Jalapeño Cashew Crema

A dairy-free approach to sour cream with a spicy jalapeño kick.

Ingredients

– 1 1/4 C soaked raw cashew pieces OR 1 C soaked raw whole cashews DO NOT use roasted cashews here…it might work, but I sure as hell wouldn’t wanna waste my money/perfectly good cashews trying — just sayin!
– 2 jalapeños, roasted and de-seeded (if you like it spicy, leave the seeds/ribs in)
– 3/4 C unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)
– Juice of one lime, or more to taste
– 1 tsp kosher salt
– 1 1/2 TBS nutritional yeast
– 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
– I also made mine a bit too spicy, so added 1/2 tsp sugar to calm it down, but you probably won’t need that if you aren’t a giant baby like me

1. Soak your cashews in water to soften them. This can be done overnight in the fridge OR if you are pressed for time, you can also soak them in boiling water for an hour.

2. Roast your jalapeños whole. I personally do this in my toaster oven so I can keep an eye on them. We’re looking for the flesh of the jalapeno to be blackened and soft. It takes approximately 15 minutes at 425 degrees, turning regularly. If you’re using a regular oven, I’d try this under the broiler, keeping a close eye on them. You can also do this in a hot pan or if you have gas burners, over the burner, itself– just be careful and use tongs! When they’re soft enough, let them cool a bit. At this stage, you can remove the seeds and ribs, or leave them in. Choose your own adventure!

3. Make the crema. Add drained/rinsed raw cashews and remaining ingredients to a blender and blend on high for several minutes until smooth. Please know that if you don’t have a high-powered blender, breaking the cashews down will take a lot longer, so be patient! I personally have a regular Black and Decker blender that I’ve been using for years, and it works great here. Your sauce should be a thick but pourable consistency so you can drizzle it on food; if it’s too thick, add a splash of milk or water.

4. Taste for seasoning. The crema should taste creamy, spicy, jalapeño-y, and have a nice tangy, cheesy undertone. Now put that sauce in a squeeze bottle or jar and use on anything you want to add a creamy, spicy element to. Like my Fully-Loaded Tofu Tostadas!

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