Photo by Joseph De Leo; styled by Mariya Yufest
We've discussed homemade substitutes and scratch-made condiments, but not dairy-free substitutes of homemade condiments -- until now. As it turns out, they're a cinch -- at least judging by this vegan sour cream. After a 30-minute, hands-off soak in water, cashews are puréed with cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt to create a thick, spoonable sour cream substitute that is ready for immediate application via sandwich, taco, carrot stick, or, if you're going to bogart the whole batch, finger (no judgment). The spread works well as a mayo substitute, too. Use it as the base of a creamy salad dressing, chicken salad, coleslaw, caramelized onion dip, and countless other recipes.
The ingenious soaking method softens the cashews properly for blending, but also scores serious nutrition points. Soaking nuts (and seeds and grains) begins the sprouting process, allowing the body greater access to beneficial enzymes and aiding digestion. When you soak nuts and grains, you're essentially playing nature's copycat by introducing the nut to water, which it treats as "precipitation." Ample water triggers the germination process, during which the nut lets its guard down and makes its nutrients more available to the sprout about to form within. Swooping in 30 minutes into the soaking process enables us to take advantage of the nutrient amplification without losing the standard flavor and character of the nut.
Note: This recipe calls for a quick soak in boiling water for the cashews. If you follow a raw diet, immerse the cashews in cool water for eight hours for the same result.
Cashew Sour Cream
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
1 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Have you ever made cashew sour cream? How would you use this vegan substitute? Share your tips and serving suggestions in the comments section below.
Like this post? See the Easy Everyday topic from last week: Oyako Don.