Turn to cashew cream when you want to add smooth richness to a dish but no dairy. It’s a great alternative to coconut milk when you don’t want coconut flavor, as its flavor is more neutral. By adjusting the amount of water you add, you can make cashew cream as thin or thick as you prefer. This can be doubled, tripled, or more, and will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Cashew Cream

Yield: 2 cups Time: At least 4 hours, mostly unattended
1 cup unsalted raw cashews

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.

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 other flavors and pulse until incorporated.