10 Surprising Ways to Cook With Cashews
From creamy spreads to cheesecake, we’re amazed with just how versatile cashew nuts can be.
Shutterstock/Elena M. Tarasova
Thought that cashew nuts only had a place as a snacking nut or in cashew chicken stir-fries? Think again! These soft, sweet buttery nuts can be used to make ultra-flavorful spreads, soups, milk and more. They’re great for those following a dairy-free, plant-based, or paleo diet (and they’re pretty tasty for the rest of us, too).
Cashew Cream Cheese
Soak cashews in water overnight to soften them. Then, drain them and blend them up with some lemon juice, salt, and a splash of water until they’re super smooth and spreadable. It doesn’t get easier than that!
Taste of Home
Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot cake isn’t the same without cream cheese frosting. That same cashew cream cheese you made can be whipped into a sweet treat by adding honey or maple syrup. Let it set up in the freezer before frosting your favorite desserts.
Who doesn’t love cheesecake? Anyone on a diet, that’s who! Luckily, vegan cheesecake recipes use cashews instead of all of that heavy cream cheese. Combining whipped cashews with coconut milk is a great way to get a creamy texture without skimping on all that comforting cheesecake flavor. Looking to indulge? Try our top 10 cheesecake recipes.
Shutterstock/ Elena M. Tarasova
Using mayonnaise becomes a problem if you have an egg allergy or you’re trying to follow a plant-based diet. (Find out more about plant-based diets.) Once again, cashews save the day! Blending soaked cashews with a few ingredients like cauliflower, olive oil, lemon juice, and a little water makes a perfect mayo replacement.
Faux Alfredo Sauce
Some of our favorite pasta sauces involve heavy cream, but it’s a little indulgent to eat creamy Alfredo all the time. Making a creamy “Alfredo” sauce with cashews is the perfect way to ease my guilt. Blending soaked cashews with garlic and olive oil does the trick.
It doesn’t always have to be about turning a recipe into a vegan or dairy-free meal. This recipe for Cashew & Olive Feta Cheese Dip combines cashews with a salty cheese like feta or cotija and a bunch of herbs to make a tasty appetizer or sandwich spread.
If you’re looking for a dairy-free milk alternatives, cashew milk is one of the best. It’s as easy as blending 1 cup of soaked cashews with 4 cups of water (plus sweeteners, if you like). As a bonus, this tasty drink packs 45 percent of your daily dose of calcium!
Vegan Ice Cream
Cashew ice cream is a great alternative for those on a vegan or dairy-free diet. Take equal parts soaked cashews and almond milk and churn away in an ice cream maker.
Using nuts in salsa is traditional in Mexico to make sauces rich and creamy. They can be pureed until they’re unnoticeable or left chunky for texture. Roasting a few cashews and tossing them in your favorite salsa recipe is a sure-fire way to make it stand out!
Simply add 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped, roasted cashews to this speedy homemade salsa recipe.
Instead of adding heavy cream to your favorite cauliflower soup, add vegetable broth pureed with cashews instead! They’ll have the same sweet flavor and creamy texture without all of the added saturated fat.