Cranberry Orange & Basil Cashew "Cheese" Spread

Cranberry Orange & Basil Cashew Cream Spread

Whether you’re dairy free, reducing dairy, or just looking for something different and nourishing, this cashew spread is so simple and so marvelous! Cashews are very versatile, pureeing them creates a consistency that is unbeatably smooth and creamy.  Cashews are fairly mild in taste and really show off the flavors and spices you add.  In this recipe, orange and cranberries make this spread on the sweeter side, omit the garlic, add a dollop of maple and it becomes a delicious fruit dip as well as “cheese” and cracker appetizer!  I’ve made cashew ice-cream and cashew cheesecake but I haven’t ventured very deeply into the savory realm. After this recipe, however, I have no fear!  I’m looking forward to experimenting with recipes, including cultured cashew “cheese” in hopes to replace, or at least reduce, the seemingly abundant quantity of dairy in the house…

Don’t get me wrong, cashew cream isn’t about fooling yourself or your guests into eating a healthier “fake” option. It should be about embracing real, nutrient dense and disease fighting foods! All of the ingredients in the recipe combine to offer a powerhouse of nutrition and healing benefits.  Why regretfully indulge in less than beneficial foods when nourishment and healing can taste so good?

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup soaked raw cashews
  • Heaping 1/4 cup (plus more for garnish) dried cranberries
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange (reserve a pinch of zest for garnish)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbls fresh basil – chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • Chopped walnuts as garnish
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt – optional

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak the cashews in water for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Strain.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients (start with 1/2 of the orange juice) into a high speed blender (I love my Vitamix!) or food processor and process until smooth. Add water or more juice 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to create the smooth consistency you’re looking for.  Taste test and add additional ingredients as you see fit!
  3. Scoop into a bowl, stir in additional cranberries, basil, and walnuts to add texture to the spread if you’d like.  Or just sprinkle the additional toppings on as a garnish and serve!
 
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4 thoughts on “Cranberry Orange & Basil Cashew Cream Spread

  1. This is quite similar to a carbonara I make that also uses cashew as a “cheese”, it works really well. Adding cranberries and orange can only help the taste! 🙂

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