Some people have milk and bread as staples in their houses. I have cashews. Cashews are used in our sour cream, butter, cheese sauces, and more. More specifically, raw cashews. If raw cashews ever disappear from the earth, I’m going to be disappointed because they make the best sauces and creams and even desserts. They are essential for so many things I make.
One Big Note On Cashews
Soaking cashews helps the cashews to become soft and more blendable, but I just didn’t need to do that. I have a Vitamix, and for the longest time, I didn’t soak my cashews before making something because the Vitamix blends up everything really nice anyway.
Then one day I heard that there could be bugs inside of cashews, which totally grossed me out, so I decided to soak them and open them up to make sure there were no bugs inside.
I can say that I’ve never found any bugs in my cashews (and I’ve gone through a ton of cashews since I started that practice), but I have noticed that the water is insanely dirty after a good soak. So, I now soak my cashews to clean them and check for bugs.
I Soak A Lot Of Cashews At Once
I soak at least 5-6 cups of cashews at once. This way I don’t have to go through the process of soaking, opening up each cashew, and re-washing them on a daily basis. Instead, I get all my cashews soaked and cleaned at once and make my butter, sour cream, and cheese sauce on the same day.
If I know I’m going to be making something else with cashews, I will soak more than my usual amount. But, cashew butter, cashew sour cream, and cashew cheese sauce are the staples that I make at least bi-weekly.
The Cashew Butter I Make
I only make the cashew butter from Full of Plants. It’s cultured cashew butter, so you need to mix cashews with water and a probiotic, and then let it sit for a while before you can make the butter. I usually let my cashew milk mixture sit for a day before I mix it with the rest of the ingredients.
A big note is that he recommends you let it sit until it gets tangy, but I find that it gets tangier as it sits in the fridge. So, even if it’s not that tangy to begin with, don’t worry because the tang is coming!
Honestly, the cashew butter tastes good tangy or not.
Another note is that if you use olive oil, you are going to taste that olive oil. One time I had to make the cashew butter when I didn’t have any olive oil on hand, so I used canola oil, and it was a completely different flavor to me. I actually liked it better than the olive oil taste, but I feel like olive oil is healthier so it’s hard to justify it. I haven’t had a chance to try the grapeseed oil yet because it’s always out of my local stores lately.
Also, I don’t add carrot juice to my butter. I don’t need it to be a certain color in order to believe it’s really good cashew cultured butter. It tastes exactly like Miyoko’s butter to me, and the color wouldn’t affect that.
As you can see in the picture the top looks a bit bumpy. Sometimes it comes out like that for me, and I’m not sure why. It might have something to do with the oil I choose to use. I always make it in the same way in my Vitamix. Sometimes I use less coconut oil than recommend (because I don’t have enough coconut oil on hand). Sometimes I use olive oil or canola oil. Sometimes I use a mix of the oils, which is what I did this time. But it always tastes good, so I don’t really care.
You can use this in any recipe that calls for butter. I’ve used it in baked goods and regular cooking. I’ve never tried browning it, but he says that it can brown, so give it a try.
The Cashew Sour Cream I Make
I’ve talked about my cashew sour cream before. I don’t really add coconut meat anymore. It gives a creamier texture, but I haven’t bought a coconut for a long time and I’m fine with just cashew, water, nutritional yeast, and probiotic.
I put in about two cups of cashews, fill the water to the top of the cashews, add the powder from a full probiotic capsule, add a healthy amount of nutritional yeast, and then I mix it all together in my Vitamix. Then I pour it in a jar and let it sit on my counter for almost 24 hours.
Just like the cashew butter, the cashew sour cream gets tangier as it sits in the fridge, so I don’t let it get too tangy before I put it in.
My mother likes this cashew sour cream better than her dairy sour cream. It’s the one thing she always reaches for if I bring it along with us for supper at their house. She is always wowed by it.
I use this cashew sour cream for dips, with nachos and Mexican foods, on perogies, and in pasta sauces (or any sauce) where I want a little creaminess and tang.
The Cashew Cheese Sauce I Make
My last cashew sauce staple is this cashew cheese sauce. It’s a spicy cashew cheese sauce. The main recipe actually comes from this Pinch Of Yum recipe for a vegan crunch wrap. I use their cashew queso recipe, but I add a lot of nutritional yeast into the recipe as well. I just kind of dump it in there, but I would say at least 5 tablespoons.
Essentially, I add a few cups of cashews in my Vitamix, fill water to about 1/2 the cashews, add nutritional yeast in, dump in some taco seasoning, add salt, and then add some pickled jalapenos along with some of the juice they were sitting in. Then I blend.
I use these pickled canned chilis in my recipe. I’ve made this recipe without the pickled green chiles, and it’s not as good to me. So, when I leave them out of the recipe (meaning I don’t have any in the house), I dump a little vinegar and some dried chilies into the mix. But, the canned pickled diced green chilis really make this recipe for me.
By the way, I’m assuming that the original recipe means canned chilis like this. But I’ve tried with just jalapenos, and I don’t like it as much as I do with the pickled jalapenos.
That said, I have been making my cashew cheese sauce after my cashew sour cream without cleaning the Vitamix. I feel like this adds a small amount of fermentation to the mix, and my cheese sauce gets a little tangier as the days go on. I assume if you were to ferment your cheese sauce it would taste tangy as it does with the pickled jalapenos.
I use this cashew cheese sauce on almost everything that requires some spicy cheese sauce. In wraps, on nachos, in burritos and fajitas, in dips, and I eat it straight out of the jar sometimes. It’s so good.
It doesn’t heat up too well. It gets kind of hard. I leave it out to get to room temperature for dips and stuff. But, if I need to heat it up a bit, not heating it for too long and giving it a good stir helps it be a little saucier, and it still tastes the same.