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: 91,326
  • Success Rating: 92% (?)
    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.

72 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 Rouxbe Staff
    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 Rouxbe Staff
    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
  • Barbara L
    Barbara L
    Thank you for this recipe - it seems synchronicity is at work. I’ve been searching for a good recipe for dairy free sour cream the past few days and none have sounded that good. I just came from the grocery store and found one in the deli cold case - I think it was soy based - and the expiration date was April of 2020! That in itself makes me wonder if it even qualifies as “food”. I’m looking forward to trying this. BTW, all of these recipes sound delicious. Thank you!
  • Fani K
    Fani K
    What can I use instead of the apple cider vinegar? I just can't stand vinegar smell :-(
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Frani! You can use a little extra lemon juice and a good pinch of salt to balance the natural sweetness of the cashews. Lauren
  • Lisa K
    Lisa K
    I can not open to see type blender you recommenced.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Lisa, Generally, for the blending we recommend a high-speed blender. Popular brands include Blendtec and Vitamix.
  • Jeff L
    Jeff L
    Can I use Aqua faba as a substitute for the water?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Jeff, yes! I think that would be a great idea. Let us know how it goes here in the comments. Lauren
  • Emily M
    Emily M
    Nutrients leach into the soaking water and shouldn't be discarded if not necessary. The same water is soaked into the cashews, so it will taste the same whether it is in the nut by soaking or by blending. There isn't any evidence that I have heard of that proves soaked cashews should be drained for safety. For health reasons, I would keep the soaking water and use it to achieve the consistency I was looking for. In fact, that is exactly what I do. I often also soak the cashews with chia seeds, hemp seeds, and caraway seeds and blend it all together without draining when making the avocado spread elsewhere mentioned. This is especially delicious on toasted dill rye bread with sliced tomatoes and onions on an open-faced sandwich.
  • Laura W
    Laura W
    Would you suggest using a cuisinart food processor or the vitamix for this? How long do cashews keep in the fridge? Thanks
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Laura, either can work fine. Try them out and see if you have a preference. As for storage in the fridge, cashews in their dry form will last many months. If soaked, keep them in water and they can last for a week or more, but the water should be changed every couple of days or so. Once processed into a sauce like this one, you can expect about a week of shelflife.
  • Nancy W
    Nancy W
    Hello,, I first encountered this recipe some years ago when I took Rouxbe's "Plant Based Cooking Course." My recollection is that the product was cultured. Unfortunately, I did not write down that recipe. Do you have it? If so, I would appreciate a copy or a link as to where I could find it .Warm regards, Nancy
  • Robert M
    Robert M
    Is all cider vinegar “apple cider” vinegar? Sounds like “one of those dumb questions” but curiosity got the better of me - hahaha - Thanking you in advance... Robert
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Good question, Robert. You can make vinegar from other fruit- even pears. Most cider vinegar is referring to apple cider vinegar though. Lauren
  • Ana B
    Ana B
    Super nice Sour cream. I have added some Timjan in it and damn.. made a nice velvet texture with a touch of a light greenish.
  • Kelly E
    Kelly E
    Could I use raw cashew butter instead of the whole cashews?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Kelly! Yes, you totally can but I would still blend the nut butter with the other ingredients to smooth it out and make it homogenous, rather than just mixing it by hand. Lauren
  • Jodi B
    Jodi B
    I read somewhere about fermenting cashews to develop more flavor when making sour cream. If this sounds familiar, would you mind sharing the process as I’d like to give it a try!
  • Dianne M
    Dianne M
    If I do not have the time to soak the cashews overnight, or for several hours, what can I do?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    HI Dianne, Even a little time helps them soften and become more digestible. If you soak in hot water even briefly and then rinse, it helps a bit. There have been many times that I though of making a cashew sauce last minute and skipped soaking altogether with fine results. Lauren
  • Katherine W
    Katherine W
    This cream is SO delicious.. I found myself licking the spatula once I was done transferring the majority of the cream out of the blender. :P
  • Sheri T
    Sheri T
    Ive not been able to find any cashews on the island. Is there another type of nut that would work or should I just use cashew butter. I may be able to find that. Thank you
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Sheri, you can certainly use another nut or seed of our choice. Cashew butter is fine, too. Give it a try with a substitution of your choice and see how you like it. Eric
  • Sunnie S
    Sunnie S
    I happen to love dairy sour cream and have been looking for a good replacement (plant based) for a few years. Nothing available in the stores tastes nearly as good as the dairy version though. This version comes pretty darn close! I really liked it and found it had just the right amount of creaminess and tang. I might try white wine vinegar next time as I felt like I could really taste the apple cider vinegar. I turned some of my sour cream into a ranch dip with chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder and salt/pepper. It was delicious!
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Way to go, Sunnie. There are some pretty great vegan commercial sour creams on the market but this simple recipe is WFPB and simple to make. You can try out skipping vinegar all together and adding an extra squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I make it with ume plum vinegar instead of lemon or apple cider vinegar. If you have never tried it, it is a cool ingredient to have on hand. It is salty so be careful when adding it. Lauren
  • Alexander L
    Alexander L
    We love this but cannot find a good way to get the sauce out of the bottom of the food processor. We have a XiaoMi and it does a beautiful job but even a silicone spatula is unsuccessful in getting the stuff down and around the blades. Help!
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Alexander- thanks for writing. Two recommendations, one is a "Tovolo Blender Spatula," it gets everything out of the bottom of the blender. The other, and my favorite, is a "Sur la Table" Silicone Blender Spatula," I like the Sur la Table one better. But, each work extremely well. Also, it helps to turn the blades as you begin to remove the extra sauce. I hope this helps. The Sur laTable is slightly curved at the tip, makes it easy to use. Keep cooking! Cheers, Char
  • Michelle P
    Michelle P
    This is the second recipe I have made from this site. I am so happy with it I have little words. I made it to use in a practice recipe 'Baby Potatoes w/Caper Aioli'. I am so thrilled... I want to do a happy dance :) Thank You! PS How do I find other recipes it is used in.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Michelle- thanks for writing. This recipe is a favorite among many Rouxbe students. There are more than a dozen recipes that use this base cashew cream recipe (just type in "cashew cream") throughout the Rouxbe website. You may want to incorporate it into some of your own favorite dishes, but you will see it in the tunaless salad, the manicotti recipes, just to name a few. It is also good for making a white lasagne, a pizza topping, and au gratin, the possibilities are endless--which may mean that you will be doing more dancing. Thanks for your very kind words. Rouxbe on, Char
  • Erica J
    Erica J
    I have tried to make a few cashew sour creams before, and this one has the same problem that others that use ACV have. The vinegar is too "funky" in the smell profile to make this appetizing for me. I have made other recipes without vinegar, but they end up more like a ranch dressing flavor. Is there a way to keep the acid profile, not end up too lemony, and mellow out that vinegar funk? This would be a huge plus for me as I have been working on this one for a couple years now...Edit - this may sound crazy, but what about a Reisling or Gewurstraminer reduction? Crisp, apply flavor to the latter might achieve AVC sweetness without funkiness?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Erica: Thanks for writing. Have you thought about using a white balsamic (not a glaze) vinegar? It is my favorite "go-to" vinegar for a "non-funky" aroma. I also enjoy a non-flavored white rice vinegar. I am also a fan of lemon, and will often use zest for a little extra acid taste. Let us know if you use the Reisling. Cheers, Char

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