I’ve fallen head over heels for cashew cheese spread lately (is anybody with me?…sooo good!) and figured it was high time that I make my own. This vegan and gluten free spread that doubles as a dip is whipped up in seconds and is highly addictive, you’ve been warned!
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But first let’s talk about cashews. Seriously, they are the best thing that has ever happened to plant-based eating! With a bit of love, plain ol’ raw cashews can be transformed into a killer substitute for real cream or the base of something like this spread (which can also function as a dip) that will knock anyone’s socks off!
Cashews are filled with healthy unsaturated fats, unlike real cream. I’m all for everything in moderation, but when you have such an easy, delicious and healthier alternative (that is better for the environment), why not use it? You DO need to soak the cashews first, but how much work is that really? If you’re not one for planning (ahem, I can relate), you can use the quick soak method, immersing the cashews in boiled water for 20-30 minutes before draining and using them. Check out my Easy Cashew Cream recipe  here if you’re inspired to try it out in your next batch of mashed potatoes or creamy mushroom soup! I’m converted.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the one application that I haven’t had success with is when the cream needs to be baked. My granny’s beet rolls (that will be in Jillian’s and my cookbook next fall, it can’t come fast enough!) were a prime example. We found a way around it that I can’t wait to share with you, but cashew cream cooks to a firm, more solid consistency. Just to save you the headache if you were considering using it that way!
So back to this spread, the Vitamix Ascent Series blender  made quick work out of blending all of the ingredients in this 2 step creamy zippy cashew dip that can also be used as an amazing cracker spread for your next round of guests this holiday season (and would also make a killer sandwich spread piled high with all the veggies on whole grain bread, just saying). I love love this blender and highly recommend it if you’re in the market. It’s an investment but it’s by far the kitchen tool that I use the most (and would make the perfect gift for the foodie on your Christmas list if you’re looking for an idea).
As a side note, I set this dip in front of Charlie and my niece Cooper and they literally fought over the bowl for the last bit of it. It’s the biggest compliment when the kids love something I make, because let’s be real, they are my toughest critics and don’t lie when something isn’t awesome.
Happy pre-holidays my friends, I’m so excited to jump into the festivities this year, how about you?!
Creamy Cashew Cheese Spread
The Vitamix Ascent Series blender made quick work out of blending all of the ingredients in this 2 step creamy zippy cashew dip (vegan and gluten free!) that can also be used as an amazing cracker spread for your next round of guests this holiday season! Note: you’ll need to soak your cashews for 4-12 hours in the fridge and drain them first.
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked 4-12 hours and drained*
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- chives or other herb for garnish (optional)
Soak the cashews as per above, drain, and set aside.
Place the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, starting at setting 1 and increasing the speed to 10, using the tamper.
Season to taste with salt, transfer the spread to a small serving bowl and garnish with fresh chopped chives (or another herb) or a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with crackers, cut veggies or use it as a sandwich spread to take your sandwich to the next level!
*alternately use the quick soak method by soaking the cashews in boiled water for 20-30 minutes
The original Instagram post was a part of a sponsored series through Vitamix. This particular post was not sponsored.