This cultured cream is a real basic. The taste is similar to dairy-based sour cream, and it is very adaptable. For example, I use this cream as a base for dressings with other flavorings such as herbs and spices added, and as a topping for soup or porridge. I also use it to make a great mozzarella. The fermentation part may scare you a bit, but as long as you use clean tools and hands, it always works.
Makes 2 cups.
- 7 ounces raw cashews, soaked overnight or soaked for 1 to 2 hours in hot water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons natural plant-based (coconut or soy) yogurt
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Drain and rinse the cashews and put them in a high-speed blender. Pour in 3/4 cup water and blend until the cashews are very smooth (so no lumps or grains are left). If you need to add a bit more water, start with a tablespoon at a time. However, the mixture should not be too watery. Add the yogurt and blend briefly.
- Pour this mixture into a clean glass container — a mason jar is ideal. The jar should be a bit bigger than the amount of cream you have. Once you’ve poured in the cream, it must have some room to expand during fermentation.
- Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin and secure it with a rubber band or some kitchen twine. Place the jar on your counter, out of direct sunlight. Let it ferment for 6 to 24 hours. As it ferments, you should see small air pockets appear. This is absolutely normal. The amount of time it needs depends on the season; on a warm day it will be ready after 6 to 10 hours, but on a colder day it needs at least 12 hours. The taste should be pleasantly tangy and refreshing.
- When the cashew sour cream is done, stir in up to 1 teaspoon salt, if desired. If you’re planning to use this cream to make the mozzarella, you definitely need the salt. If you want this to be a sweeter cream, leave it out. Stored in the fridge with a lid on, the cream keeps for 4 to 5 days.
Note: When you are in a hurry, you can make a simple cashew sour cream instead of the cultured version. Simply combine the drained soaked cashews, 3/4 cup water, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. This will also keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
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Cover courtesy of Kyle Books
Excerpted with permission from Vegan for Good: Deliciously Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Everyday Living by Rita Serano (Kyle Books, 2019).