The secret? Raw cashews! Cashew cream and cashew-based sauces can be used for delicious, creamy, rich, and satisfying meals that rival their dairy counterparts in taste and outshine their dairy counterparts in nutrition and promoting excellent health!
Unlike dairy-based cream and sauces, cashews have no cholesterol. Roughly three quarters (75%) of the total fat in cashews is unsaturated fat, with about 50% monounsaturated fat and 25% polyunsaturated fat. The remaining 25% is saturated fat. Oleic acid, the monounsaturated fat in cashews, has been shown in studies to promote heart health, in part by reducing triglyceride levels, which are linked to increased risk for heart disease.
Cashews are rich in protein, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and zinc. Iron carries oxygen to the brain and muscles, which gives us energy. Magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous are important for keeping bones healthy and strong. Copper and manganese protect against free radical damage. Zinc promotes immune function to fight illness and keep us healthy.
Worried about gaining weight? You shouldn’t be. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that evaluated the dietary intake of nuts and subsequent weight changes of the 51,188 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II found that higher nut consumption was not associated with greater weight gain and instead, was associated with a slightly lower risk of weight gain and obesity in healthy middle-aged women.
Cashew cream is ridiculously easy to make and absolutely delicious! Simply soak a cup of raw cashews (you can use cashew pieces, whole cashews make a creamier sauce because they’re less dried out) in cold water overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews, then place in a Vitamix or other high-power blender with 1 ¼ cup of water and blend until smooth. Add more water if the cream is too thick. Substitute cashew cream for dairy cream in soups and sauces, in dips, or drizzle over fruit.
Try these amazing cashew-based sauces: