Author: Lilly Mazzarella
Naturally sweet and delicious, cashews offer the perfect alternative to dairy and can be used to make vegan sauces and cheeses and to make smoothies thick and creamy. Cashews are super nutritious – high in copper, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, and despite their creaminess, lower in fat than most nuts. The fats they do contain help maintain healthy inflammation levels. This simple, easy-to-make cashew crema tastes like a dream and a decadent addition to sweet and savory dishes alike.
¾ c raw cashews, soaked in water for at least a couple of hours (using hot water will cut soaking time in half)
2/3 c filtered water, plus extra
1 sliver of preserved lemon, or 1 scant tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 pinch Pink Himalayan salt
Strain cashews, and put all ingredients into a powerful blender (a Vitamix works best, but if you soak your nuts overnight, you can use a regular blender!). Blend on high speed until creamy – this should be the consistency of a thick mousse and have no graininess to it.
You can sweeten this with vanilla or stevia for dessert dishes (though I swear it doesn't need it!), and make it more savory with the addition of chives, dill, paprika, extra salt, and pepper.
I've served this with blueberries, coconut flour no-sugar cookies, and used it with water as a smoothie addition in place of nut milk. It’s great drizzled on or mixed into green soups and, takes the Herbed Avocado Dollop over the top. I've also just eaten it by the spoonful.