Posts Tagged ‘cashews’

I’ve just eaten all the pies

Oh.My.Pies! I had an inkling that Alfredo would need an amazing sweet treat free from sugar, and OH was I right, and Oh, these pies are just so…..RIGHT.

I was unsure whether to post this, as I like to post things which people can try if they so wish, and these are done in a dehydrator (You will see why) and I know most people don’t have such an appliance. But post I must, if only to showcase how you can create different things free from white flour, sugar and butter that still taste A-MAZING. I generally never liked pies that much, like I said, it was mainly for my husband, but it turns out that I ate quite a few aswell……. I even had one for breakfast this morning with impunity.

For the precise recipe I will refer you to Russell James website, because it is his recipe, so, out of courtesy. And I will say, that at Westfalia website you can buy dehydrators for about £30 which are useful for many things (kale chips,  drying out your glut of garden produce for future use, drying out foraged edible mushrooms for future use and intensifying flavour, making your own dried mango/pineapple/any fruit, free from sulphates, beetroot chips (YUM!), fruit leathers for kids or hiking,  and so on and so on.)

The crust is made from a mixture of ground oats and ground cashew nuts, a little water, lemon juice, and a little honey or maple syrup. If you are wondering why it has cashew nuts in, it provides sweetness and the fat, without using butter. You simply blitz the “flours” with the liquid, and press the gooey mixture into seperate silicone cases using a floured finger to make a little case. Dehydrate, first in the silicone case, and once quite dry, flip them out upside down to dry the bottom for a short while longer.

The filling is made by blitzing dates and orange juice, with allspice, finely diced apple and raisins. Oh my word, it tasted so good, especially with freshly squeezed orange juice. Aaaaah the cloves, the cinnamon, and nutmeg!

It is topped with a cashew cream icing, made with unroasted cashews, lemon juice, liquid sweetener (honey or maple) a pinch of salt etc Below you will find Russell James photo (with permission) but actually, mine looked just as amazing. Seriously, they did. And oh my word! This was the best mince pie I have ever eaten, in my humble opinion.

Let there be pies

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whoever said eating plants is all about salads? Deck the halls with boughs of holly, quite frankly.
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Creamy Cashew Dill Dressing (Ranch style)

Because leaves that are known as “feathery tips” and that smell that good need to be put into a creamy dressing.

  • 1 1/4 cups of unroasted cashews, left to soak 3-4 hours, then drained.  (FYI-once soaked, they will increase in volume)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (= the juice of 1/2 a small lemon)
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped (yes, raw garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (yes, aswell)
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill (or a large handful of fresh feathery dill tips)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt   (Update: I can’t do it. I just cannot see TABLESPOON next to salt! Start with 1 teaspoon, and taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or a few fresh leaves)

NOTE. I adapted this from a recipe on the website  the Sunny Raw Kitchen. The original recipe had 2 TABLESPOONS of salt in. Two. I found that excessive. Even halving it, putting in one whole tablespoon of salt into the blender did not feel like an acceptable adaptation. I am pretty sure The British heart Foundation would not approve. However, my blood pressure is 60/90 and I love salt, so I threw  it in.   🙂

You could also add another 1/4 cup of water to this dressing easily, if it is for later use, as it thickens in the fridge quite considerably.

  1. Drain your soaked cashews and place them into your blender with everything else.
  2. Blend until absolutely smooth and creamy. If your cashews have been in soak, it should blend with relative ease.
  3. Taste-test- I feel sure you will NOT need to season additionally, but taste-test all the same.
  4. If you wish, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill, and pulse your blender briefly to add those beautiful green flecks.

This is a delicious, and I mean delicious dressing for a new potato salad, a green salad (with or without jacket potato) and I am sure it would be delicious with fish too. Not counting soak time, it took under 7 minutes.

A toast! To your health. And to feathery summery leaves in winter!

“Addicted to Veggies” or “Put some cashews in soak NOW!”

“Addicted to Veggies” is the title of a blog that I read. I really don’t spend my time reading lots of other peoples food blogs. I only read two specifically, both vegan, Addicted to Veggies, who posts Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays  and Peas and Thank you, who generally posts Mon-Fri.

