Cashews are one of my favorite nuts, because you can do SO many things with them! The other day, I made some creamy ranch dressing, a cheese that you can slice and top off crackers with, and a cheesecake! You’ve gotta try these recipes! They’re amazing! I do suggest having a good blender though, as it will take a while to blend if you’ve got a cheap one. Don’t get me wrong, you can very well make these using a cheap blender, but don’t be surprised if some profanities come out while doing so.
So, tonight the hubby will be out at a hockey game, and I’m having a little girls night in. I thought I’d make some ranch dressing to go with some veggies. Ever since I came across this recipe, I can’t have store bought ranch dressing. This stuff is SOOO good! It makes so much too, and lasts forever. I’ve used it for the obvious, salads, or just dipping veggies in it, but I’ve even put it in mashed potatoes for some extra flavor. It. Is. So. Good. Here’s the recipe that I use. The only thing I do differently, is I add about 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. I don’t know what it is about raw foodies, but they put wayyy to much garlic and onion into their dishes. Whenever I see a recipe that calls for either, I usually have to start by putting in about 1/4 of it, and taste as I go.
Always start off soaking your cashews, because it helps get a nice creamy texture, and it’s much easier to blend! Because cashews are a pretty soft nut as it is, you don’t have to soak them very long. If I’m in a hurry, I usually do it for about an hour.
Also, always rinse your nuts after soaking! (lol-but seriously)
All you have to do, is stick everything in your blender, and blend, blend, blend. I have the lovely Ninja blender, courtesy of my dear other mother, Candee, for me and my husbands wedding. I use this all the time! I love it! Can’t say thank you enough!
Alwayyys scrape down the sides in between blending, you don’t want to have any pieces of cashews in a creamy dressing!
Give it a taste, adjust seasonings, and pour into a container. Slap a label on it, and you’re all set! How easy was that?!
Now, for the slice-able cashew cheese. I loveee this stuff, it doesn’t last very long, due to my sister and I scarfing it down by the minute.
I use this recipe, but I’ve changed it up so much, that I’ll just write out what I do.
3/4 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unflavored coconut oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (or to taste, I usually start by two tablespoons, and see if it’s too much, and then add more, if not)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons water
I’ve also made it with olive oil and rosemary, just subbing the canola out for olive oil, and the pepper with rosemary. This was the one that my sister and I ate in about 5 minutes. It’s that good!
Again, always start by soaking your cashews.
Combine all the ingredients in your blender. Here I’m using my bullet blender, because it’s a pretty small amount of ingredients. If you want to use a regular size blender, I’d suggest doubling the recipe, which trust me, you might want to do anyway!
Blend until completely smooth! This step is very important! You want all your ingredients completely incorporated, especially while working with coconut oil. If you double the recipe, and you’re adding 1/4 cup of coconut oil, you’d want to blend everything first until completely smooth, and then slowly drizzle in the oil while the blender is on otherwise it will separate, and won’t do it’s job; hardening it once refrigerated!
Also, make sure you put the lid on your blender BEFORE pressing on, otherwise you’ll make a mess, like I did and get oil ALL OVER YOUR FLOOR!!!! We put some baby powder to suck up the excess oil….worked pretty good for future reference! lol
Ok, so now to prepare your bowl you’re using, (I used a little glass prepping bowl) cover it with aluminum foil, or plastic wrap (I didn’t have any at the time, but either would work)
Pour it in, and tap the bottom gently to get any air bubbles out. Cover the top with aluminum foil (or plastic wrap) And stick it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
This is what I got to look at the whole time while making the cheese 🙂
Once it’s been in the fridge for a while, it will get hard enough that you can take it out and flip it onto a plate to cover it with fresh cracked pepper. At this stage, you can most definitely eat it, but it will be more of a spreadable consistency, rather than slice-able.
Mmm mmm mmm…how good does that look This is usually as far as it gets, because I’m too inpatient to let it sit in the fridge for any longer.
If you’re not impatient, you can roll it up like a tootsie roll (I’m aware that it looks like a white turd, lol)
You want to get it nice and tight, making sure to squeeze any air bubbles out. Keep it in the fridge until it completely hardens. I think that usually takes about a week, but it’s only happened once, so I’m not totally sure. Check on it daily, and when it’s the consistency you want, eat it up!
Now last, but definitely not least, my strawberry cashew cheesecake!
1/4 cup almonds
2 tablespoons raisins
pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup cashews, soaked
3 big strawberries
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoon agave
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast (gives it a cheesy flavor)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (I would add another 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in, due to the fact that with the 1/4 cup, it didn’t full set up)
Start by blending all the ingredients for your crust, if you have the bullet, or a small food processor, here’s the perfect time to use it! Blend until it starts to come together.
Here’s what you want it to look like. About the size of sesame seeds.
This is what I used to mold my cheesecake, but you can use little tart pans too, you might just have to double or triple the crust recipe. Place a piece of aluminum foil down, and a piece of plastic wrap over that. Put your mold over that and wrap the aluminum foil and plastic wrap around the mold.
You want it to be nice and tight, that way the cheesecake mixture can’t escape from the bottom.
Pack, very tightly, your crust mixture, into the bottom of your mold. It should be evenly distributed.
Blend your ingredients. At first I blended half the coconut oil, and then once the mixture came together, I added the rest of the oil and blended again. You want it to come out completely smooth, who wants to eat a gritty cheesecake?!
Taste your cheesecake before pouring it into the mold! Maybe your strawberries weren’t as sweet as mine were, and you want to add more agave! Or maybe there’s not enough salt, or vanilla. This is the time to adjust! Once you’ve got the taste you’re looking for, go ahead and pour your mixture into your mold, tap it gently on your counter to release any air bubbles, and set it in the fridge to set up for at least 6 hours! I like to do it overnight. Which, but the way, this is so healthy you could eat it for breakfast!
Once your cheesecake has set in the fridge, you want to get a washcloth and soak it in hot water. Ring it out to get any excess water, and wrap it around the mold for a few seconds, making sure it’s around the whole mold. This will cause the coconut oil to melt just enough to be able to slip it out.
It should slide out super easy!
Cheesecake for breakfast anyone? 😉 If you can’t tell, my cheesecake is sagging a little 😦 meaning I didn’t put enough coconut oil in it, which is why I put a side note for the oil in my recipe. It still tasted great though! 🙂
Hope you try one or all of these recipes! Because they are totally deee-licious! 😉