cashews as creamy element in desserts and mains ???
Although I am definitely not vegan or particularly drawn to raw foods, I just made an amazing amazing raw strawberry "cheesecake" from Post Punk Kitchen, and was introduced to the use of soaked raw cashews to produce a fabulous creamy texture and sweet nutty flavor. Everyone is raving about it and demanding more!
I didn't use the blobs of creamy topping and I used pain fresh berries instead of the coulis.
So now I am interested in your personal experience with using "creamed" cashews in other applications.
Cashews are one of the great gifts to vegans! Some ways we use them:
Cashew ricotta which we use to make a vegan lasagne or a filling for ravioli. My 2-year old daughter can't get enough of this.
Cashew cheese which makes a delicious spread for crackers. I just had it last night on a soft taco made with freshly made corn tortillas, homemade refried beans, barley and avocado. It was a fantastic addition.
One can make the cashew cheese in different consistiences to suit the situation. It can vary from a spreadable texture to a solid texture.
FYI-as much as I enjoy CH, there are more useful resources for vegan issues out there. My favorite is vegandad but a google search will reveal many more.
climberdoc--what ricotta recipe do you use? i've been trying to find a good one sans tofu, but not sure the consistency would be the same.
i've had some impressive "liquid" cheeses from vegan restaurants made of cashews (on top of nachos, for instance). it's pretty amazing and satisfying for someone like me who's been lactose intolerant since childhood (and vegan for many years).
i've also been playing around with sunflower seeds. they've become my favorite of the nuts/seeds and have lots of protein with less oil. great for veggie burgers.
Sorry I missed your question.
For cashew "ricotta" we use Silken Tofu. We commonly use this in vegan lasagne and enchaladas. We basically use the Veganomican recipe.
Cashew "cheese" can be made simply by soaking cashews for a few hours then blending in a food processor with whatever spices you choose. We use this as a spread on sandwiches or on soft tacos.
I use them to thicken soups as a gluten-free alternative to making a roux. Just boil raw cashews in broth, then puree in a blender and add to soups or stews.
I've made a cashew "cream" sauce that, while not like a regular cream sauce, was very good (and I do love dairy). I'm not at home atm, but I'm sure there are many versions online.
Check out the chicken curry with cashews on epicurious. The cashews are ground and used as a thickener. It's great.