Cashew Sour Cream

Cashew Sour Cream

Details

This dairy-free sour cream is so full of flavor that no one will know the difference. It is the perfect balance of tart and creamy.
  • Serves: 1 cup
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs
  • Views: 71,134
  • Success Rating: 85% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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Steps

Step 1: Soaking the Cashews

• 1 cup raw cashews

Method

Place the cashews into a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for a few hours, or overnight.

Step 2: Making the Cashew Sour Cream

• 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1/2-3/4 cup water, or as needed
• 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Method

To make the sour cream, drain and rinse the cashews. Next, blend together the cashews, water, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, until you reach a really smooth consistency.

Add more water until you reach the desired thickness. For instance, for more of a cream-like consistency, add more water until you reach a thinner, but still smooth, consistency.

Note: This is where a high-speed food processor is worth the investment. The higher the power, the smoother the outcome. Scrape the sides and continue to pulse until smooth. If needed, add a bit more water until you reach the desired consistency.

Use as you would any other flavorful sour cream.

Chef's Notes

For a more neutral flavored cashew cream, omit the lemon juice and apple cider from the recipe.

42 Comments

  • Alex  B
    Alex B
    How much water are we supposed to use? I love these dairy free recipes!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sorry, about that, the recipe has been updated. Note that the amount of water you add will really depend on the consistency you are looking for. I like mine to be a bit thinner, as in not thick like a cream cheese, but thinner like a regular sour cream; therefore, I generally add a bit more water. Enjoy!
  • Divina C
    Divina C
    I was wondering what model of Vitamix you are using? I was thinking of investing after I've used it before in school but with so many models, I'm quite confused. I borrowed a kitchen aid blender and tried making this but it's not smooth. I have to strain it. Thank you.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This is the Vitamix model that we currently have Divina. Actually, that one is our everyday kitchen one and this one is the one we save for set (shoot days). I think it's really just the same, it just has a smaller jug, which looks better on camera. I don't think that you would be disappointed with any Vitamix model. I also hear that Blendtec, makes great blenders, but I have not tried them myself. My advice would be to just to a little online review searching and then go from there maybe. Hope that helps Divina. Cheers!
  • Laura C
    Laura C
    How long can I keep this cashew sour cream in the fridge?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    It will keep 3-5 days under refrigeration but can also be frozen if needed. ~Ken
  • Laura C
    Laura C
    Thanks Ken. I appreciate your input
  • Joann L
    Joann L
    I have a Blendtec and I love it but it can have a bit of a time when blending extremely thick sauces (i.e.making mayo). It has another blender jar for that purpose which is a twistie jar but it's another $100 give or take a buck or two. Still as I said I really love it!
  • Harry L
    Harry L
    Tonight I choose to sub out the apple cider vinegar for White Wine vinegar. Really smoothed out the Tang, gotta try this!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Yes! Apple cider vinegar has more sweetness to round out the acidity. Good choice. ~Ken
  • Lisa L
    Lisa L
    I haven't eaten dairy for months now and this is the best dairy product substitute I've had so far!! Thanks for sharing!! PS: I used a nutribullet to blend it. The texture became perfect in a matter of seconds.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Glad that you liked it. I know that we use it quite often as well. We also make it sweet and/or neutral and use it for many other dishes as well. Cheers!
  • Ruth B
    Ruth B
    I made this tonight and mixed it into a mexican casserole that was primarily beans, rice, some veggies and seasonings. It boosted it into outer space! Absolutely sensational!!
  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    the frugal, scrape-every-last-morsel-of-flavor part of me wants to use the cashew soaking water to thin the blend. is that a bad idea?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Yes, it is a bad idea. Don't let frugality get in the way of flavor. Just like you would toss soaking water used for beans, the soaking water for nuts/seeds should be tossed. ~Ken
  • Eunice M
    Eunice M
    never thought of it that way. if you could humour me with more quesitons, as I like to know why as it helps me learn: is it because cashews and nuts contain the same indigestible sugars that are found in beans? or would it simply taste better with fresh water? thank you and Happy New Year!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Eunice- Both are true. It can have off flavors and undesirable starches/sugars, etc. In my mind, I flip the question from "what is bad about using it" to "what is the benefit of using it"... and since there is no benefit to reusing the water, I toss it. ~Ken
  • Sofia R
    Sofia R
    Hi! How can I make a nut free version of this sour cream?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Sofia - Thanks for your question. If you prefer to avoid cashews and any other nuts, perhaps consider giving coconut meat a try - younger coconut meat, blended, becomes very creamy. You will have to cook older coconut meat a bit prior to blending. I hope this helps - thanks for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Betty B
    Betty B
    Hi! Can i use coconut vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? I have an allergy to apples. Thanks
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Absolutely Betty! We look forward to hearing about the results! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Tawana R
    Tawana R
    How long can the cashew cream stay in the freezer?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Tawana - great question! Your cashew cream should last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and can be frozen for up to 6 months! Enjoy! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Sandra V
    Sandra V
