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Non-Dairy Cream, etc.

Tuesday July 23rd, 2013, 1 year, 2 months and 1 week ago

cream-and-mayo

I posted my recipe for vegan whipped cream a while ago. I thought it was about time to post some more of my recipes for dairy alternatives. This cream serves a different purpose to the whipped kind; rather than for decorating cakes and pastries, these are more of a spoonable consistency and are great for cooking, as well as a garnish or accompaniment to sweet and savoury dishes. The best part is they’re really quick and easy to make, and you don’t need a high-speed blender – I just use a regular stick blender.

Be warned though, this is not health, whole or diet food – this is rich, fat-laden cream! If you’re looking for a low-fat alternative to dairy, there are plenty of recipes around using silken tofu, etc. These recipes are all about emulating the richness and taste of dairy – but without the cholesterol, and best of all, they’re totally plant-based. I’ve also given details of some variations of the basic recipes. Please report back if you give any of my recipes a try, and I’d love to see photos if you have them. I hope you like them! Recipes for cream, sour cream, and mayonnaise after the jump…

Firstly some notes on the ingredients…

Cashews I don’t soak mine, but that’s entirely up to you and what your stick blender can handle. Make sure you use raw cashews. Roasted ones are not suitable.

Oil Use whatever neutral tasting oil you like. I often use canola, but sunflower, rice bran, grapeseed, macadamia, or blends of any of those would be great. Just steer clear of any oils with a strong flavour or aroma, such as olive or flaxseed oil (although some extra virgin olive oil is great in the mayo) – and make sure your oil is non-GMO and preferably organic.

Non-dairy Milk You can use whatever mild tasting non-dairy milk you like, but bear in mind it might change the flavour and appearance of the cream. You do need to make sure the milk you choose is plain and not too sweet. Also, the sour cream and mayo might not be quite as thick made with other non-dairy milks as it’s partly the protein in the soy milk reacting with the acid that thickens them. I use Vitasoy Soy Milky because it’s mild and not too beany tasting and doesn’t have any overriding vanilla or malt flavour as some soy milks do. All I can say is to experiment, which is what I do!

Guar Gum The purpose of the guar gum is to help keep the cream emulsified. You know how sometimes sour cream and mayonnaise split and get a bit watery? It helps stop that happening. The recipes will still work without the guar gum, but the longer you keep them in the fridge, the more likely they are to separate a bit. But that’s no big deal, you can always stir it together again. When I say “tiny pinch” I mean a really small amount – less than 1/8 teaspoon. I usually just get some out of the bag on the tip of a pointy knife. Too much will change the texture of the cream and make it heavier and a bit gummy – you don’t want that! The reason it’s blended in at the end is because it’s easier to blend the cashews with the mixture being a bit thinner – the guar gum thickens it up a bit. You can use xanthan gum if you don’t have any guar gum, or just leave it out.

Citric Acid I use citric acid to give the sour cream its acidic tanginess because it’s neutral in flavour, but you can substitute it for lemon juice or vinegar if you like, but keep in mind this will change the taste somewhat.

Now on to the recipes… Both the cream and sour cream work really well in soups and sauces. The sour cream makes a fantastic base for dips and dressings too. They’re not as prone to curdling as dairy cream, and thicken quite a bit when you cook with them, so if you’re making mushroom stroganoff, or pasta sauce for example, there’s no need to add any kind of thickener – the cashews do the work!

Cream
makes 300ml

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup neutral tasting oil
3/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
pinch of sea salt
pinch of raw sugar
tiny pinch guar gum (optional)

Put everything except the guar gum (if using) into a narrow jug (that cylindrical container you get with your stick blender is perfect) and blend for a couple of minutes with a stick blender, until the mixture is no longer grainy. Add the guar gum once the cream is smooth and blend for a few seconds. The cream will thicken further in the fridge and keeps for about 4-5 days.

Variations:

Double Cream
For a thicker, more dollopable cream (great on scones with jam or served with cake!) follow recipe above, but use 1/4 cup less soy milk. It will be trickier to blend until smooth because it’s so thick, so you could process the cashews separately until finely ground before you add them to the other ingredients.

Single Cream
For a thinner consistency for pouring over fruit, steamed puddings and tarts (yum!), just add 1/4 cup extra soy milk. Keep in mind the mixture will continue to thicken as it chills in the fridge.

Sweet Cream
Follow recipe for regular cream, but instead of a pinch of sugar, add 1-2 tablespoons of raw sugar, light agave nectar, or sweetener of choice, along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Sour Cream
makes 350ml

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup neutral tasting oil
1 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
1/2 teaspoon of citric acid
pinch of sea salt
pinch of raw sugar
tiny pinch of guar gum (optional)

Put everything except the guar gum (if using) into a jug and blend for a couple of minutes with a stick blender, until the mixture is no longer grainy. Add the guar gum once the sour cream is smooth and blend for a few seconds. The cream will thicken further in the fridge and keeps for about 4-5 days.

Variations:

Lime Sour Cream
This is great served with spicy, Latin American food. Replace the citric acid with the juice of a lime, and once blended, stir in the finely grated zest of a lime. It’s best if you allow the flavours to develop in the fridge for a few hours.

