Monday, July 5, 2010

Cashew Creme Fraiche

Those of you that have been reading for a while may have noticed that I don’t use as much silken tofu as I used it. It is difficult to find organic silken tofu that is free of soy protein isolates and those are on my “to be minimized list” (along with 1,000 other things). However I have been missing having a little vegan sour cream/creme fraiche to top dishes with lately. Today I wanted to see if I could make a suitable substitute for creme fraiche, or sour cream. Many years ago I used to make dairy creme fraiche before you could buy it locally. It is a simple process and the homemade version is much better than the store bought. I think this homemade cashew based sour cream/creme fraiche alternative is the same. Once you try this I don't think you will buy the commercial version which is full of mystery ingredients (aka chemicals) again. Here is what I did:

Cashew Creme Fraiche
Makes approximately 20 tablespoons


1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least two hours and drained
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (start with half)
1 pinch of salt (optional)
approximately ½ cup of water to process


Place the soaked cashews, half the apple cider vinegar and salt in your blender and turn the machine in. Add water slowly until the cashews have just been liquefied. Stop the machine and taste the mixture and adjust the flavors to your taste. Refrigerate until needed.

Nutritional information (for 1/20th of the recipe):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 26.43
Calories From Fat (66%) - 17.43

Total Fat-  2.08g
Saturated Fat - 0.37g
Cholesterol-  0mg
Sodium - 15.41mg
Potassium - 31.99mg
Total Carbohydrates - 1.44g
Fiber - 0.16g
Sugar - 0.28g
Protein - 0.87g


This is so simple it is more of a method than an actual recipe. You could also use lemon juice, or white vinegar for the acid. I used apple cider because it was the first acid that came to mind. However in the past I have used lemon juice to make tofu sour cream and it works great. Experiment with different acids to see which one you prefer. You use so little it only makes a subtle change in the overall taste. I hope you enjoy this basic recipe as much as I do. This will be showing up as garnish on many recipes in the future. ;-)

Unrelated note:

Dan and I have had a great day today chatting and catching up. We seem to have so little time to spend together that it seems as though we have talked all day long. It is so wonderful to be married to my best friend. We never run out of things to talk about and do together.

Our food today has been easy and rather plebian. For breakfast we had the lemony chickpea mash leftovers. Lunch was a taco salad (romaine, tomato, cucumber, broccoli sprouts, salsa, and avocado) followed by strawberry and banana soft serve with goji berries.

I did have time to experiment with a new recipe for of flax crackers. I will let you know later if those turned out. I used some of the carrot pulp from our marathon juicing sessions that we do each day. I also have walnuts soaking for another variation of a nut spread. Don’t know exactly what the nuts will turn into yet, only that it will be something to spread on the flax crackers for in Dan’s lunch.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful long weekend.


  1. The cantaloupe dish looks divine. Made me happy just to look at it. I have NEVER had luck with flax crackers, I'm looking forward to your rendition. So nice to hear that you and Dan had quality time. We all need that!

  2. Aren't cashews the best! I love this recipe and need to give it a shot. I don't always think of cashew "creams." Not part of my go-to recipe rotation.

  3. Fantastic idea...I'll be trying this soon. I honestly prefer "dairy substitute" things made with nuts/seeds to tofu....and I mean, I like tofu as tofu...but nuts and seeds are just naturally richer...and that is what I think people try to emulate about dairy...the rich flavor.

    Love the simplicity of the recipe.

  4. The salad looks delicious! Thank you for sharing. All your pix are awesome!

  5. Hope you had a great holiday, Alicia!
    The cashew creme looks so creamy and delicious, and I love how simple it is.

  6. Meg,

    Thanks! :-)

    I am sorry to hear you aren't having luck with flax crackers. If you want to send me an email and let me know what problems you are experiencing maybe I can help.

    We had a wonderful relaxing weekend. Sounded like you had a good weekend too! ;-)


  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Rose, Ag and Janet,

    Blogger is acting up at the moment and giving me error messages when I try to post your comments. I will get those posted soon, I hope. If necessary I will post them for you. Don't you just love computer problems? *rolls eyes*


  9. Meg,

    Thanks! :-) I am glad you like the look of the cantaloupe and berries. It was a good combo with a little cashew cream.

    If you want to send me an email and let me what is happening with your flax crackers, I will try to diagnose the problem.

    We did have a nice weekend. It sounded like you did as well. Long weekends are the best! ;-)


  10. Heather,

    You are right, cashews are very versatile. I have been using them more and more recently. ;-)

    I used to love to finish soups and dishes with a dollop of dairy sour cream which is why things like this are good for me to have on hand.


  11. Rose,

    I think you are on to something about the nuts. I love tofu too, but nuts make a richer substitute for dairy. The only reason I switched was the soy protein isolate that is turning up in tofu. Why? *rolls eyes*

    talk to you later,

  12. AG and Janet,

    Blogger is seriously acting up this morning in terms of posting comments. I will get yours posted as soon as possible. Sorry for the delay. I love computer problems, NOT. ;-)


  13. I love your flavour combinations (ie. "sour cream" on fruit) - always gives me so many ideas! I have used the lemon juice for the tofu sour cream and it works as well. I also wanted to say that you can use organic medium or even firm tofu to create sauces or condiments in place of the silken tofu. Like you, we have a hard time finding organic silken tofu, so I began using the "medium" organic variety and it works wonderfully. I usually blend it longer or beforehand to get it extra smooth.

  14. Thank you for this soy free version. I have been looking for a vegan version of an English ingredient called double cream, and this seems to fit the bill!

  15. The Zen Vegan,

    This would be very close to double cream without (or at least with less of) the vinegar. Since I discovered this works I have been using it in almost everything. I hope you like it as much as I do.


  16. Hi everyone. I want to share with everyone our easy method for making tempeh.
    While in business in Mich. for 9 1/2 years we developed a new process and now that we are retired, want to share it with as many people as possible.


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