The Common Raw Cashew
Raw cashews have long been a popular nut used in cooking, baking, and perfect for snacking. It’s common to process and cook with cashews in several types of foods, especially dairy-free recipes as a “creamy” replacement. The nut comes from a fruit tree native to Brazil but is consumed all over the world and is often included in South Asian cuisines. Cashews are incredibly useful in dairy-free diets because of its similarly creamy texture when prepared and processed. Cashews that are soaked, drained, and blended (in a food processor or blender) can be used in recipes instead of milk, cheese, or both!
Here at Superior Nut Company, we’re big fans of cashews and enjoying nuts in many ways. Alongside roasted, salted, seasoned, chocolate covered, and cashews packaged for gifts, bulk raw cashews are available in several sizes and amounts. Raw cashews are easy to store and have a long shelf life to boot.
Cashews In Dairy Free Diets
Raw cashews are often known as being quintessential to a dairy-free diet to replace milk products. This is because of the silky texture and plain palette of soaked and blended cashews. Cashews blend easily to a resulting creamy liquid consistency, and you won’t taste a strong nutty flavor. This way, blended cashews can frequently replace other real dairy products in recipes that call for the likes of cream, soft cheeses, and milk. People following a dairy-free diet will find it helpful to know how to cook with raw cashews.
Cashews are full of several vitamins and minerals. Like most other nuts, cashews also provide healthy fats and protein for a dairy-free diet. Necessary fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients for energy production are also noted health benefits of cashews. Read a bit more about the nutrition of cashews here.
How to Cook with Raw Cashews
There are hundreds of recipes on how to cook with raw cashews, especially when making and using a cashew cream. You can make your own cashew-based to utilize as a dairy “replacement” in recipes that call for cream, milk, soft cheeses, and more. To start, you’ll need a good amount of raw cashews. Most of these recipes start with soaking raw cashews in water for several hours. The nuts become softer so they will blend to a silky consistency.
After the nuts have soaked for at least two hours, sometimes overnight, you’ll drain them and blend them on high for a couple minutes with fresh water. A good ratio to start with is 1 cup of cashews to ½ cup water. Depending on what you’re needing the cashew cream for, you can always add more water to thin out its consistency. It’s helpful to have a high-speed blender to get the right consistency: If not, be sure to soak the cashews for long enough. Although it is quite as simple as it sounds, you can read a bit more detailed instructions on how to make a cashew cream here by Jessica In The Kitchen.
What Can You Make With Raw Cashews?
The versatile dairy replacement and crunchy nut can be used in almost anything, like for a “cheesy” sauce on pasta, or chopped and sprinkled on a bowl of oatmeal. Make cashew cream the base to salad dressings, or season it to your liking for a sweet whipped or sour cream. If you know how to cook with raw cashews, you can even make your own hard cashew cheese!
Also considering cooking and baking:
- Cashew cream and milk (similar to heavy cream and milk)
- Soft and hard cashew “cheeses”
- South Asian dishes like curries
- Breads and sweets like muffins, granola, and oatmeal
- Cashew-crusted chicken or fish
- Sweet or savory homemade seasoned roasted cashews
Superior Nut Company takes raw cashews and other nuts in one more direction, too. Our Fresh Nut Butters are a great way to enjoy cashews and other nuts in either sweet or savory modes.
Time To Get Creative With Cashews
Although cashews are quite popular, the nut’s versatility may be unknown, especially as a staple to a dairy-free diet. It may be surprising to learn how few steps are involved in the process of soaking and blending cashews, but simple enough to give it a try. It’s easy to cook with raw cashews to regularly get those same “creamy” textures to dairy-free recipes. Get creative with what you already love, because the options for dairy-free alternatives are almost endless!