    Is there a special technique for thawing out the cashew cream after being in the freezer? How long will it last in the fridge after it is thawed out and can it be re-frozen?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    There is no special technique for thawing. However, once thawed, if there is separation, then blend again to reincorporate the mixture. The shelf life is approximately one week of total time in the refrigerator. And, yes, it can be re-frozen, but once thawed again the shelf life in the refrigerator is about 7 days minus the previous periods of time in refrigerator, prior to the second freezing. In other words, you should maintain a running total of time spent in the refrigerator throughout the life of the product. This total is about 7 days.
  • Pea L
    Pea L
    HI - I have been soaking and freezing my cashews in bulk. This helps cut down on prep time and is generally very helpful, however.... most recipes call for RAW CASHEWS. Since i know that they expand as they soak, i have been adding roughly 25% to what the recipe calls for. If it says 1 cup raw cashews, i will use 1 1/4 cup of my soaked and frozen cashews. The recipes are all coming out nicely and of course i know I can adjust seasonings and liquid quantities to make it work. I'm just curious if there is a formula for this - is 1/4 cup about right, or should i add more?? Keen to hear your thoughts Thank you
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Pea and thanks for your comments. Your instincts are correct here and it sounds like you've found a nice liquid to cashew ratio. In terms of a standard formula for this blend, I'd say that it's really dependent on the consistency you're looking for. I've always found myself adding or even taking away from the 1 cup of cashews to ¾ of liquid ratio, depending on what I was preparing. For soups, for example, I tend to use either fewer cashews or more liquid - for pasta dishes, I tend to follow your lead (for a thicker consistency). No 100% standard answer here but I am delighted that you've found a perfect balance - and thanks so much for engaging with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Pea L
    Pea L
    Thank you Kirk ;-)
  • Mimi D
    Mimi D
    I'm allergic to Cashews. Are there any workable substitutions? In the "nut" family I can only have Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, and Pistachios.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Mimi, any of the other nuts would work, but macadamias may be closest in their relatively mild flavor. Note that walnuts and pistachios will provide more distinctive flavors to the finished product. Enjoy!
  • Patrick G
    Patrick G
    What do the 1 cup 15 minutes 3 hours mean above? I assume 1 cup is yield and 15 minutes is time required... but 3 hours?
  • Patrick G
    Patrick G
    I see the comments on other nuts, I'll have to use almonds as I can't easily get cashews in Costa Rica. Will that work well?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Patrick, yes, 1 cup yield, 15 minutes 'active' time, and 3 hours 'total' time, which includes soaking.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Yes, almonds will work. They are a little harder than cashews, so a high-speed blender would be nice to use in order to get a smooth consistency.
  • Shanti  R
    Shanti R
    For those who have nut allergies, coconut does work well. Actually, here is a simple recipe. Grind 2 tbsps of fresh coconut, 1 1/2 tsps of cumin and 1 or half seeded jalapeno pepper with water and add it to a mixed steamed vegetable platter. The veggies can be a lot of cucumber, carrots, green beans, plantains, yams or butternut squash. All should be cut into medium sized long strips. Just add the ground mixture to these veggies, add salt and cook it together for a couple of minutes. I add a cup of fresh yogurt to this. However, since this is a dairy free class, you can add any plant based yogurt and some tartness (lemon juice, tamarind juice or any of the vinegar wines) to this. This is very delicious and is called Avial. There should be a balance of salt, sweet and sour flavors. Sweet will come from the carrots and yam or butternut squash.
  • Ruth D
    Ruth D
    You mentioned using raw almonds in place of cashews. Wouldn’t you have to remove the skins?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Ruth, it certainly make a more eye appealing presentation if skins are removed from the almonds. The skins also add a great deal of taste and flavor, so the final decision is yours.
  • Diane K
    Diane K
    My husband shouldn't eat nuts or coconut due to heart disease. I've read I can substitute cannellini beans for the cashews. Can you give me tips on the best way to do this?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Diane! Thanks for your question. I have often made plant-based sour cream utilizing tofu. In this recipe you can actually just replace the cashews with silken tofu and skip the water for a successful outcome. If you want to try cannellini beans, I am sure that would be a wonderful substitution. I would simply blend drained beans along with salt, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Just like with the tofu, I would skip the water as the beans have a high water content. Taste as you go in case you need a bit more salt or lemon. Let us know how it turns out. Lauren
  • John O
    John O
    We own a Vitamix, purchased it from QVC (they have just about the best prices going). My suggestion is to go online to Vitamix.com and do some research. Most of the models for the home cook are very similar. Some have built-in programs others have variable speed functions. They generally are sold with either a 48 or 64 oz container, which should be more than enough volume for most home cooks. We have the so-called space saver model container, it fits easily underneath the cabinets on our kitchen counter. My bottom line advice is buy the model best model you can afford, you won't be disappointed. Again check out QVC, in general, the prices you will find there on the Vitamix are the best around. Vitamix makes commercial models as well as models for the home. Honestly, I'm not sure if there is much difference...with the exception of cost (the commercial models are more expensive) and the warranty. Good luck!
  • Joseph L
    Joseph L
    What are your thoughts on vegan mayonnaise?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Joseph. Thanks for your question. There are so many vegan Mayo products that vary in their ingredient content, some much healthier than others. In general, I use vegan mayo sparingly but definitely find it to be a wonderful ingredient to have in my fridge for certain dishes/ occasions. When possible, I take a whole-foods, plant-based approach to cooking but every once on a while a more processed/ refined ingredient is fine in my personal diet. I think in the end it really comes down to the personal choice of what aligns with your dietary goals. Lauren

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