Choosing to eat vegan food doesn’t mean you have to give up sour cream! Yes, you read that right. I served this vegan sour cream as a condiment along side tomato salsa for my vegan quesadillas the other day (made with chickpeas, roasted red pepper, chipotle and leeks), and boy was it good! I’ve served vegan sour cream with curries, stroganoffs, soups and chilis and I have turned it into a salad dressing by thinning it out and adding a variety of different herbs and seasonings. I honestly don’t miss dairy-based sour cream at all.
You need only 4 ingredients to prepare this recipe and from start to finish, the whole thing can be made in less than 10 minutes. This vegan sour cream contains no oil, tofu or soy, and no nutritional yeast.* I serve it in place of dairy based sour cream all the time and no one has ever complained. In fact, people are pleasantly surprised when they learn that it’s dairy-free because it tastes so good!
Some recipes call for soaking nuts for anywhere between 8-24 hours but I don’t find it necessary to soak cashews for that long. A couple of hours is plenty if you have a powerful enough blender. I made this in my VitaMix to obtain a really creamy texture with the consistency of commercial sour cream.
The recipe yields a little under one cup but the amounts are easy to double or triple. The sour cream will thicken and firm up as it sits in the refrigerator – it will become as thick as the commercial stuff. But if you want to pour it, you can – just give it a good whisk. Sour cream lasts about 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 2 – 4 hours
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
Place all ingredients into your blender (I used my Vitamix). Blend on high for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the blender and then blend on high for another 30-60 seconds, until very smooth and creamy.
Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, or any other airtight container.
*Nutritional yeast is a controversial ingredient. It is often included in recipes for non-dairy substitutes, such as sour cream and nut cheeses, to bring out the ‘cheesy’ flavour. Some vegans believe it is a good source of Vitamin B12 but that may not be true. Nutritional yeast containing Vitamin B12 has been fortified with vitamin B12, which means it is added to the yeast rather than occurs naturally. And not all brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with vitamin B12. You would need to investigate the brand to know whether or not you will get any Vitamin B12 from a particular source of nutritional yeast. Apart from the controversy, I don’t like to use it because I don’t really like the flavor of it. This article doesn’t clear up the controversy surrounding the health benefits of nutritional yeast, or or lack thereof, but it is a good starting point if you are unfamiliar with the concerns surrounding nutritional yeast and want more information.