I read the former because her beautiful photography reminds me how much I love what the earth brings forth, and her recipes are delicious, if a wee bit labour intensive sometimes, but so worth it. And because she shuns dogma, and wears high heels and red lipstick in her kitchen. I read the latter, because laughter is so good for your health, and her daughters personality reminds me of Ellie. Only her daughter eats tofu and broccoli with greater gusto. (Hey, Ellie’s not doing bad- she is heartbroken if I eat the last piece of lettuce, and once at the supermarket cashpoints she begged me for a head of raw cauliflower.) I really should try some more of Peas and ThankYou’s recipes too!

Anyway, what’s my point? Addicted to Veggies SarahFae really is addicted to veggies, and rarely features desserts (although when she does, mmmmmmmm!)  Also, she is a raw food loving vegan, so all of her veggie dishes are either salads, or sometimes she warms/wilts things in a dehydrator (alternatively, an oven on the lowest setting) But basically, how she makes her dishes unctious, is, there is almost always a creamy element. She always has a cashew cream in her fridge (follow that link to see how to make one, on this site) and then she plays around with herbs spices and home-made relishes to create different layers of wonderful flavours.

Yesterday I threw a cup of unroasted cashews into soak, because I knew I would be grateful later. Boy, was I ever! At lunchtime I blended up a nice cashew cream, with a splash of apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and some honey to make my gorgeous favourite dressing  (featured here on a  raw Broccoli Salad.) As we ate our leafy lunchtime salad, I remembered SarahFae and decided that Cashew Cream in the fridge is a very good idea indeed. Isaac agreed.

Today? The other half of the cashew cream, was mixed with a tiny bit of the left over DELICIOUS 3-ingredient sauce from yesterday to make a swoon-worthy Asian style raw broccoli salad. You must try that sauce! And you must put some cashews in soak!

Man. I love to see my children enjoying things like leaves and raw broccoli florets, or “plain old fruit”. I love to see them embrace anything good, true and beautiful. Of course, some things on the scale of Goodness, Truth and Beauty are more significant than others,  and nobody embraces these things all of the time, but to embrace anything good, true or beautiful is a step forward in their journey towards real abundance, and caring for the body, coupled with a care for the inner self/spirit is a potent combination. (Phew! Long sentence!)

 Hey.Who’d have thought that a cup of cashews in soak could aid you in some small measure on your journey towards abundance?

From small things, sometimes, proceed that which may one day be really great  🙂 And that, friends, is wonderful. And thank you SarahFae  🙂

As an aside, if you wish to receive these updates via email, click on “Sign Me Up” on the top right hand side, and enter your email address. Try it. You might like it.

3-ingredient “Caramel” Bites (free from sugar/dairy)

Hello heavenly morsel!  I won’t go on about how it’s free from harmful saturated fats and processed sugars. I shall barely touch upon the fact that this only has THREE ingredients and all of them are whole plant foods. The fibre? I shall not even mention it. The potassium, and other vitamins and trace minerals? My lips are sealed. And that it takes a question of seconds to whip up- I won’t even go there.  Let me just tell you one thing though- these are SO GOOD!

You need………(fill in the gap…okay I will….) a mini chopper or small food processor. This recipe may make about 20, or less if you go for bigger sized truffles.  Here are the magic three ingredients for your amazing, sweet and chewey caramel bites.

  • 1 cup of unroasted cashews
  • 1/4 cup date paste (follow this link for instructions) …..or 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • The seeds of half a vanilla bean
  • pinch of sea salt (optional)

Process your cashews until they form a fine crumb, which should only take about 30 seconds. Add your date paste and vanilla seeds (and salt if desired) and pulse until it forms a sticky dough, with everything well incorporated.  Refridgerate until firm (about an hour) and then form into little balls. Goodness, I had forgotten how great cashews are for so many things.  

