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Cashew Cream

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Makes 2 cups 1x

Time At least 4 hours, mostly unattended

Units Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted raw cashews

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews in 2 cups water for at least 4 hours, until swollen and soft. Drain; reserve the liquid.
  2. Put the cashews in a blender and process on high, adding the soaking liquid a few tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

10 Directions to Take Cashew Cheese
Feel free to adjust any of these amounts up or down to suit your own personal taste. And if you can let the cheese sit for a couple of hours after seasoning, all the better.

  1. Herbed Cheese: Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, like chives, parsley, basil, dill, or mint (alone or in combination).
  2. Garlic-Mustard Cheese: Add 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic.
  3. Chipotle Cheese: Add 1 or 2 minced canned chipotle chiles, plus some of their adobo.
  4. Lime-Cilantro Cheese: Add up to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice.
  5. Sesame-Soy Cheese: Add 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
  6. Lemon-Dill Cheese: Add another tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill. (This is even better the next day.)
  7. Ginger-Mint Cheese: Add 1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint. (This is even better the next day.)
  8. Vanilla-Orange Cheese: Use orange juice instead of lemon juice and add 2 tablespoons grated orange zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  9. Berry Cheese: Skip the nutritional yeast and add 1 cup mashed berries and 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar.
  10. Tangy Cheese: Add 4 teaspoons cider vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons white or yellow miso.

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition 

Recipe variations

Fast Cashew Cream
Ready in 10 minutes: Boil 2 cups water and put 1/2 cup cashew butter in a small bowl. Turn off the heat, pour 1/4 cup of the boiling water into the bowl, and whisk until smooth; whisk in another 1/4 cup boiling water, then pour the cashew mixture into the pot and whisk to combine. Return the cream to medium heat and adjust as necessary so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily. Cook, whisking, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 1 to 3 minutes.

Cashew Cheese
Same principle, only spreadable like cream cheese. Increase the quantity of cashews to 1 1/2 cups. Increase the water in Step 1 to 3 cups. After draining, put them in the blender with 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt; purée until smooth, adding reserved soaking water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you want. Eat as is, or at this point, you can add flavors from the list below and pulse until incorporated.