Yes, this is a no-cream Creamed Spinach recipe! One of my favorite vegetable dishes, creamed spinach is something I dearly missed being dairy-free.
This recipe uses a common method of cashew cream. Soak the cashews, add some select seasonings and blend away! Once soaked, the cashews are softened and blend beautifully into a creamy sauce. It’s cashew magic!
Really, you could make the cashew garlic cream sauce and use it on anything you’d like — as a pasta sauce; stirred in with some sautéed mushrooms; or even ladled over sliced potatoes for a vegan potatoes au gratin!
How to Soak the Cashews
For soaking the cashews, you have two options:
- Measure cashews and put in a glass jar or container. Cover with hot water and let soak, refrigerated, overnight.
- Measure cashews and cover with boiling water. Let stand for at least four hours.
Either option works, the important thing is to make sure they are well-soaked and softened so they will blend smoothly into a creamy sauce.
I prefer using the overnight method, as it really ensures the cashews are soft enough to blend smoothly into a sauce.
When draining the cashews, you can save the liquid they soaked in to use as the 1 cup of water in the recipe. (It’s not a necessity, but its always worked well for me.)
Sauté for extra flavor
For best flavor, sauté the onion and garlic and let cool before adding to blender to make the sauce. The alternative is to leave them whole and add them into the sauce after its blended, but I found its best when smooth and blended all together.
- 3 pounds spinach, de-stemmed (fresh or frozen)
- 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup whole raw cashews
- ½ yellow onion, diced.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced depending on preference.
- 1 cup water.
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Boil some water. In a heat-safe glass bowl or jar, add cashews. Soak cashews. If soaking overnight, allow to come to room temperature before covering and placing in refrigerator. Soak at minimum 4 hours.
- If using fresh spinach – Remove spinach stems and roughly chop the leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with pinch of salt. Add the spinach. Cook for two minutes. If using frozen spinach – cook an additional two minutes to allow for defrosting.
- Using a colander, drain the spinach. Rinse with cool water in the sink. Gently squeeze all excess water from the spinach. Make sure the spinach has as little water in it as possible, or it will cook in the sauce and make it watery.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a fry pan. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for five minutes, until soft and remove from heat.
- Drain cashews. Add cashews, water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, garlic powder and nutmeg to blender. Add cooled garlic and onions. Blend until smooth.
- In the pan, add drained spinach and pour sauce over the top. Warm until heated through. Serve!