Notes:

  •  If possible, splurge on real vanilla beans over extract (Madagascan Vanilla sells them on ebay in the UK, but I cannot open Ebay for some reason, to post the link; they are affordable!)
  • Dates vs date paste  Truthfully, dates are probably better as date paste has a little more moisture in, and the ickle truffles will not end up quite as firm as when you use whole dates.  I had date paste made, and it does give a “neater” looking dough, but let’s face it, who cares if you have a little chunk of date in there, right? I assume if you make this recipe, it’s because you like dates. If they are fresh (Halawi, Medjool etc) they will incorporate in more easily. If your dried dates are very tough, soak them in warm water., but only very briefly- say, about 20 minutes.

Behold the flecks! Vanilla aroma packaged in sweet chewy goodness!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And here, with the blessed component parts...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PS. Using a food processor, you can try all sorts of energy-dense bites using an approximate ratio of 2 part ground nuts/seeds to 1 part dried fruits, (dates, raisins, dried apricots etc) and extra flavourings as desired (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamon, orange zest/extract, almond essence, lemon zest, carob/cocoa etc) Please feel free to inform me if you find a great combination!

Cashew Mayonnaise

Nothing like a cheeky bit of creamy dressing to transform a salad! All you need to start you off is 1 cup of cashews (100g) which have been soaked for a few hours, or better still, overnight for even easier blending.

(You can also use blanched almonds. Or non-blanched almonds; you just won’t have such a white dressing. In both cases though, soak overnight and discard the soak water)

In a blender, as in, a liquidiser/smoothie-making-type-blender,  combine the following:

  • 1 cup (100g) of cashews, soaked till soft (discard the soak water)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice  (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 t sea salt (or, to taste)
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon garlic powder

Blend until creamy and smooth. You may need to stop blending periodically to scrape down the mixture in your blender.

Of course, the cashew mixture just provide a creamy base, and this is just an idea. You can different seasonings, according to taste. You can substitute the lemon juice with a white vinegar, add fresh/dried herbs like basil or dill , or some softened sundried tomatoes to give it a different twist; you can sweeten it with a soft date or some honey, or add something punchier like mustard.  You can put in fresh onion or fresh garlic instead of dried granules, and so on, and so on.

Pour over your favourite salad, and depending on the size of the salad, you may only need half of this, and you can refridgerate the rest, covered.

Below, it is mixed with a kind-of-waldorf-but-not-really salad:

  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 1/2 a flavourful apple, chopped
  • 1/3 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls of alfalfa sprouts from your windowsill harvesting area 🙂

It would be nice on coleslaw, and I use a variation of this dressing on a raw broccoli salad which is sooo delicious. The recipe is here.

PS It’s not that I have an issue over eggs from genuinely happy hens that we can see with our own eyes are happy (we know some of those hens, and that’s where we buy our eggs)

If you don’t mind having raw egg, a home-made mayo with an egg yolk and some quality oil is obviously far preferable to a commercial version. But since this website is a celebration of plant-eating, everything is plantified, and therefore, this is my “mayo” of choice  🙂

And it is, of course, suitable for people with egg allergies and if you prefer to avoid foods high in harmful cholesterols. Not suitable for people who don’t get on with cashews, but you knew that 🙂  and you can always use almonds.

Happy Salad-Eating. x

Worshipping at the altar: Cashews

Come, let us create!

This is one of the reasons I LOVE unroasted cashew nuts. For years I only ate them “honey roasted”, and it wasn’t until I ate them in their bare naked glory that I realised I had never tasted them. Their sweet creamy taste was hidden under all that sugar! They truly are a delight to create with, because of their subtly sweet creaminess. Blended with water, they become a base for an endless array of dairy free delights. (I just used delight twice in the same paragraph. I am not a writer. I don’t know that many words. But I do feel delighted when I contemplate the cashew, what can I say?)

So! The tumbler in the photo above is 2 1/3 cups of cashews. That’s approximately 250g, maybe a little less. (1cup=100grams, approx) I soak them overnight to soften them. Though it can be done without soaking, I just try to be kind to my blender. It’s a part of the family.

Then, I blended with 1  3/4 cups of water. (measuring cups. That’s about 450mls)There really is no magic ratio. 1:1 is fine for a dressing, and do it with less for a thicker consistency.  The mixture in the picture is about the consistency of full fat natural yoghurt.It will thicken a little in the fridge, aswell.

