Whole Foods Hack Cashew Cheese Recipe
One of my favourite ways to “invent” new recipes is to walk through the mountain of over-priced “healthy junk-food” at Whole Foods and read labels. In the last few weeks I’ve come across a few bombshells, so I bought the ingredients and got busy.
In my first visit with new patients, I comb through their diet and find creative ways to replace inflammatory foods. Inevitably, I ask them to cut out dairy, soy and gluten, as they can be hard to break down and often encourage inflammation. But the question always returns: No dairy? No bread? What do I eat? So many meals hinge on these particular foods, so finding substitutes can be a real challenge. And thus begins my journey to whole foods.
Cashews are turning out to be my new favourite ingredient. Aside from their nutritional profile, they are incredibly versatile and easily substitute for dairy.Yesterday I made tangy cashew cheddar. If you keep it in the fridge, it stays thick and almost solid. It’s similar to the texture of cream-cheese, so is perfect to spread onto your favourite crackers or vegetable sticks.
First, I took two cups of raw unsalted cashews and soaked them in water for several hours. Then, I drained them and put them into my vitamix (you can use any good blender) with the remainder of the ingredients. Since I wanted it to be lemon-herb flavoured, I chose the following:
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt to taste (I ended up using about a teaspoon)
A small bunch of fresh dill
2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed.
I blended these all together until it because a very thick, smooth paste, then spooned it into a small container and stored it in the fridge. Once it’s cooled down, it’s very thick and creamy. There’s a world of variety in this recipe, too. For example, why not use cilantro instead, or basil and a few olives or sundried tomatoes. If you like it really sour, you can add more lemon; and some recipes I saw said add nutritional yeast. Mine has a lovely, subtle dill flavour with a little tangy bite from the lemon.
I was so impressed with this stuff that I watered some of it down with olive oil and caked it all over a few bunches of kale before roasting them as kale chips. They turned out a lot like crunchy,creamy dill chips.
Bon Appetite! If you try it, let me know how it goes.