It all started when I learned how to make Creme Fraiche using buttermilk for a starter.  It’s extremely easy to do.  I used it to add creamy goodness to a couple of otherwise dairy free dishes.  I was really enjoying my the fruits of my labor.  Then, I though of Donna who can’t eat dairy.  I  was sad as I thought of her unable to top her tacos, enchiladas, and baked potatoes with cream.  Maybe I was a little more selfish and was thinking that when she whips up some of her Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos, I couldn’t add cream to them, but I think it sounds better if I’m acting with a selfless motivation, don’t you?

Regardless of my motivation, I wanted to learn to make something like creme fraiche or sour cream that people who can’t eat dairy could  use to top their food with.  I remembered that years ago, I had a friend who was vegan and was always trying to get me to change my diet to eat like her.  Once, she  made a vegetarian taco salad with sunflower sour cream.  I also thought I remembered that she made a cashew sour cream.    If I remembered right, both of these alternatives were tasty, but at the time, I saw no reason to eschew regular sour cream for a nut or seed based alternative.  I dug through my stack of  recipes that people have given me over the years.  After some time,  I found what I was looking for.

I found the sunflower sour cream recipe first.  It had a long list of ingredients and I moaned.  After all, this is SIMPLY healthy eats, right?  My search continued until I found a simpler version of a cashew sour cream recipe creme fraiche recipe.   I played with this recipe, and tweaked  it to make things easier, and I may or may not have changed the name of the recipe to make it sound more exotic.  I mean, creme fraiche is actually just a soured cream, right?cashew creme fraiche

I whipped up a batch of the cashew based substitute and ran it past my family.  It passed muster, and now, I share this recipe with you.  This can be used as a substitute for sour cream in other recipes like dressings.  It’s great atop a baked potato or a taco salad, and dollop is delicious on top of tomato lentil soup.creme fraiche on top of soup

Cashew Creme Fraiche
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
This is a great substitute for sour cream or creme fraiche in recipes. It's vegan, dairy free, and delicious. Cook's Notes: This can be made with either cider vinegar or lemon juice. If using Lemon Juice, use a tablespoon (3 teaspoons). Start blending with only ¼ cup of added water. If you like the cream looser, additional water can be added 1 tablespoon at a time as you blend.
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1½ teaspoon cider vinegar OR 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (you can add up to 3 teaspoons of cider vinegar for taste, but start with less. You can add more if necessary to achieve the appropriate level of tanginess.)
  • pinch of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ cup water (You can add up to ½ cup of water depending on the consistency you desire)
  1. Place raw cashews in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water.
  2. Allow Cashews to soak overnight (or at least for two hours). Do not skip this step. It will ensure that you will have a smoother product.
  3. Drain Cashews and place in the blender with salt, water and vinegar or lemon juice.
  4. Blend until a smooth puree, adding more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  5. Keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition information is for a two tablespoon serving of this recipe prepared with cider vinegar.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.9g
Saturated Fat 1.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 22mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.6g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Sugars 0.9g
Protein 2.6g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1%
Iron 6%