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These 6 creamy cashew recipes are a vegan’s best friend

These 6 creamy cashew recipes are a vegan’s best friend Posted on December 4, 2017Leave a comment

The best blend of sweet, salty, and creamy I’ve ever experienced was the So Delicious ‘Salted Caramel Cluster’ ice cream, a dairy-free treat. At least 6 very blunt dairy eaters I know have tried this ice cream with genuine ‘woah…that is really good’ reactions. Three factors are often present for this reaction to occur:

  • The ice cream is something other than milk.
  • It tastes like what it’s called.
  • It’s as creamy, if not creamier, than dairy ice cream.

This ice cream, I dare argue, is one that is creamier than dairy treats, and the special ingredient that provides this creamy goodness??? Cashews.

The good news is you can add this dairy-free creaminess to multiple dishes with not too much hassle. Here’s how:

Buy raw cashews

It is important to buy raw cashews because they are softer in texture and subtler in flavor than the roasted variety. Raw cashews are also not coated in oil while the roasted ones are. Using the roasted cashews will give your dishes a crunch and distinct cashew flavor while lacking the smooth creaminess you’re looking for. I would recommend purchasing these cashews in bulk because you will most likely get more cashews for your dollar, and you can purchase enough to have on hand for the many recipes you’ll want to add them to! If you want to keep them on hand make sure to store them in a sealed container in the fridge or a cool place so they keep longer.

Soak ’em

The first and arguably most important step to working with raw cashews is to soak them. This helps the cashew become more digestible (for example, it minimizes substances like phytic acid that make it harder for your stomach to absorb minerals. Soaking the nuts also makes them soft enough to blend into a smooth sauce/paste consistency.

To soak them, place the desired amount of cashews a sealable container, cover them in filtered water, and seal the dish with a lid or tight saran wrap. It is best to soak the cashews over night or a whole day, but for many recipes soaking them 3-4 hours will produce fine results. In my experience it is better to soak them longer for super smooth, heavily cashew based recipes like a dairy-free cheesecake. It works fine to soak them for 3-4 hours for recipes where a smaller proportion of cashews are added to already hot based foods like blended in a hot butternut squash soup. If you choose to soak them more than 3-4 hours, it is wise to place them in the fridge so they don’t go bad, especially if you live in a warmer climate.

Drain & Blend

Drain the water from the cashews when they finish soaking and when you’re ready to use them. At this point the cashews should be soft enough to blend smoothly with other ingredients. Now is the part where you get to be creative and blend the cashews to make dairy-free dishes such as:

Cashew Cheesecake

If you’re looking for that super dense, sweet, creamy, tangy triangle but don’t want the dairy, cashew cheesecake could be just what you’re looking for. And make sure you have some fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries to balance out the rich flavor.

Give this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie a try!


One of my favorite cheeses before going dairy-free was Havarti dill, but this herbed cashew cheese might just do the trick!

Give this recipe from Minimalist Baker a try!

Creamy Soups

A creamy soup is a warm, cozy, nutritious meal perfect for a dreary day. The subtle flavor of the raw cashews blends perfectly with the spices of these savory soups. Mushroom, butternut squash, pumpkin, and tomato basil are great examples of soups that are delicious when made creamy. 

Give this recipe from Vegan Huggs a try!

Creamy Pastas

Raw cashews help make a decadent sauce to smother over pasta. You can go classic with mac’n’cheese or try something new like creamy pumpkin sage noodles!

Give this recipe from The Full Helping a try!


Pile your chips high with goodness, and top it off with a cashew cheese sauce that’s high in the good kind of fat. I recommend blending pimentos or roasted bell peppers into the nacho sauce to give it that extra punch of flavor and tang.

Give this recipe from One Ingredient Chef a try!

Ice Cream

I probably don’t need to convince you to try ice cream, but if the idea of cashews worries you, don’t be dismayed. The subtle cashew flavor hides behind the other flavors, and the ice cream is SO rich and dense. I’ve found cashew based ice cream to be more filling and satiating than dairy ice cream, which is definitely a plus for me.

Give this recipe from Minimalist Baker a try!