The most versatile and adaptable sauce ever. It’s been such a game changer since I went (mostly) vegan.
The basic premise is this:
- Boil water
- Add cashews to a blender
- Let sit for several minutes
- Blend at high speed until creamy
If you don’t have a high speed blender (I didn’t for years) I suggest soaking the cashews in regular water overnight. That makes them much easier to blend. Just be sure to drain the water and add fresh water when blending.
The beauty of this sauce is the many ways you can use it. Use less water for a thick dip; Add more for a light sauce; Play around with adding lemon or rich flavors like tomato paste or spices; There are endless possibilities.
Here are 3 ways I use cashew cream:
Basic Cashew Cream
This is the most simple, but one I use often to add some creaminess to dishes. I eyeball and change it up every time. But I usually add about 1/2 cup of cashews to the blender, about 3/4 cup of boiling water, and the juice of 1 lemon. Then I refrigerate it until cold (at least 2 hours) for a creamy, refreshing topping. Great to top on chili, nachos, tacos, spicy curries, and more!
I would definitely play around with adding more/less water and see what you like! I’ve made this a ton of times and it always turns out a little differently.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Huge shoutout to Baked Greens Blog for changing my life with this Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. But in general, cashews are a great way to make a vegan cream sauce. Just be sure to add plenty of flavor (like in this sauce) and you’ll completely forget it’s vegan.
I think sometimes people think that eating vegan limits you a lot. But in reality, any type of cooking can be super delicious if you can enough seasoning (plenty of salt and something tangy) and flavors (like roasted red peppers and/or tomato paste).
I’ve even made the pasta sauce shown above into a dip by adding less water. I’ve taken it to a few parties and it’s always a big hit.
Just like with the basic cashew cream, refrigeration is KEY! It makes a huge difference in how this mimics a regular tzaziki sauce with yogurt. Elliot and I first tried this when making falafel at home and it was a game changer.
- 1 Cup Cashews (soaked overnight if needed)
- 1/4 Cup Hemp Seeds
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/4 cup Water
- Juice of Two Lemons (About 1/4-1/3 cup)
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Chopped Cucumber (1/2 for blender and 1/2 to add afterwards)
- 2-3 Tbsp Fresh Dill (finely chopped)
- Add everything to the blender but the fresh dill and half of the cucumber.
- Once creamy smooth, stir in the remaining cucumber and dill.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The colder, the better! I sometimes make it the night before.
- Eat with falafel, roasted chickpeas and other veggies, or pretty much anything – it’s so good!