Cashew cream is so trendy right now. And such a delicious treat really does deserve its own trend. It’s the perfect topping for any dessert where you would normally use whipped cream. Here are three of my favorite nut creams.
by Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef
Nut and seed creams have been around for hundreds of years. These creamy creations were originally used as topical beauty treatments. Now, with so many people unable to enjoy dairy for a variety of reasons, they are becoming superstars of the healthy eating movement. I have included my personal favorite, hemp cream, in a delicious smoothie, as well as options for sweet and savory cashew cream.
Sweet Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw Cashews
- 1/2 c Water *(in addition to water needed for soaking)
- 1-2 tsps Maple Syrup or sweetener of your choice
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- Pinch of good finishing salt-Maldon, Celtic, Fleur de Sel
- Place Cashews into a medium mixing bowl.
- Cover with water by at least two inches and soak for four hours.
- Drain water and rinse nuts thoroughly.
- Place all listed ingredients into a blender.
- Start on a chop setting and gradually increase speed to high, allowing the motor to run until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Place finished cream into a jar and use within three days.
Savory Cashew Cream
- 1 c raw Cashews
- 1/2 c Water *
- 2 tsps Lemon juice
- 2 tsps Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 tsp minced Garlic
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Prepare, just the same as Sweet Cashew Cream, above.
Tasty Tips: You can also use Savory Cashew Cream as a sauce or binding agent in your favorite vegan and gluten free recipes. Add Curry paste or powder, 1/2 Chipotle pepper, or any combination of raw veggies and herbs, according to your taste. By doubling the amount of nutritional yeast, your end result will be a vegan “cheese” sauce. Fantastic over steamed or roasted veggies!
Hemp Crème Orange Pina Colada Smoothie
- 2 Tbls Hemp Hearts (Seeds)
- 2 Tbls Water
- 1 Orange, peeled, quartered, and frozen
- 1/3 cup Pineapple, peeled, chopped, and frozen
- 1/2 c Coconut milk, check consistency, add more as needed
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- Sweetener of choice, a splash of pineapple juice is great if you have it
- Place Hemp Hearts and water in a blender.
- Blend on high until frothy.
- Scrape down the sides to break up all of the hemp.
- Add remaining ingredients to the blender and process until desired consistency is reached.
This recipe yields one meal-sized serving.
Handy Hint-If it is in my budget for the week, I will buy double the fruit I know I will eat. When the extra fruit is at its peak ripeness, I prep everything in blender-friendly pieces and freeze it. This way, I can have a smoothie or sorbet a la minute! Chef speak for on the fly!
Tasty Tips-Hemp hearts are easy to add to salad dressings, and/or sprinkled on salads and soups. Mix them into cheese and breadcrumbs to use as a crispy topping on casseroles. Use these nutty, nutritional gems as you would flax or chia seeds. Create your own signature smoothie flavors. This orange/pina colada smoothie is my personal favorite.
Phyto Facts–Cashews are a Drupe, just like the Coconut. Packed with minerals, particularly Magnesium and Manganese. These minerals are craving crushers! If you are having a craving for greasy foods, and/or sugar, it is generally due to a deficiency in these minerals. Grab 1/4 cup cashews and the craving will generally stop, unless it’s a “head” craving, i.e., stress, fatigue, loneliness and boredom. Cashews are high in B vitamins, another stress manager. Cashews are a good source of selenium, copper and zinc. These minerals are antioxidant co-factors, which means they help the body produce very powerful antioxidants from the food we eat. Selenium is a co-factor for glutathione; excellent for keeping our nervous system healthy. This helps prevent such diseases as Parkinson’s and ALS, A.K.A., Lou Gehrig’s disease. Copper and zinc are the co-factors to the production of superoxide dismutase, a powerful antiaging antioxidant that also ensures proper growth and function of every bodily system. Cashews protect us from heart disease and, with a small amount of zeaxanthin, reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Who needs whipped cream, when you can have Cashew Cream!
Hemp is often confused with marijuana. Hemp contains very little of the active compound in marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Smoke hemp and all you get is a migraine headache. The natural pharmacy that is found in all seeds is even more complex in hemp. Super omegas strearidonic acid and gamma linolenic acid assist the body in converting Omega-3 and 6 to nutrients we can use with maximum efficiency. The ratio of Omega 3 to 6 is in perfect balance. Hemp is nature’s perfect source of essential amino acids. This makes hemp one of the best vegan protein sources. It’s also high in Vitamin E and many of our essential minerals. Adding hemp hearts to baked goods, or any of your favorite recipes, ups the nutritional profile substantially. Hemp is grown in the U.S. without pesticides, is sustainable, requires half the water of other crops and increases nutrient content in the soil. Here’s to your hemp heart health!
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook | TheMedicineChef.com
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!