It is funny to think that I once doubted the culinary power of the humble nut…
I never used to use nuts in cooking. I felt they brought nothing to the dish other than fat – how wrong I was!
Recently, I have found a use for them in so many recipes and they really do make the difference. Whilst they are a ‘fatty’ food, that shouldn’t put you off. They are flavourful, low GI and contain plenty of muscle-building protein along with essential fatty acids to boost brain power!
Sorry, I realise I’m beginning to sound like a nutritionist, but honestly, nuts are a fantastic addition to most recipes!
Some of my favourite nuts include hazelnuts, almonds and pecans, whilst cashews, walnuts and macadamias have tended to take a back seat. Now though, I think they need to make some space on the pedastal…
In the following recipe, I have focused on the cashew nut. It is an incredibly healthful nut with a higher-than-average water content which allows for a lusciously creamy result.
Cashew cream has been a long-kept secret among raw foodists but most recipes tend be for a ‘sweet’ cream. This almost-raw recipe is to be used in savoury dishes and is a brilliant alternative to double cream.
Essentially, it is going to be relevant to my next post…
125g cashew nuts, whole
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Thoroughly rinse the cashew nuts and then leave them to soak in a bowl of water for about an hour. The soaking can be skipped but it helps to create a creamier result.
Tip the cashews and the water into a high speed blender (not a food processor) and blend on high for about a minute. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and then blend again thoroughly for about a minute or until you have a smooth consistency.
Pour the contents of the blender through a sieve and into a jug. If you rub a bit of the cream through your fingers, it may still have a graininess and we want to get rid of that.
Using a spoon stir the ‘cream’ round the sieve to help it through. The remaining pulp can be thrown away and you should now have a thick & silky liquid.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Makes roughly 1/5 litre