Vegan, paleo, traditional–there’s a lot of different ways to eat out there. I like to skim the best from varied approaches, allowing me to eat some really, really good food and enjoy everything in moderation.
I typically draw the line when certain eating lifestyles create substitutes to simulate foods that cannot be enjoyed on said eating plans. One of those I always balked at was cashew cream, heralded as a great dairy or whipped cream substitute for vegan cooking. It can’t be that good. Truthfully? It is a great substitute for cream, but it’s even more appealing as something divine all on it’s own.
CASHE W CREAM RECIPE: Soak cashews overnight in water. When ready to make cream, drain nuts and put in blender. Pour water to just cover, and then blend until thick and creamy. (If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you might consider using the food processor). Cashew cream can be stored for 2-3 days in the fridge and is very versatile. It’s smooth and ever-so-slightly sweet. Perfect with a little honey as dessert and is sublime in a soup.
I paired it with sweet carrots, roasted garlic , ginger and a dusting of coriander to make a vibrant, delicious soup that happens to be vegan.
And now the sad part. I likely will never be eating cashew cream or this soup again–but you can! I’ll tell you all about it after the recipe.
Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup with Cashew Cream
8 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 plump cloves garlic, left whole and in their skin
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
3 cups vegan stock or water
1 cup cashew cream (see recipe above)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss carrots, whole garlic cloves and ginger with olive oil, coriander and salt. Spread on a lined baking sheet and roast for 15-25 minutes until tender and caramelized.
Place carrots and ginger in a blender. Squeeze roasted garlic out of its paper and add. Add water/stock and puree until smooth. If soup is too thick, add more water/stock as desired. Stir in cashew cream. Serve warm, with an additional dollop of cream.
The sad (and a little scary) story: so the night I made the cashew cream, I was thrilled by it’s light-as-a-cloud texture and barely there sweet taste. I spooned up a small bowl, drizzled it with honey and served it to my four-year-old who proclaimed it ‘delicious’! I thought I’d found a new high-protein nutritious snack and dessert and was contemplating a bulk cashew buy.
Within minutes, my little man came into the kitchen asking for water because his throat was ‘itchy’. Five minutes after that, he was throwing up and five minutes after that he had bright red eyes and a splotchy back. A bath and a dose of antihistamine fixed him up (luckily no breathing issues) but it certainly looks like we have a cashew allergy.
We’ll find out for sure next week at the allergist’s office. A little skimming online was scary–apparently cashew allergies are often more dangerous than peanut allergies, but they don’t get as much press because they are less common.
I hate food allergies (my littlest can’t eat walnuts or almonds). I hate that there is something out there (in addition to the regular dangers) that can hurt my children. I hate that they will constantly have to read labels and restrict their eating. I hate that I can’t cook whatever the heck I want. It makes me feel like I have defective genes. Sigh.
Okay, rant over. Go make some soup.