If you’ve been dairy-free for more than a minute, you probably already have a love affair with cashews. You may be nuts about cashews but did you know that cashews are not nuts? Nope, they’re seeds. Here’s another piece of trivia – you can’t eat raw cashews because they have a toxic outer shell that has to be roasted to get to the edible inner kernel. That’s fascinating, isn’t it?
As if all of that isn’t incredible enough, cashews can be used to work magic in recipes. Sure, they are delicious when turned into cashew butter or added to a stir-fry but cashews can also be used to make non-dairy milk, creams, and cheeses! Take a look at these 10 Vegan Food Hacks With Cashews for lots of ideas. Need recipes? Check out 30 Unbelievable Recipes Made With Cashews and 10 Incredible Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Cashews. Then we have 15 more incredible ways to use cashews in your recipes!
1. Zucchini Tart With Cashew Cheese
Need a dinner that screams “beautiful”? This Zucchini Tart With Cashew Cheese is the one — it’s light, yet filling and flavorful. It has a flour-based crust with hazelnuts mixed in for a unique, nutty taste that complements the creamy cashew cheese filling. It’s topped with slices of yellow and green zucchini with a sprinkling of chopped red onion and black pepper.
2. Lasagna With Cashew Béchamel
Lasagna is ubiquitous with family dinners and comfort food and this Lasagna With Cashew Béchamel is packed with all kinds of hearty goodness. It combines a creamy cashew béchamel sauce with sautéed vegetables, homemade low-fat tomato sauce, and almond Parmesan cheese on top. You won’t miss dairy when you take a bite of this.
3. Bagels With Tomato Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese
A bagel with lox and cream cheese is a breakfast ubiquitous to New York and these Bagels With Tomato Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese are no exception. As it turns out, boiled and peeled tomatoes make the absolute perfect fish-free lox ever. The color, the consistency, it’s all so right. Liquid smoke, tamari, and kelp powder give it the traditional lox flavor that goes perfectly with the tangy cashew cream cheese. Serve both on a toasted bagel with toppings of your choice.
4. Pumpkin Gnocchi in Spiced Butter Sauce With Lemon Cashew Cream
This luscious homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi in Spiced Butter Sauce can only be made better by having a savory lemon cashew cream to dip it in. Who wouldn’t want that for dinner? I guess people who don’t like pumpkin, cashews or happiness.
5. Creamy Cashew Tofu Alfredo
You’ll go nuts for this Creamy Cashew Tofu Alfredo. When combined with cashews, garlic, non-dairy milk, and salt, tofu can be turned into a creamy Alfredo sauce that’s perfect for pasta. Unlike firmer tofu, silken tofu blends up very well without a grainy texture. That means this sauce is silky and delicious as the dairy version. Win!
6. Cashew Sour Cream
This Cashew Sour Cream is almost too good to be true. Made with cashews, water, lemon, apple cider vinegar, and a handful of spices, you can likely make this dip right now out of items already in your pantry. Enjoy this in a burrito, as a dip for chips, or add some more water and use it as a dressing.
7. Raw Vanilla Caramel Doughnut Holes
These raw, glazed Vanilla Caramel Doughnut Holes are incredible. Even more incredible? Cashews make up the dough! The glaze is just like what you would get from the doughnut shop, the doughnut holes are moist and flavorful — the whole package is a winner. Make them for dessert at a party or keep them all to yourself and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.
8. Raw Tiramisu
This Raw Vegan Tiramisu is ridiculously delicious. The flavor is boldly flavored, perfectly sweet, and the texture is sublimely creamy. With crumbly almond-cold-pressed coffee “lady-fingers” and a rich cashew cream layered in between, it’s a decadent vegan dessert that will impress everyone.
9. Cashew Blue Cheese
Yes, this is real! This vegan version of blue cheese is made with cashews. This Cashew Blue Cheese is soft, spreadable, and tangy perfect for serving on crackers with grapes on the side. The “moldy cheese” look is achieved by mixing some of the cashew cheese with dry herbs and spirulina, for a true blue color. This appetizer is guaranteed to blow your guests away.
10. Neapolitan Dream Cake
This Neapolitan Dream Cake has the vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate goodness expected of a Neapolitan dessert, but since it’s raw, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free, it’s healthier! The crust is a mix of dates, almonds, and shredded coconut which is then topped with three cashew-based layers, and finally some fresh strawberries and raw chocolate. Wholesome decadence at its finest.
11. Raw Spiced Cashew Cheese
Besides the cashew soaking process, this Raw Spiced Cashew Cheese is a breeze to make! Simply blend the ingredients, shape it, and wait a few hours until your cheese is dense and ready to be spread. Add some extra flavor (and color) by coating your cheese in your favorite spices – red pepper, rosemary, and turmeric all add a gorgeous color and taste.
12. Sweet Potato Mash With Roasted Garlic and Cashew Cream
This simple Sweet Potato Mash With Roasted Garlic and Cashew Cream is so comforting. It has the deep flavors of roasted sweet potato, onion, and a whole head of garlic. The cashew cream makes this dish feel like a guilty pleasure, with its unsurpassed creaminess. It’s perfectly warming served as a side or as a thick soup.
13. Cashew Cream Stuffed Avocado
We bet you’ve never had anything like this Cashew Cream Stuffed Avocado. In this recipe, halved avocados are stuffed with a homemade cashew cream, garnished with chopped nuts and chives, and served with a side of sliced cherry tomatoes. This simple recipe both looks and tastes like something you would order off the menu at a high-end restaurant, but it’s so easy — and affordable — to make in your own home.
14. Fried Green Tomatoes With Cashew Cream
Fried green tomatoes are a southern classic! They’re a combination of crispy cornmeal coating and piping hot, tart, and tender cooked green tomatoes, made all the more delicious accompanied by a cool, creamy dip. These Fried Green Tomatoes With Cashew Cream are a yummy vegan version. In this particular recipe, the tomatoes are “fried” in the oven and are served with a dairy-free cashew cream. These are a healthier, but just as delicious, version of the original!
15. Aquafaba Mozzarella
Who knew that mixing cashews with aquafaba (chickpea brine) could make a delicious Vegan Mozzarella Cheese?! What it really comes down to is the flavoring. A bit of lemon juice, some nutritional yeast, and sea salt go a long way. And once it’s done, you’ll be layering this cheese on pizza, making Caprese salads, and serving it with wine, all the time, trust us.
Who would have thought you could do so much with cashews? This healthy food is also a magical tool that can turn our favorite snack into dairy-free deliciousness.
Lead image source: Raw Spiced Cashew Cheese