How to Make Raw Cashew Cream and a Curry Ranch Dressing Recipe

A bowl of cashew cream with herbs and curry is an easy vegan recipe
Cashew cream makes a divine dairy-free ranch dressing.

Here in La La Land it's been too hot to cook. So I've been going raw. Numero uno- it's easy. Numero dos- it's tasty. And as an added bonus (if you need another nudge) cooking raw keeps the kitchen cool as a cucumber- which, by all accounts, is chilly by default, and, well. Cool. As in hip. At least around these hipster parts (it's right up there with gluten-free lately).

I am way past the hipster stage of life, I confess. But I admit I've been flirting with raw cuisine on and off ever since the monkey gut incident. Eating vegan and raw seems to help heal inflammation and tame my irritable, punishing digestion. Unless it's broccoli. Or onion. Or too much raw fruit. I still need to be careful. But eating mostly vegan soothes my pesky symptoms and revitalizes my cranky, creaky body. I am amazed at how much better I feel. Maybe it's all those perky little enzymes.

Now if I could only quell the stress factor.

Good thing I have an iPhone. Iphoneography keeps me sane. It's a way I can paint. Create. Stay engaged. Hopeful. It keeps my spirit fed. And my visually dominant brain happy.

Meanwhile, an iphoneoraphy girl's gotta eat. 

So I'll be soaking almonds and cashews for raw recipes. Freezing bananas. And stocking up on lettuce.

Why not try a little un-cooking yourself these last hot days of summer? This recipe for cashew cream is the perfect place to start. It's versatile and voluptuous. It's vegan and dairy-free.

You'll love it.

So go.

Start soaking.

Making cashew cream starts with soaking cashews in fresh water
Soaking raw cashews for cashew cream.

How to Soak Cashews for Cashew Cream

You'll need:

1 cup organic raw cashews

Fresh filtered water


Rinse the cashews in a colander and place them in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover them with fresh filtered water.

Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let them soak for two hours.

Drain and use in recipes.

How easy is that?

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A recipe for making vegan cashew cream
Dairy-free ranch dressing kicked up with curry spices.

Curry Ranch Dressing - a raw vegan recipe

Cashew cream makes a luscious creamy base for ranch style dressings and sour cream style sauces. Here I combined traditional ranch flavors with a kiss of curry. We enjoyed it on crisp herbal salad greens, and as a dip for fresh carrot sticks.


1 cup soaked raw cashews

1/2 cup fresh filtered water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon mild gluten-free curry powder, to taste
1/4 teaspoon organic garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon organic onion powder
Pinch of sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste1 teaspoon fresh minced dill
2 teaspoons fresh minced parsley
2 teaspoons fresh minced basil leaves


Combine the soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, curry, garlic and onion powder in a Vita-Mix or blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of filtered water to thin; pulse. Add another tablespoon, as needed.

Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.

Add the fresh chopped herbs. Pulse briefly to combine. Don't over do it.

Taste test! Adjust seasonings to your liking. Store in a covered glass jar or storage container. The flavors get better as it chills.

Use as a salad dressing or as a dip for carrot, celery, and zucchini sticks, and broccoli florets.

Makes four servings.

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Recipe Source:

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GFG Notes:

For a thicker dip for crudities, use a little less liquid to start. You can always add more.

Out of fresh herbs? Use dried. Start with a teaspoon each of dried herbs.
Using this a veggie dip is a tasty way to get kids to munch healthy.
Best used within four days.

Here's more delicious inspiration to keep you cool:

Raw Almond Spread Three Ways at Happy Healthy Life
Susan's Lite Goddess Dressing at FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Rawmazing's recipe and tips for making Almond Butter
Avocado Wasabi Salad at Vegan Yum Yum
Elana's Pantry whips up Cashew Milk
Ain't No Egg Salad at Gluten-Free Vegan Family


Saretta said...

Sounds good. What if I can't get raw cashews? I live in provincial southern Italy and a lot of more natural ingredients are hard to find.
Keep up the healing, Karina!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I just recently discovered cashew cream when I went dairy-free. But I don't know why I didn't think about ranch! You're a genius. And I love you. I am so making this.

Morgan-- said...

I have been eating a highly raw diet and including lots of raw foods into my vegan diet for years! I love it, its the easiest on the digestino in my opinon, and I always feel so great when I eat that way. And I loooove cashew cream! Its so versatile with its use. Good luck with your move, I always use moves to do major decluttering!

Camillia said...

Hello Karina,

I'm so glad you've found raw food to be working!

For me peanuts and cashews are verbotten, can you recommend a decent substitute?

I'm seriously jonesing for 'creamy' non dairy dressings and sauces these days and you've got me inspired :o)

Stella said...

WONDERFUL - Salad dressing has been my most difficult curse since being gluten-free vegan and I HATE the taste of most low/no fat commercial ones! KEEP them coming - I'll make every one you give me!

