I thought the hardest part of my anti-inflammatory diet would be going without milk and butter and cheese. I’m finding that going dairy-free isn’t nearly as hard as I’d have expected it to be. I can use canned coconut milk in almost anything that calls for milk. I can use coconut oil or olive oil for butter. And now I’ve got cashew cream!

You can make cashew cream as a thick, creamy, slightly tart substitute for sour cream. Or you can make it into a lighter, slightly sweet substitute for whipped cream. It doesn’t taste exactly like dairy cream, of course. But it’s thick and creamy and delicious.

Cashew Cream Non-Dairy Sour Cream Substitute

I don’t use a lot of sour cream. But if we’re having tacos for supper, it’s nice to be able to add a dollop of sour cream to the tacos. And garlic mashed potatoes need sour cream.

I found a really good sour cream substitute at the grocery. Unfortunately, the second or third time I bought it, I noticed that its main ingredient was partially hydrogenated soy bean oil. Partially hydrogenated means trans fats, and trans fats are absolutely awful for you. So I tossed out half a carton of the stuff, and won’t buy it again.

That left me without a substitute for sour cream, until I discovered cashew cream. Oh, my goodness, it’s good. Use it on tacos. Dollop it on a bowl of borscht. Make salad dressings with it. Stir it into beef stroganoff. Use it instead of yogurt to make overnight oats.

I’m not sure if it works like sour cream in baking – I haven’t tried that yet. But I will, and I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
3/4 cup water
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Drain and rinse the cashews.

Toss all the ingredients in a blender.

Blend until it’s completely smooth and creamy. Depending on what kind of blender you have, it might take a while.

Refrigerate an hour or so before you use it. Store in the refrigerator.

It will get thicker the longer it stays in the fridge. If it gets too thick, you can always thin it by whisking in a bit of water.

Cashew Cream Non-Dairy Whipped Cream Substitute

My anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t allow much in the way of sweets. A smidge of honey now and again, or fruit. That’s it, really. At first, I thought I’d never have a dessert again. But I’m finding a lot of ways to use fruit to make naturally sweetened desserts. Frozen berries and a splash of coconut milk in my Vitamix turn into a lovely ice cream in just a few minutes. Fruit crisps aren’t hard to make at all.

But some desserts want whipped cream. And if you can’t have dairy or sugar, how can you make whipped cream?

Cashew cream works! It’s not quite as light and fluffy as dairy whipped cream. But it’s sweet and smooth and creamy and delicious.

Ingredients

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
zest from one orange

Instructions

Drain and rinse the cashews.

Toss all the ingredients in a blender.

Blend until it’s completely smooth and creamy. Depending on what kind of blender you have, it might take a while.

Refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight, before you use it. Store in the refrigerator.

It will get thicker the longer it stays in the fridge. If it gets too thick, you can always thin it by whisking in a bit of water.

Read More

Two Recipes for Pumpkin Pie: One is a traditional pumpkin pie recipe. The other is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sweetened with dates instead of sugar. They’re both really good.

Tofu Chocolate Pie Recipe: This is the most amazing chocolate pie ever. Nobody will know it has tofu in it, if you don’t tell them. It’s just rich, dreamy chocolate.

Mexican Fudge Recipe: No, it’s not chocolate. It’s not sweet. It’s an eggy, cheesy, slightly spicy snack to serve with chips. Great for Cheese Fare Sunday. Great for the Super Bowl.

Charlotte Riggle, author of Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
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