Raw food chefs use cashews to make everything from “cheese” to “cheesecake”. Being somewhat of a skeptic with “imposter foods”, I stayed away until my friend and amazing chef, Alison Bailey Vercruysse, made a “strawberry cashew cream pie” for one of our sailing picnics with Captain Rick and Julie years ago on the SF Bay. I remember taking the first creamy spoonful and being blown away by how good it was.
As a result of that dessert, I became less of a skeptic and more of an experimenter with the raw food repertoire. I believe everyone can benefit from foods that are delicious and nutritious. This week I was craving something with raw cashews and remembered this recipe from my archive. Since it isn’t even close to berry season here in Montana (although it is the first day of spring), I gave it a whirl with frozen strawberries and it worked great.
For kitchen jobs like this I use a Vita-Mix and highly recommend it but you can use a food processor or regular blender, see note in the recipe.
Strawberry Cashew Cream
recipe adapted from original by Alison Bailey Vercruysse
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water to cover at least 4 hours or up to overnight
- 2 cups frozen strawberries preferably organic
- 4 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- juice from 1 lemon
- 2 - 6 tbsp water, just enough to get the contents blended
- tiny pinch sea salt
Drain the cashews and add them to the blender. Add strawberries, pitted dates, coconut oil, lemon juice, and a couple tablespoons of water then blend—if you have a Vita-Mix, use the tamper to get things going. If you don't have a Vita-Mix, process this recipe in two batches using a regular blender or use a food processor (which is great for crushing ice).
Pour the strawberry cashew cream into 6 individual glass or ceramic ramekins and freeze for an hour, then serve. Alternatively, you can pour the cream into a wax paper lined 8×4 inch glass pyrex loaf pan, freeze for 2-3 hours, until firm, then slice into portions to serve. Store unserved portions in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Recipe Notes / Tips
- Keeps well in the freezer for a few weeks. Transfer as many as you want to the refrigerator to defrost before enjoying.
- Try recipe with blueberries, mixed berries, or mango—they're all great!
- If you want to dress things up, make a cake like Alison and her son Asher (click her name (intro paragraph) to go to her Instagram with the version they made the same morning that I made these ramekins of strawberry cream. That's friendship operating on the same wavelength!