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Healthy Berries and Cream

I have this cousin who has long had a serious weakness for creamy desserts. Specifically, creamy vanilla icing commonly found on top of cupcakes. About a year ago, she decided to eschew dairy to see if avoiding casein and whey would help her overcome chronic eczema. She went all out, and within a month, her rashes melted away - it was one of those cases where the improvement was so rapid that the doer swore off pasteurized and homogenized dairy for life.

To help support her newly modified diet, I showed her some tricks of the healthy eating trade. To satisfy those regular urges for vanilla icing that, in the past, would sometimes have her eating straight out of a Duncan Hines frosting jar, I brought out the cashews.

That's right, simple, raw cashews, readily available at most grocery markets and bulk food stores.

Blend them up with some water and you have a delicious cream, as thick or as light as you wish. And you can add vanilla plus a relatively healthy sweetener like raw honey if you like your cream as sweet as cake icing. :)

In our kitchen, we like our dairy-free cream on the richer side to eat with fresh berries. I like to imagine that I'm finally at Wimbledon, sitting on the perfectly manicured grass on centre court, enjoying my strawberries and cream with Borg, Graf, and company.

Here's a look at how you can make healthy cream for any occasion:

Start with a cup of raw cashews.

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Soak them in water overnight.

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Drain water and add raw cashews to a strong blender, along with enough fresh, cold water to cover the cashews plus an extra splash or two. This amount will produce a rich cream that isn't easily poured into dessert bowls i.e. a spoon will be needed to empty your blender.

If you're looking to make cream with a natural hint of sweetness, this is all you need. Just blend away until your cashews and water form a thick cream. Cashews are abundant in natural sweetness, so if you're combining your cream with other sweet ingredients like ripe berries or cake, you might want to try it sans sweetener.

If you're looking for a close substitute to store-bought icing, use a little less water and add one to two tablespoons of raw honey, along with a splash of real vanilla extract. Or if you have real vanilla on hand, add the specks of one vanilla bean. It's always wise to add a little bit at a time and taste as you go.

IMG_0846

Once you have your cream, you can enjoy it as is (like having cake icing right out of the jar), or you can use it to make a number of healthy desserts. As mentioned earlier, a personal favourite is fresh berries and cream.

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If you give this natural dairy-free cream a try, I invite you to share what you did with it in the comments section below. New dessert ideas are always welcome and appreciated! And if you ever happen to score extra tickets to Wimbledon that you can't make use of...

To print the directions for this dairy-free cream without the photos, please cut and paste what follows and print from your word processor:

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews
Cold water
Raw honey
Vanilla extract or vanilla bean

Directions:

After soaking your cashews in water overnight, drain and add raw cashews to a strong blender, along with enough fresh, cold water to cover the cashews plus an extra splash or two. This amount will produce a rich cream that isn't easily poured into dessert bowls i.e. a spoon will be needed to empty your blender.

If you're looking to make cream with a natural hint of sweetness, this is all you need. Just blend away until your cashews and water form a thick cream. Cashews are abundant in natural sweetness, so if you're combining your cream with other sweet ingredients like ripe berries or cake, you might want to try it sans sweetener.

If you're looking for a close substitute to store-bought icing, use a little less water and add one to two tablespoons of raw honey, along with a splash of real vanilla extract. Or if you have real vanilla on hand, add the specks of one vanilla bean. It's always wise to add a little bit at a time and taste as you go.

Once you have your cream, you can enjoy it as is (like having cake icing right out of the jar), or you can use it to make a number of healthy desserts. As mentioned earlier, a personal favourite is fresh berries and cream.

 
 

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Creamy cashews

Thank you so much for this new recipe, Dr Kim. Taking your advice, we have been using cashews to give our soups that creamy quality we crave and it has worked out so well! We don't miss the dairy at all. But my husband still loves creamy desserts, and it is great to have a new recipe to try! We truly enjoy your newsletters :) Thanks again for being such a wonderful, health-conscious encouragement to our family.

Cashew Cream

The cashew cream is totally awesome - wherever I would have used dairy cream, I use the cashew cream - it is fantastic in cream soups and equally fantastic as a topping on desserts. I also use it, along with homemade almond milk to make ice cream - like I said - the cashew cream is totally awesome.

cashew cream & stay at home parent

I saw your idea in your first post of '13 and winged it, not bad at all, no sweetener or flavoring. I had a recipe for cacao pudding made with non gmo cornstarch, millek (that's milk made from millet and almond meal), I used xylitol and liquid stevia for sweetener, not bad for a first shot!

And on the stay at home parent thing, We have a multi-handicapped 40 year old son, the youngest of 5. I have never ben "gainfully" employed since I got married. I call myself a domestic engineer.

Love the 'cream'

This is great, very simple which I love. I do use cashews to make 'cashew cheese' and all sorts of dressings, but haven't done the cream yet, so this I will try. Thanks for sharing!

What is cashew cheese, and

What is cashew cheese, and how do you make it? Sounds yummy

Miyoko Schinner's "Artisan Vegan Cheese"

Soaking cashews, blending, "curing", spicing and enjoying!

We are not vegetarians, much less vegans, however, going without cheese and any number of milk-related items was going to be very difficult. A friend knew we were headed in this direction and gifted me with Ms. Schinner's recipe book...outstanding! I've made many different cheeses - hard and soft, meltables and not. A spectacular cheesecake - heavenly. And a side benefit from eliminating the processed "stuff" is that we each have lost weight, just by going "cheese-free" without giving up cheese!

Cashews is the way to go!

Awesome!

So excited to try your dairy free cream. I've been looking for a while now! Can't wait to get back to the store for cashews!

Healthy Cashew Cream

My guests and I were pleasantly surprised at how delicious this cashew cream was! I used a bit of honey and powdered vanilla as I made it in my Blendtec. It turned out whiter than I anticipated. I'll be making this again, for sure! Thanks for the great recipe!

 

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