Dairy-Free Sour Cream

Yummy Pea & Lettuce Soup
August 1, 2009
Meatball, Vege & Bean Soup
August 10, 2009

Here is my quick and easy dairy-free substitute for sour cream!  We also use this as a dip – it’s especially nice with raw veges.

The best way to make it is to soak the nuts and seeds overnight (or for a few hours) before you make it – it’s easier to digest.  But if you forget, you can use the unsoaked nuts and seeds.

I use organic or insecticide-free ingredients, so the pine nuts can be very expensive, which is why I came up with a cheaper version using almonds – they’re both very yummy.  If you don’t have a Thermomix, grind up the dry nuts/seeds first, then blend everything in a powerful blender. 

(Original recipe from “Rejuvenate Your Life” by Serene Allison; variation by me.)

Soak nuts and seeds overnight in water.  Add all ingredients (including soaking water) to Thermomix and blend for 1 minute on speed 9, scrape down sides, blend again until smooth:
– 85g (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds
– 85g (1/2 cup) pine nuts
– 250g (1 cup) filtered water
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 75g (1/3 cup) fresh lemon juice
– 1 small clove garlic, or dash of garlic powder
– 1 tsp onion powder

If you want to use this ‘sour cream’ in sweet dishes, leave out the onion powder and garlic!

Or, my own version (which is cheaper!)…

Soak nuts and seeds overnight in water.  Add all ingredients (including soaking water) to Thermomix and blend for 1 minute on speed 9, scrape down sides, blend again until smooth:
– 100g blanched almonds (you can blanch your own by pouring boiling water over raw almonds, leaving to sit for a while, then popping the skins off)
– 50g sunflower seeds
– 1 tsp herb/vege salt
– 3 tsp dried onion flakes
– 1 tsp *savoury yeast flakes
– 60g fresh lemon juice
– 250g filtered water

* You can buy savoury yeast flakes from the health food shop – they add a bit of a ‘cheesey’ flavour.


  1. Bel says:

    Hi Jo! Have you substituted anything else for the pine nuts in this recipe? I have cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, macadamias, pumpkin and sunflower seeds at hand…

  2. Jo says:

    Hi Bel – you can substitute cashews or almonds for pine nuts, and can even make it with all almonds.

  3. Kim says:

    Quick question – how much water do you soak the nuts and seeds in? cos recipe says to throw in the nuts/seeds as well as water?

  4. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Kim, it’s just the 1 cup of water in the recipe, and you add all of it to the Thermomix after soaking. 🙂

  5. Oopsiemumma says:

    If I delete the sunflower seeds (I’m allergic) do I just replace it with the same amount of almonds?. I’m slightly challenged on the cooking front 🙂

  6. Jo Whitton says:

    Lol! Yes, just try all blanched almonds, or maybe add in some pine nuts if you can have them? 🙂

  7. Fiona Elliott says:

    Hi Jo, I made your version today and it was very runny. Is yours?

    cheers Fee

  8. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Fiona, no not really – maybe too much soaking water?

  9. Hi Jo,
    I am new to a dairy free diet and absolutely LOVING your recipes. Just wondering how long the sour cream lasts in the fridge? And could it be frozen?

  10. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Bonnie, I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes 🙂 I usually keep the sour cream about a week. It can be frozen if you’re just going to cook with it, but it does dry out a bit once frozen so may need reblending with a little water.

  11. kathy cannon says:

    Hi Jo, I love your site and all the recipes that you post. I was wondering your thoughts on a nut free version of this dairy free sour cream. One of my children is allergic to all NUTS. We also can’t have gluten, soy, corn or eggs. Many Thanks Kathy

  12. Jo Whitton says:

    Thanks Kathy 🙂 I would try all sunflower seeds and see how that goes. Maybe even sunflower and pepita, if you don’t mind it being a bit odd coloured… that’s the only thing, it won’t be quite white. But hopefully it will still taste good!
    Jo 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    If I left the nuts soaking for two days are they still safe to use ? I just ran out of time yesterday but don’t want to throw out my almonds if I can still use them

  14. Hi jo, I’m fructose intolerant can I substitute the onion for anything else?

  15. […] and ricotta cheese in it, which is why I haven’t made it in a long time. I had some leftover dairy free sour cream in the fridge, and I thought that it might be a good substitute for the cheeses. Then I remembered […]

  16. Rachael Johnson says:

    Hi Jo! Love this recipe. When you say 250g of filtered water do you mean add that in addition to the water you used to soak the nuts and seeds overnight? Or is that soaking water meant to be the 250g of water? I just added it additionally as that was the order of the recipe and I have what looks like sour cream and tastes great but it is maybe a little more runny than was intended. I’m not sure. If you could clarify that step for next time that would be great. Thanks!

  17. Rachael Johnson says:

    Hi! I made this the other day and while it taste delicious it was rather runny. I am wondering if the 250g of water listed is the volume of water to soak? I actually soaked then added the 250g as well. Thx!

    • Jo Whitton says:

      I’ll have to try that one again – I usually make the 2nd version! You do usually add the water, but maybe just make it less next time.

    • Nicole says:

      I made it tonight with cashews, drained the soaking water and added 230g of water. The consistency was pretty good to use straight up. It’ll be interesting to see how thick it is after being in the fridge overnight

  18. Hayles says:

    Thanks Jo for another amazing recipe. This was so easy and delicious. Made first version but with cashews instead of pinenut. More economical. Put it over my cauliflower and greens and had with slow roasted lamb Shanks. Devine. Went beautifully on top of my hash sbrown and avo for breakfast as well. Will try unflavoured version next for desert options. Happy with consistency, but could easily reduce water content to make thicker, which I may try for the desert option. ????

  19. Rache says:

    Thanks for sharing so many dairy-free recipes. I am just starting to try them all out. I tried the almond version above on the weekend in my Thermomix and I could not get the nuts and seeds to be smooth, no matter how many times I scrapped down the bowl and processed the ingredients. I soaked the nuts/seeds using the 250g water and didn’t add any more water (just the soaking water) when I blended them. Is that my problem?

    What speed and for how long should the cream be processed? How many times do I need to scrap down the bowl doing this to get a nice smooth consistency?

  20. Ange says:

    Hi Jo, if using this in beef stroganoff would it be able to be freezed.

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