Cashew Cream, A Quick, Healthy Dairy Alternative
Whether you are going vegan or simply seeking healthy dairy alternatives to lighten up your cooking, cashew cream is the answer. It’s rich, creamy, and neutral enough to go with just about everything. Plus, it takes mere minutes to make from scratch!
Had I known how well cashew cream works in rich recipes, I would have started using it years ago! For me, it is the best-kept secret of those on a plant-based diet. Substituting it for heavy cream is a great way to enjoy the richness of creamy sauces, without the saturated fat or the calories.
If you love the smooth creaminess of mushroom sauce, marsala, makhani gravy, alfredo, and the like, you really need to try cashew cream. It will give you the same silky mouthfeel with half the calories.
Does it taste exactly like dairy cream? No. Of course, it doesn’t. But, whether you realise it or not, most of what cream contributes to your favourite sauces isn’t flavour, it’s heft and mouthfeel.
Think about it. In a really great sauce, flavour comes from wine, aromatics, spices and other ingredients — not from cream. Whether dairy cream or cashew cream, the flavour contribution is nominal. So, whether you need cream at the last minute — and forgot to pick it up at the store — or you’re simply looking to eat healthier without sacrificing flavour, cashew cream is your friend.
Nutrition: Cashew Cream vs. Heavy Cream
So, how exactly do these two ingredients stack up? The table below, comparing the nutritional values in 1 cup of each ingredient, will clarify the many reasons why cashew cream is a healthy choice.
|Cashew Cream||Heavy Cream|
|Total Fat||86 g||24 g|
|Saturated Fat||4 g||55 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g||2.9 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||4 g||3.7 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||13 g||22 g|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||269 mg|
|Sodium||6 mg||64 mg|
|Potassium||370 mg||226 mg|
|Total Carbohydrates||6.5 g||18 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g||0 g|
|Sugars||4 g||6.9 g|
|Protein||10 g||6.8 g|
About this Recipe
This is a very simple recipe. Nonetheless, I have a few suggestions to help you achieve optimal results and save money.
Use raw cashew nuts in this recipe. Toasted nuts will add another flavour dimension, while raw cashew nuts are more neutral in taste — which is exactly what you want in cream.
In many marketplaces, broken cashews are less expensive than whole ones. If this is the case where you live, buy the broken nuts. For this recipe, whole nuts and broken nuts are interchangeable.
If you have a high-speed blender, there is no need to pre-soak your cashew nuts, you can simply whizz them up with the water and expect excellent results.
If, on the other hand, you have a conventional blender, I strongly suggest soaking your nuts overnight prior to blending. You will also want to blend for a longer period to get the creamiest results.
A Nut Milk Bag
If you have a high speed blender, a nut milk bag is not essential. You can achieve excellent results — with no noticeable mealiness — without straining your cream. However, if you are using a conventional blender, I highly recommend using a nut milk bag. This tool will assist you in extracting the maximum cream possible, while eliminating any tiny, grainy nut bits.
What Can I Make with Cashew Cream?
|“Paneer” Makhani from the Instant Pot™|