Cashew cream sauce is a versatile alternative to dairy dips and legume-based hummus. Learn how to make cashew cream at home, with tips on how to change up the flavor for different uses!
Cashews have seem to become an all-purpose nut these days, and I’m not complaining. They’re mild in flavor, soft in texture and full of essential nutrients, including a healthy dose of protein and healthy fats. Cashews can be used for grain-free crusts, added in smoothies, or used as a non-dairy, non-legume alternative to sour cream and hummus.
Since the original recipe was buried within another recipe, I decided to separate it out and showcase this beautifully versatile dip and sauce on its own.
- Cashews (raw and unsalted preferred)
- Olive Oil
- Flavorings of your choice (maple syrup to make sweet, citrus and salt & pepper to make savory)
How to Make Cashew Cream Sauce
All the details are below, but making this sauce couldn’t be easier. All it involves is soaking the cashews for a bit, tossing them in a food processor and adding your chosen flavoring.
You begin by soaking your raw cashews in some warm water, for at least an hour. If you soak them longer, say, overnight, they will absorb even more water and yield a creamier texture, so if you have the time, allow them a nice long soak.
When soaking is complete, drain and set aside.
If you want a savory cashew cream sauce, you’ll need to balance out the inherent sweetness of the cashews. You achieve this by adding citrus, in the form of lemons and/or limes. I like both, but use what you have on hand. This will give the cream some bite.
Add your cashews, along with your water, into the food processor fitted with the chopping blade.
If you’ve left your cashews soak for a long time, they’ll retain more water, therefore you’ll need to use less water. A safe place to start is with ¼ cup, and go from there. Just like when you make hummus, you’ll add olive oil as you go, to suit your liking.
Squeeze in your citrus, as well as a heavy pinch of salt, at least ¼ tsp, and pulse till nice and smooth, scraping the sides to fully incorporate, as needed.
Store your cashew cream sauce covered in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Ways to Use Cashew Cream
- Use it as a topping for sweet potatoes
- A dip for fresh veggies and chips
- To replace ricotta cheese in lasagnas or fresh veggie rolls
- A filling for wraps, in place of mayo or hummus
- My favorite way is to fill a roasted sweet potato with spinach, and then top with cashew cream and some slivered almonds
How To Make Your Cashew Cream Sweet
I’ve shared how to make a yummy savory sauce out of cashews, but don’t think it doesn’t also work to make it sweet!
To go for a more sweet sauce or dip, simply add 1-2 tablespoon of maple syrup (or preferred sweetener) to the cashews, and blend as directed.
You could also add a teaspoon of vanilla, or even some cinnamon or nutmeg if you’re trying to warm it up. Because cashews are naturally sweet, they blend up into a beautiful dessert like dip you can use for things like fresh fruits.
Cashew Cream Sauce
- Food Processor or High Speed Blender
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in warm water for at least 1-2 hours
- Juice of ½ lime and ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp salt to taste
- ¼-1/2 cup filtered water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Drain cashews, and place in food processor or high speed blender, with the chopping blade attachment. Add remaining ingredients, and pulse till cashews are nice and creamy, adding more water and juice of lemon and lime till desired consistency and taste.