This is a very creamy dairy-free vanilla custard. Custard is traditionally served warm over hot desserts like steamed puddings, apple pie or fruit crumbles but my version is also delicious chilled and eaten on its own. I've used cashews to produce a lovely creamy, mild flavoured nut milk and the result is this delicious silky-smooth custard. I've used a combination of maple syrup and just a little honey to give the perfect sweetness. (If you would prefer to use all honey, reduce the quantity as honey is sweeter than maple syrup and be aware you will get a stronger flavoured custard). By making your own custard you not only avoid grains and refined sugars but the additives - colours 102, 110 and flavours. (Yellow colour - 102 can cause aggressive behaviour, headaches, insomnia and is prohibited in foods for infants. 110 affects Asthma suffers, kidneys, hyperactivity, eczema and it's derived from petroleum).
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Add the cashews and 200ml of water to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 20 seconds, then scrape down the lid and sides of the jug and blend for a further 10 seconds or until you reached a smooth creamy milk.
Add the maple syrup, honey, vanilla, eggs, egg yolk, turmeric and salt to the blender. Blend everything together for 10 seconds.
Measure the remaining 100ml of water into a jug. Add the arrowroot to a small cup. Pour off one tablespoon of the water into the cup and mix with the arrowroot to make a smooth slurry.
Use a double saucepan or a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan. Add 2.5cm of water to the saucepan and bring to a very light simmer. Place the top pan or bowl on top and pour in the contents of the blender, then stir in the remaining water and arrowroot slurry. Use a spatula or spoon and continually stir (make sure to scrap across the base and sides), heat gently and slowly until the custard has slightly thickened and cooked. The custard should cling to the back of the spatula. This should take approximately 10 minutes. (Turn down the water if it starts to bubble too much to prevent the eggs in the custard scrambling).
If you find the custard has overcooked and you have a few lumps, there's no need to sieve, just pour back into the blender and blend for 5 seconds. Even if you don't have any lumps this step gives a beautiful lightness to this creamy custard.
Pour into a jug and serve warm over your dessert. If you would like it chilled, allow it to cool, then cover and place in the fridge for up to 4 days. Once the custard sits it will thicken further.
Cashews work well in a paleo lifestyle, as they are so versatile. They can be used to make dairy free milk, cashew butter, cashew cream or sour cream, dips and many more. Where possible, it is best to soak nuts before using to assist with digestion. Eat them raw but in moderation as they are quite high in omega 6. Stay away from store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
I feel it's much better for our health if we filter our water. Our tap water contains disinfectants, chlorine and chloramine. Also floride is add which I believe is toxin to our bodies.
Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.
Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.
I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.
Poultry egg yolk is a major source of vitamins and minerals. It contains all of the egg's fat and nearly half of the protein. Vitamins A, D, E and K are found in the egg yolk. Egg yolk is one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D. Egg yolk is at times separated from the white and used in cooking for mayonnaise, custard, hollandaise sauce etc.
Turmeric is a perennial plant of the ginger family, the rhizomes are used fresh or boiled then dried in hot ovens after which they are ground into a deep yellow powder. Turmeric is an essential ingredient of Indian curries and gives mustard its yellow colour. Turmeric is a natural antibiotic and is used to treat inflammation and digestive disorders.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).