Butter. That delicious, creamy goodness that makes every slice of bread taste so much better. Don’t you agree with me? Okay, so maybe there are five of you who don’t like butter. But for the rest of us….hmm…so delicious. With toast, with crackers, on our bagel…yum!
But hold on! What happens when misfortune and calamity strikes. Like when the doctor says “Your cholesterol is a little high. Cut down on the butter”. What? Not the butter! Oh woe! The anguish! What is a person to do? Ahh… did someone say Cashew Spread? And it’s vegan too.
All is not lost
While bread and crackers and other such products can be enjoyed by themselves, you will agree that they are so much nicer when they are accompanied by some sort of dip or spread. Well let’s find out about one spread that is delicious and nutritious. It’s hard to imagine that healthy can taste so good.
How do you make this stuff?
That is the next thing that is hard to imagine. Not only is it healthy and tasty but it is also incredibly easy to make.
Here is how you do it.
First of all, you need cashews. Well that is pretty obvious. After all it is a cashew spread.
Take 1 cup of raw cashew and soak in 3 cups of cool water for 4 to 12 hours. If you are really pressed for time, you can do a quick soak. With this method, you boil the water, pour it on the cashews and allow it to soak for 15 minutes.
The reason for soaking the nuts is to get rid of the phytic acid which will interfere with digestion and proper absorption of the nutrients in the food. Soaking also makes the nuts softer and easier to blend.
After the nuts are soaked, drain, rinse and place them in a food processor or high speed blender.
I made mine in my mini food processor but I suppose my nutribullet would work just as well
Now you are going to add the flavouring.
Add 1/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste), 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder to the food processor. If you like, go ahead and add some black pepper as well. A 1/4 teaspoon is fine.
This is just my basic recipe but you can certainly experiment with different seasonings and spices. Try some red bell peppers or chili. Turmeric is good. You can even try adding herbs to your spread. The ideas are limitless.
A very important ingredient that gives your cashew spread a cheesy flavour is nutritional yeast. This is not the live yeast that you use when baking bread. This is an inactive form of the yeast but boy oh boy! Can you say nutritious?
Nutritional yeast is packed full of nutrients as the name suggests. It is a great source of proteins, B vitamins and trace minerals. It is sometimes referred to as a superfood because so many nutrients are packed in such a small amount of food.
I use non-fortified nutritional yeast. This is just my preference as I think that the synthetic vitamins and minerals added to so many fortified foods and supplements is not healthy.
Add 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the contents in the food processor.
Next you add 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Lime juice or lemon juice…any one will work.
Guess what? You are almost done.
Cover your food processor or blender and start whizzing. Add a 1/4 cup of water and continue whizzing until you get soft consistency similar to hummus. It doesn’t take long to get there. Whiz for about 1 to 2 minutes and …….
….you are done!
Now you have creamy, delicious, cashew cheese spread that is great with toast, crackers, bagel, with your vegetables and as a dip.
So the doctor wants you to cut down on the butter because your cholesterol is high? No problem. Who needs butter anyway when we can make delicious, nutritious cashew spread.
The only problem you will have is that it tastes so good that your family will eat nothing else and when you are ready for your cashew spread you will likely find this.
Basic Cashew Spread
1 cup raw cashew
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup water
- Add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of raw cashew and soak for 4 to 12 hours
- After soaking, drain and rinse nuts.
- Place the nuts in a food processor or high speed blender
- Add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper
- Add the nutritional yeast
- Pour in the lime juice
- Whiz for about 30 seconds.
- Add the 1/4 cup of water and continue whizzing for another 1 to 2 minutes until you get a soft, spreadable consistency.
- Scrape the cashew spread into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Your spread will keep fine in the refrigerator for up to 1 week if your family allows it to last that long. Yes, you can cast blame on the family even though you know that you are eating as much or more that the rest of them
Have you ever made cashew spread before? If not, go ahead and give it a try.
Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.