Basic Cashew Cream

Makes 12 servings (¼ cup per serving)

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional, for savory recipes)
  • Pinch of white pepper (optional, for savory recipes)
  • 1 tablespoon agave or coconut maple sugar (optional, for sweet recipes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional, for sweet recipes)

Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 3 hours. Drain. Place cashews in a blender with lemon juice, 1 cup water, and optional ingredients as desired—depending on your preference for use in savory or sweet dishes. Process cashews until very smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as needed, until texture is thick and creamy. Remove from blender and place in an airtight container. Chill for up to 5 days.

Use in place of cheese, sour cream, or cream cheese in pastas, casseroles, dips, desserts, and sauces. Excellent as a topping for salads and tacos. May add additional flavorings to suit recipes, such as herbs and green onions for salad dressings, or cinnamon for a sweet topping.

Nutritional information per serving: 208 calories, 7 g protein, 16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 4 mg sodium.