Do you garden?? you want cheap - GROW GROW GROW - Container gardens increase the first year cost for apartment dwellers but shop around at year end!
For home-owners, we have two rain barrels scavenged from our local butcher (didn't tell him I'm vegan) so our water bill isn't affected. AND we save seeds from our favorites for next year. I LOVE picking fresh produce for dinner!

Deanna said...

Right there with you on the stress and heat and turning to raw vegan foods to sooth and satiate. It really does work. I love, love, love cashew cream, as well.

Good luck with the apartment hunting. I'm sure that's a very stressful process.

Deanna said...

Saretta - I've used not raw unsalted cashews. They do work, you just need to soak and blend longer.

Camillia - are macadamia nuts okay for you? I think those would work as well.

Kalyn said...

I think this sounds just fantastic. I saw a vita-mix at Costco, and I had to walk by quickly so I wasn't too tempted!

Good luck with the apartment hunting! Sending thoughts of a gorgeous kitchen.

Meagan said...

This looks delightfully creamy! I usually avoid cashews, and I bet this would go really well with some pinenuts and a basil infusion instead of curry. Good luck with the Southern CA apartment search :/

thisgirlsjourney said...

I'm so sorry that you have a big bill. This kiwi girl really hopes that will be a thing of the past soon.

Need to go by some cashews now.

YogaGracie said...

I found a helpful tool for apartment hunting is
It's a site that links Craigslist apartment ads with Google maps, so you can get a good visual of where the apt's are located. Best wishes!

Meenakshi said...

We use cashew cream in a lot of Indian recipes, makes them rich and so yum! Thank you!
Good luck with finding a new home. said...

Hi Karina!

Have you ever used cashew cream to make a whipped cream of sorts for desserts? Just curious.... I'd want to try it.... Thank you for the recipe! Yay for cashews!


Karina Allrich said...

So glad you are all in the cashew cream love boat with me. xox

As for subbing the cashews - I agree, I think macadamia nuts would be awesome. Hazelnuts, too, perhaps. You want a mild, creamy flavored nut.

Thanks for the apartment hunting tips. xox


Karina Allrich said...

Desi- Fab idea. Add vanilla and raw agave nectar and you've got a delicious whipped cream. Maybe start with less water when you process the cashews.

Karina Allrich said...

PS: For sweet whipped cream, of course, leave out the salt and savory seasonings! ;-)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I can only imagine the goodies you will cook up in your new apartment! I'm sending good thoughts -- and I'm printing this recipe. I have all the fixings for this salad dressing in my pantry.

skylily345 said...

Oh, I feel for you, Karina! I'm in the "underinsured" category myself (who needs insurance that actually pays for anything, right?)

Maybe this is anathema to your very generous style of helping all us celiacs (for free!), but could you perhaps make money by writing a cookbook or even (if possible?) running google ads?

thisgirlsjourney said...

Hmm - Karina you've been such an amazing inspiration to me. Your blog was one of the first I read when I cut out gluten. I feel like we should be helping you- I'm in NZ so it might be a little hard to organise from here. But certainly if you went commercial with the blog I'd see it as a great way to support you.

Frugal OR Localvore said...

This sounds delightful! I think I will try it with locally grown hazelnuts instead. I may even venture to try locally grown walntus too, when they are in season or they are available at the market/farm stands!

Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Taylor said...

wow, this looks like a yummy and interesting recipe.. i look forward to trying it.. sounds yummy for the summer

Rach said...

cashews - my favorite!

christy said...

Great recipe. Great iphotography.

Cheriss said...

I've been using hummus as my salad dressing (can't have vinegar for now), but this sounds great!! =]

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Lordy, that sounds good. Sorry you're having to move again.~~Dee

joyce said...

@Stella: Hollyhock Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup tamari
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

You will find yourself contemplating eating it with a spoon at 3am.

Elizabeth said...

This looks really delicious. I am collecting all of the raw ranch type dressings I can get my hands on because my children are not totally raw like me but I am not giving them dairy!! I need replacements for traditional ranch. Thanks.
Peace and Raw Health,
PS Can totally relate with the inflammation taming...have 2 in the household w/ Crohns and one with Irritable Bowel something or another. Not been easy.

The InTolerant Chef said...

This sounds delicious! I hope everything works out for you, stress is not fun! Keep thinking happy thoughts and taking photos that keep you sane!

web_trekker said...

Karina, I'm going mostly raw and summertime is perfect for making a good beginning, with the heat making cooking undesirable and all the fabulous and wider variety of fresh produce that is very desirable.

A decade and a half ago, I was so stressed out that had acid reflux so bad it was burning a whole in my throat! As well as burning and nausea in my gut. I was on Nexium for quite a while to heal them. Going vegan has solved most of that, raw vegan even more, and the following suggestion helps even more.

