This dairy-free pumpkin seed Crema is versatile, creamy, and tastes just like sour cream! The pumpkin seeds add a toasty and nutty flavor, and it's a great topping to put on just about anything!
This recipe is inspired by the cookbook Two Chefs, One Catch. I live in San Diego, and one of the best seafood restaurants is called the Marine Room. Chef Bernard Guillas tops his Tomatillo Shrimp Cazuela with a Pumpkin Seed Crema.
To make this pumpkin seed crema dairy-free. I make cashew cream with an addition of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Adding the acidity to the cashew cream creates a nice sour cream alternative. To take this cashew sour cream one step further, I add toasted and ground pumpkin seeds.
Guys, you have to try this sauce! I am telling you it's soo good! The next time you make any Mexican dinner, use this recipe to finish with style!
What you'll need to make this recipe
- Cashews - Makes the sour cream nice and creamy!
- Almond milk - Blend with the cashews to make a dairy-free sour cream.
- Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar - Are what turns this into sour cream. Contributes a nice tangy flavor.
- Dijon Mustard - Adds another layer of flavor and a nice bite!
- Pumpkin seeds - By toasting the pumpkin seeds, adds a nice nutty and toasty flavor.
- Salt - Brings everything together.
- Pepper - The spiciness of the fresh peppercorns complements the nutty pumpkin seeds.
How to make pumpkin seed crema
- Soak cashews for 4 hours in cold water. (Or boil for 10 minutes).
- In a high-powered blender, place cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard. Blend until creamy.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in a pan for 5 minutes on medium heat. It should smell like toasted nuts. Grind in a spice grinder.
- Season with pumpkin seeds, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!
- Use almond milk instead of water for the Crema. Almond milk has a mild flavor and makes this sauce super creamy!
- Make sure you toast the pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin seeds will release their oil and make your kitchen smelling amazing! Also, the only way you will get that nice nutty and toasty flavor is by toasting them.
- Let the pumpkin seeds cool down to room temperature before grinding. It keeps the aromas from vanishing into thin air.
- Be sure to grind the pumpkin seeds completely. You don't want a Crema with big chunks of seeds in it.
Frequently asked questions
WHAT IS SOUR CREAM?
Exactly what it sounds like, sour cream. Traditionally you would take heavy cream and add lemon juice or vinegar to it. Then you would leave it out at room temperature for 24 hours. My recipe is a dairy-free alternative that is easy to make.
WHAT TYPE OF MEALS CAN I USE THIS SOUR CREAM ON?
Shrimp, pork, beef, or even grilled veggies. I like to use this on soups, tacos, and salads as well. Try this sauce on my butternut squash soup. It's delicious!
DO I HAVE TO USE ALMOND MILK IN THIS RECIPE?
No, you can use water instead. I like almond milk because it has a mild flavor and makes a creamier sour cream. I would stay away from coconut milk because of the strong flavor.
Pumpkin seed crema
- Soak cashews for 4 hours in cold water.
- In a high-speed blender, place cashews, milk, lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard. Blend until nice and creamy.
- Season with ground pumpkin seeds, salt, and pepper.