French Onion Dip
This is so good… Finely chop two medium brown onions and saute in 2 tablespoons of margarine (I use Nuttelex), adding a heaped teaspoon of stock powder (I use Massel Chicken stock powder) until soft and caramelised and most of the liquid has evaporated, then stir in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes). Leave to cool, then fold through 350ml sour cream with chopped fresh chives, finely chopped parsley, a big pinch of cayenne pepper, and sea salt and ground black pepper to taste. Try not to eat it all before you serve it to your guests.

Now, on to the mayonnaise. Not only is vegan mayo the best because there’s no raw egg in it (yuck!) but it’s also much easier to make. You don’t need to drizzle the oil in gradually, with the risk of it curdling, you just throw everything into the jug and blend. I make this mayo all the time and have made lots of variations over the years. It is much tastier than any of the commercial varieties I’ve tried.

Mayonnaise
makes approx. 250ml

1/2 cup neutral tasting oil
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
1-2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 thin slices from a clove of fresh garlic or a pinch of powdered garlic
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 teaspoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
tiny pinch of guar gum (optional)

Put everything (including the guar gum, if using) into a jug and blend with a stick blender until thick (a minute or two). The mayo will thicken further in the fridge and keeps for about 5-7 days.

Variations:

Aioli
Replace 1/4 cup of the oil with extra virgin olive oil. Use the juice of one lemon instead of the vinegar. Add half to a whole bulb of roasted garlic and a pinch of cayenne pepper and blend. This is a great dip for raw veg.

Spicy Thai Mayonnaise
Replace the mustard with 1-2 teaspoons of Tom Yum paste (make sure it’s vegan!). Replace the vinegar with the juice of one lime. Add an extra teaspoon of sugar and a big pinch of chili powder, then blend. Stir through finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro). Delicious on a baked tofu banh mi!

Sriracha Mayonnaise
Replace the mustard with 1-2 tablespoons sriracha. Use lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar. Blend.

Smoky Mayonnaise
Replace the mustard with 1-2 teaspoons of sun-dried red hot pepper paste, or 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or even 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Add 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, and use lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar. Add an extra teaspoon of sugar. Blend.

Fresh Herb Mayonnaise
Omit the mustard and add 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander (cilantro), tarragon, chives and/or watercress. Use lemon juice, not vinegar. Blend until bright green (a few herby bits is okay).

Extra Rich and Creamy Mayonnaise
makes approx. 300ml

1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup neutral tasting oil
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
1-2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 thin slices from a clove of fresh garlic or a pinch of powdered garlic
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 teaspoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
tiny pinch of guar gum (optional)

Put everything except the guar gum (if using) into a jug and blend for a couple of minutes with a stick blender, until the mixture is no longer grainy. Add the guar gum once the mayo is smooth and blend for a few seconds. It will thicken further in the fridge and keeps for about 4-5 days.

Variations:

Any of the above variations for regular mayo will work just as well, or try this (delicious as a dip and amazing on a burger)…

Tartar Sauce
Use the juice from one lemon in place of the tablespoon of vinegar and add an extra teaspoon of sugar. Fold the following through the mayo once blended: 1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled gherkins, 2 teaspoons chopped capers, 1-2 finely chopped spring onions, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill. Add ground black pepper to taste.

Finally, I dedicate this post to Mark and Cas. Maybe now you’ll stop Skyping me at dinner time saying “What do I do to make sour cream/mayo again?”

Posted in Recipe Box

10 Responses to Non-Dairy Cream, etc.

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  1. simveggie says:

    I just love your recipes and can’t wait to try them out!

    Reply to simveggie Jul 23rd 2013, 1 yr and 2 mths ago
  2. Superbadfriend says: Superbadfriend.blogspot.com

    Thanks, Karena!

    These recipes look incredibly delicious.

    My sister can’t eat soy. Do you think Almond milk would be a good substitute?

    X

    Jess

    Reply to Superbadfriend Jul 23rd 2013, 1 yr and 2 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Hi Jess! I think almond or oat milk is the next best choice after soy – a variety that’s unsweetened and has a mild flavour. Although, if making a sweet cream for desserts, I think one of the more almondy flavoured brands would taste really nice! So would hazelnut milk.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jul 23rd 2013, 1 yr and 2 mths ago
  3. Superbadfriend says: Superbadfriend.blogspot.com

    Thank you. Perfect! I think it will be yummy. I do hope you compile your recipes into a book one day. :) Be well, dear! XO

    Reply to Superbadfriend Jul 23rd 2013, 1 yr and 2 mths ago
  4. Eeee says:

    Thank you for this, I am excited to try these!

    Reply to Eeee Jul 24th 2013, 1 yr and 2 mths ago
  5. Mihl says: seitanismymotor.com

    Thank you for these great recipes, especially the sour cream! Stuff like that is impossible to find here. I always have guar gum on hand (for ice cream) and a bag of citric acid that I never use!

    Reply to Mihl Jul 24th 2013, 1 yr and 2 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      That’s handy that you’ve already got your guar gum and citric acid sorted! I hope the recipe works out well for you! The most common brand of non-dairy sour cream here is revolting and nothing like actual sour cream, and Tofutti isn’t easy to find. It’s got hydrogenated oil and soy protein isolate in it anyway, which I try to avoid.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jul 25th 2013, 1 yr and 2 mths ago

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