Anyone who is familiar with vegan cooking knows that there are a ton of cream bases that require soaked cashews. I always wondered why people soaked their cashews, but I quickly found out when I tried to make a cashew cream sauce with hard cashews in a basic blender and it turned out less than creamy. People also soak cashews to make them more bioavailable, in other words, easier to digest and get the maximum nutritional benefit. The largest problem with soaking cashews is that it requires some planning ahead. I am not one to plan ahead at all. I usually just throw things together on a whim, and I definitely don’t think about soaking cashews 24 hours before I am about to make dinner. In this busy world, I know I’m not the only one like that!
To be honest, I have probably only soaked cashews overnight a handful of times. The other 99% of time I just don’t soak them at all and throw everything in the Vitamix. Before I got my Vitamix, this was the on going struggle though. I wanted super creamy sauce or the perfect cheesecake, but I wasn’t able to achieve that without soaking my cashews. I quickly learned that I got the same effect by placing the cashews in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and letting them sit for another 10-15 minutes. Just like that, I had softened cashews ready for sauce in under a half hour! That discovery was life changing to me and I still use it if I am making a small test batch of something and don’t use the Vitamix. Some cookbooks will share that tip, but most people still think that the only way is to soak overnight, which is why I am sharing this tip.
There is one problem with this tip though. If you are raw or making a raw cashew based dessert for someone who is, obviously boiling cashews doesn’t work and soaking is the only option. For anyone else who is just looking for a quicker way to get dinner on the table or to whip up a quick decadent dessert, this tip is for you.