Oh, Cashews…how I love thee!

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Apologies for the late posting! It seems that each day passing quickly is exceptionally true in general and even more so when you have house guests and different schedules! Anyway let’s get back to creating food together!

This blog post is all about Cashews. What an amazing nut. I find cashews to be easily digestible, a beautiful topping for a yummy stir fry and a major staple in vegan/vegetarian cooking. I use cashews in granola, for a quick afternoon snack with craisans (yum) and most recently I have made cashew nut butter, Alfredo “cheese” sauce and even cheesecake ALL with cashews! How do you feel about nuts? Do you think almonds are hard to digest? What’s your favorite nut to throw in a salad? I love sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as well (which are great bases for “cheese”cakes).

Here is my recent recipe for non dairy, Alfredo sauce. Obviously creamy pasta dishes need to happen more often than not. This is a great way to have those creamy dishes and avoid heavy, digestion slowing, sauces. Give it a try!

Alfredo Sauce

1. 2 cups of cashews, soaked for 6-8 hours

2. 1 cup of filtered water

3. 1-2 cloves of garlic, depending on how strong you like it. I used 1 BIG mama clove

4. 2 tablespoons of flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat flour)

5. 1 tablespoon of olive oil

6. 2 tablespoons of a fresh herb, I used rosemary but I can imagine basil or oregano going extremely well in this!

7. pinch of salt

8. You will need a blender or food processor. I tried in my food processor and water flew everywhere! It could also be because I have a baby food processor made for creating nut butters not creamy saucy goodness.

Here we go…

Take your soaked cashews and all ingredients and put into the blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes, giving it enough time to make sure the cashews break up completely. Then transfer liquid to a saucepan and heat on low, allowing the sauce to become thicker. The original recipe I found called for another cup of water, so 2 cups, but I thought that seemed like A LOT! So I tried with half with the notion that I could always add more and I am glad I didn’t because it was a perfect consistency (for my liking)! This may be one area where you add more or less water to appease your consistency desires.

Voila! Enjoy this over pasta or rice. I paired this sauce with roasted asparagus, tomatoes and mushrooms over rice (all I had) and it was UNREAL! As in, I have been talking and somewhat bragging about my own creation to others because it was beyond satisfying!

Here is also my recipe for Cashew Nut Butter:

1. 2 cups of cashews

2. 1 tablespoon of olive oil — you can also use sunflower or coconut oil. I only had olive oil at the time!

3. food processor — you will for sure need a food processor or a bad ass blender for this because it takes a few minutes and it needs to blend until creamy. I have had 0 luck in the past with blenders and nut butters. I may or may not have burnt out my blender making almond butter.

Put cashews in the food processor and pulse for a few minutes. You’ll have to stop and scrape down the sides every minute or so. Sean also shakes our food processor to “get the sides down so we don’t have to keep stopping,” he says. He is definitely the frying and nut butter man of the house. When it starts to look more like nut butter (part creamy/part crunchy) add in your oil. Continue to pulse until it is a consistency your heart melts for. Enjoy with apples or bananas or anything!

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And the big finale….

is a recipe for a cashew cheese cake that is lovely!

http://maebird.blogspot.tw/2009/06/raw-cheesecake.html

Just a note about the crust…I have done the crust with pumpkin seeds and almond slivers before (all I had) and it turned out great. I think this is one of those areas where we have freedom to use the nut we A- have and B- want to use! It will still make a nice crust and taste delicious with your toppings.

Have fun creating foods!

Love & Light especially in food,

Abby

 

 

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