raw cashews, soaked in water to soften, at least a few hours or overnight if you don’t have a high-speed blender, then drained.
Juice from half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or 1 minced clove
Salt, to taste
Add the drained cashews, lemon juice, seasonings (if using) and garlic into a blender.
Blend until smooth, stop and scrape down the sides and repeat until the mixture is smooth. This will take a few times, but be patient – this spread is worth the wait!
Cashew cream cheese is great as a spread on bagels, but also great in stuffed mushrooms or peppers.
Optional ingredients to add to any of the three recipes to your tastes:
-1 tablespoon infused oil of your liking, I LOVE truffle oil.
-Avocado (but don’t cook afterwards if you add it to the basic white sauce)
I hope you try these cashew sauces and find more and more recipe’s to use them in replacing your dairy consumption and improving your digestion and health. They have become a loved staple in my household, and I hope they become a staple in yours as well.