May I suggest a musical Island of Sanity? The SF Bay Area classical station (KDFC which can be found on the internet and on iTunes streaming radio) has a daily dose and I've taken that idea and created my own Island of Sanity mixes with iTunes and my iPod (mostly classical, a bit of jazz and a bit of pop and a bit of movie soundtrack selections - whatever I love and gets my head and emotions smoothed out and stress busted. I have two main play lists - one is totally soothing and relaxing and one is energizing but head clearing. And I have my Island of Sanity whenever I need it, rather than waiting until 7pm weekdays. Try it and you could listen on your iPod/iPhone any time you're feeling stressed. (Like apartment hunting! Ugh!) I'm managing stress and depression (which I've struggle with all my life) pretty well with this and a vegan, mostly raw diet.

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

Karina, I'm so glad to see you are enjoying some raw foods this summer. I feel for you about the hospital bill/moving. That can be stressful. Time for deep cleansing breaths and lots of thinking happy thoughts. (I'm right there with you in the moving...leaving for Thailand in 4 weeks or so. :::::she says as she takes a deep breath:::) ;-)

Paula Adams Perez said...

Hey, we're all doing it! I have decided to go at least 50% raw with my food for the summer and it's been about 50 days so far. I have 10 books on raw food from the library right now and I'm having a blast trying recipes. So far my mainstays are green smoothies twice a day, nori rolls (like sushi, but with a sunflower/nut pate instead of rice), and lots of dried sprouted energy bars in my dehydrator! I found it for $5 at the local thrift store and it is awesome fun!

The challenges? Planning ahead for meals by sprouting and soaking, and keeping enough produce in the house! (There are 4 of us, and my family has been joining on the green smoothies)

The benefits? Much better digestion and elimination, much clearer mind, no more acid reflux, and some weigh-loss too!

Lynn said...

Love your recipe for cashew cream and curry ranch dressing. I have been really getting into trying new gluten free recipes! I just made a gluten/lactose free blog for food/restaurants feel free to visit! I love your blog and find it very useful and hope you'll find mine just as much!

Earthtonegirl said...

Love the ranch idea!

Karina, you may want to look into negotiating down that big ole hospital bill, if you haven't already.. It seems to me the billing amounts are way inflated to allow for losses they take elsewhere - I know when a lawsuit settles, medical providers will usually discount their liens by a third or more without even putting up a fight. (Think of how little insurers pay compared to what's billed.) You may want to try it, can't hurt to ask =).

Gena said...

Delighted to see you playing around with raw foods, Karina! I've loved your blog for a very long time.

Jessica Feely Photography said...

Karina! Thanks for your amazing recipes :) I was wondering what cookbook you get ideas for, when eating raw or for preparing raw meals? My husband has celiacs and UC and so I am thinking doing that kind of diet would help his symptoms. Do you recommend a book? Thank you! :)

Karina Allrich said...

For the moment I look for inspiration on food blogs. Check out my blog roll page (linked at the top) for the Veg Blogs I follow. xox Karina

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried making this with almonds? I recently came into possession of a mountain of them, so I tried. It was a success!

Denise said...

Made this for a dinner party tonight - hard to believe there's no dairy. It was a huge hit. Thank you!

Elizabeth said...

I am so grateful that I found your blog.
I am a raw foodie and feed the family as much raw as possible and the rest of their meals are a mixture of gluten free/vegan/vegetarian/small amounts organic chicken. They like to keep things exciting I guess.
Look forward to trying several of your recipes.
Peace and Raw Health,

Mary said...

I love this blog! I am gluten free and doing well but my hubby has just been found to be intolerant of many things, the worst are eggs, yeast and garlic not to mention his favorites.....cashews, coconut, coffe and cow dairy. I am now stumped for even some of the vegan subsitutions available. Oh yeah, no soy or honey either. Help! If there are others out there, let me know how to circumnavigate these obstacles. We have been foodies and I love to cook but where I currently reside have limited access to items, unless I pay tons for mail order.

Julie Stevens said...

Could you adapt this into a creamy cucumber recipe? Oh, how I miss creamy cucumber dressing! do you know how wonderful it tastes on a baked potato? I've been CF for 8 years now, and this is something I miss so much! would you have to pickle the cucumbers, or just chop them up and put them in?

Nancy said...

Perfect post! I am very happy and so grateful that I found your awesome blog. Looks so delicious, I am still hoping to read again your several of your gluten-free recipes. Thanks for sharing this info!

Stay at Home Attorney said...

Loved it! Used it to make the vegan "tuna salad" and thought it was incredible. My wife had a friend try it at work and she wanted the recipe. Thanks for the great recipes.

Karen Marino said...

Hi Karina. I'm new to your blog and currently on an elimination diet so no dairy or soy right now. I'd love to make this into a dill dip for my veggies. Any suggestions?

Karina Allrich said...

It makes a wonderful herb dip- just leave out the curry and add in fresh chopped dill (or any other herbs you like), to taste. I usually add some fresh cracked pepper, too.

Karina Allrich said...

So glad! Thanks for that tip- to use it with the vegan not-tuna salad. Great idea.

Karina Allrich said...

I don't see why not- sounds delicious. Cut out the curry, add dill or other fresh herbs, finely diced cucumber.

Karina Allrich said...


Karina Allrich said...

Peace to you too!

Karen Marino said...

Thank yu so much. You are a goddess.

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