Creamy & crunchy cashew recipes

cashewsCashews are native to South America, specifically Brazil, and were introduced by colonists to Africa and India. These regions are the largest producers of cashews today. Cashews are sold both raw or roasted, and salted or unsalted.  Choose raw unsalted

They are a soft and somewhat sweet nut, so can be used to make various dairy alternatives, such as cashew milk, cashew cream and non-dairy cheeses.

A 1-ounce serving of cashews is about 18 whole cashews. Cashews are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a good source of protein. They’re also a good source of magnesium, which is important in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim for food labels that “eating 1.5 oz per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”


  • Cashew Cream – basic recipe
  • Vegan Mac n Cheese
  • Cashew Tacos
  • Broccoli and Cashews over Millet
  • Cashew Coconut Date Cookies

Cashew Cream – basic recipe

This cream recipe can be made sweet, with the addition of a medjool date (soaked) or some maple syrup, more savory with a little lemon juice and salt, and more cheesy by adding nutritional yeast.  Experiment with the flavoring, to replace all your favorite creamy recipes.  Cashew cream will keep in the fridge for about a week, and can also be stored in the freezer.

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least an hour, then drained, if not using high power blender)
  • 1/2 cup water (the less water you use, the thicker your sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Blend cashews with water until creamy.  This works as a dairy replacement. Add in the lemon juice and salt for a more special flavor.

Vegan Mac n Cheese

  • ¼ cup raw cashews (preferably soaked for an hour)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon lemon juice to taste
  • 1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper (packed in water)
  • 8oz macaroni pasta

Place all ingredients (except the macaroni pasta) in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.  It will thicken to cheese sauce consistency.  This sauce can be used as a dip for chips, over a taco salad, on tacos or burritos and over vegetables, as well as over macaroni or other pasta shapes.

Cook macaroni in boiling water until just done.  Drain and place pasta into an oven-proof serving bowl.  Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni.  Optional – Bake in the oven at 400 F for 30 mins, or under broiler until browned.

Cashew Tacos

This is a creative use of cashews.  Note that the use of a little water, instead of oil, to saute helps to reduce the saturated fat and the calories!

Makes 12 tacos

  • 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 12 warmed corn tortillas or 12 taco shells
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh tomato salsa

Sauté cashews, zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder, water, tomato paste, and salt until onion turns translucent. Add 1/12 of the mixture to each tortilla or taco shell, followed by lettuce and salsa.


The following recipes are from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook

Broccoli and Cashews over Millet

Light and delicate, millet is a nice, high-protein alternative to couscous. The combination of millet, cashews, and broccoli makes a substantial side dish.

Serves 5

  • 2 cups millet
  • 6½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Place the millet and 6 cups of the water in a medium saucepan, cover and cook over medium-high heat until the millet is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. While the millet is cooking,

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan. As the seeds fry they will begin to pop (like popcorn). When you no longer hear any seeds popping (a minute or so), add the broccoli, onion, the remaining half cup of water, cashews and soy sauce. Sauté the ingredients until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve the sautéed mixture over the cooked millet.


Cashew Coconut Date Cookies

You can use pre-ground cardamom for this recipe or grind your own, which will give it a more intense flavor. Break the pods open and crush the black seeds with a mortar and pestle. Be sure the dates you use for this recipe are fresh and moist. Organic medjool dates are particularly nice.

Makes about 40 cookies

  • 1½ cups quick or old-fashioned oats, ground fine in a food processor, or oat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup natural unsalted cashew butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup natural granulated sugar (like Sucanat)
  • 2/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened grated coconut
  • ½ cup finely chopped pitted dates
  • Approximately 40 cashew halves (optional)

Heat the oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl

whisk together the ground oats, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the cashew butter with the water in a large bowl until smooth. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the sugar and margarine and beat until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until completely blended. Stir in the coconut and dates.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets. Press each dough ball gently with your fingers, and nestle one cashew half, if using, into each dough ball. Bake until the tops are lightly browned but the cookies are still slightly soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks