Finding balance with food, movement, and community for my (dairy-free) family.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Maple Vanilla Nut Cream

Maple Vanilla Nut Cream on a Mini-Hootenany
When I made a mini-hootenanny buffet for the kids, I wanted something creamy and just a little sweet to unite the dish.  This dairy-free sweet nut-based sauce was not quite what I had in mind, to be frank, but the kids enjoyed it.  Here's how I made it (note that the nuts need to soak for at while before mixing):

Maple Vanilla Nut Cream

1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

Step 1:  Soak the cashews in warm water at least 2 hours or overnight.

Step 2:  
1)  Strain the cashews to remove the water.
2)  Using an immersion blender or food processor, combine all ingredients, blending until smooth.  Adjust maple syrup to achieve desired sweetness.  Adjust water to achieve desired texture. 

Note:  I couldn't get mine perfectly smooth, but I was afraid if I added more water it would get too thin and make eating our hootenannies messy.  With a high powered blender, one could probably use less water and get it to more of a spread consistency rather than a pour or drizzle consistency.
Maple Vanilla Nut Cream

Here's what I like about this topping:

  • It's lightly sweet.
  • It's creamy--which is always a fun texture to find when living dairy-free.
  • The sweetness comes from an unrefined, traditional sweetener:  maple syrup.  
  • Unlike most sweet breakfast toppings, the sweetness here is balanced by the protein and fats from the cashews.  
  • Maple syrup is expensive, so this lets me stretch my maple syrup while still enjoying the classic taste with breakfast.  
I have to say, I'm excited to try this on other breakfasts--like waffles and French toast.  

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