One of the things I’ve been working on is increasing my ability to make food for anyone, regardless of their specific diet needs. The desire for me came about after traveling to Montreal and struggling to find food I could eat. Though I did eat great food, it got a little old having restaurants tell me they didn’t know how to cook without wheat or sugar.
Cooking without Limits
I started thinking about it, and as angry as it made me, I had to admit that I wasn’t great at cooking without dairy or eggs.
Butter behaves much different than shortening – and vegan butter is another entity in and of itself. Egg substitutes change the texture of baked goods and adjustments must be made to properly compensate for what an egg does to a muffin or cake.
But, in the end, the joy I find from cooking comes directly from making others happy. When someone comes to my home who can’t eat dairy, eggs, nuts, or meat I want to be able to feed them well.
I’ve been diligent about baking with different ingredients and the results have been delicious.
Cashews Whirled into Cream
Which is where the cashew cream came from – I thought I’d play around with it. You can sweeten this however you choose. For this version I used dates. They’re nature’s candy, packed with nutrients. I found three dates to be perfectly sweet for me – feel free to use more or less to suit your preferences.
Once refrigerated, this cream thickens considerably. I tried piping it and it’s just not stable enough to hold it’s shape. I’m sure that could be remedied with more cashews.
This cream would be particularly delightful dolloped on a fruit cobbler or even spread on a piece of gluten-free toast in lieu of flavored cream cheese.
Other SS&GF Dairy-Free Recipes
Where are you trying to grow as a cook?
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Serves: about 2 cups
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3 large medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with filtered water. Place the dates in a separate bowl, cover with 1 cup filtered water. Soak both for 20 minutes. Drain the cashews and put in the bottom of your VitaMix or your blender. Add dates with their soaking water, vanilla, and salt. Start on low and increase to high. Blend for 1 – 2 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.
- Refrigerate in a glass jar for several hours before serving. Keeps for a week or so if stored properly.