So when it is blended with water it is a creamy,fluffy, snow-white, slightly-sweet-to-neutral tasting silky smooth….delight. This is now a base for lots and lots of creations. For example:

  • Blend in a nice juicy medjool date, a pinch of salt and a vanilla bean for some dairy free cashew cream to put on your fruit salad.
  • Blend with a squeeze of lemon and/or a dash of apple cider vinegar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, a few fresh basil leaves, and finally, when all is blended up, one last whirl with some dill, for a ridiculously good ranch style dressing. Just add one wholehead of romaine lettuce and a punnet of cerry tomatoes! It is so good!
  • As above, but with a couple of soaked sundried tomatoes for a different but equally delicious dressing.
  • If you initially blend up with even less water, you have a thicker base for DIPS. You may find it easier in a food processor if you use less water.
  • Add fresh lemon or lime juice (or some apple cider vinegar) for sour cream, delicious with raw tomato salsa.
  • Add to soups instead of cream.
  • Add to rice dishes and risottos at the end; I make my rice dishes with brown rice, and by adding some of this, it makes it more creamy and akin to arborio. You may wish to add in some onion powder and sea salt to perk it up.
  • Make yourself a raw “cheese” sauce, using nutritional yeast.
  • Make yourself some delicious kale chips. You truly have to try these to discover how good they are!!
  • Make a chocolate dipping sauce for strawberries. There is a recipe here, but I have not tried it yet. I will though.
  • This also happens to be the wost wonderful base for ice-cream. I will post more precise recipes for this when I am able.

Is there anyone out there reading this who reverences the cashew like I do? If so, how do you eat yours???

*You may have noticed, these are not recipesas such. I have just given you basic ideas of all the ways you can use your cashew cream. Well, I have barely scratched the surface, but it’s a start. Recipes will appear as I have time to post. But really…this is not meticulous baking, and it’s certainly not rocket science, it’s all about taste testing and tweaking it until you like it. Happy experimenting!

Make your own Cashew Butter

Oh.my.delicious! And SO easy. You need a food processor for this. I use my trusty Kenwood mini chopper. Goodness; where would I be without it? My husband bought me a Russell Hobbs Mini Food Processor a while back. I missed my mini chopper dreadfully. I was secretly so happy when Russell broke within a month.

Take 100grams of cashews; about one measuring cupfull. the unroasted kind, of course. The lovely little white moon-shaped wonders, just as they are. Insert into mini chopper or food processor.DO NOT SOAK THEM. (If you are using a larger food processor, you may need to make 2 cups. Don’t worry. It will all be eaten!)

Just turn on the machine and leave. It should take around 7-8 minutes, ’tis all. Much as I love my Kenwood, the one disadvantage is that you have to keep the button pressed down manually, so I had to stand there for 7 minutes, but that’s alright. It will turn from powder, to wetter looking “meal”. You may need to stop periodically and give it a mix around. Just keep on processing and eventually, the nuts will release their natural oils and it will become this heavenly  creamy white spread.

Do you know how much it costs to buy this??

Despite the instructions above, there is only HALF A CUP of cashews in this photo. You can do this with any nut and seed, by the way. Some take longer than others. Macadamia Nut butter is quite quick to make, it being a fatty, soft nut. Almond takes longer; 10-12 minutes.

 There is a very useful photo step-by-step guide for making almond butter here. If you wish to add a pinch of salt, or some honey, do so at the end. What can you do with this? Well let’s see….

  • Eat it as is, on ryvita or your choice of wholesome bread/cracker.
  • Add the juice of half a lemon, a little water. some garlic and onion powder, fresh or dried herbs, and use as a scrumptious creamy nut-cheese or dip.
  • Make amazing healthy, nurturing chocolate ice cream, thank you Karen Knowler!
  • Or make some yummy caramel sauce to dip apples or banana into, by whizzing up nut butter, soft dates (and a touch of maple syrup if you have a very sweet touch) to top the amazing raw wholefood ice cream recipes that I will post up shortly.  

I just love what fantastic things you can do with raw plants!! To your health!!!

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