Garlic & Thyme Cashew Cheese Sauce
Delicious Cashew Cheese Sauce
Happy Thursday everyone!
I am so excited to bring this recipe to the blog – it is one of the household favorites at the moment. It is creamy, rich - but not too rich, flavorful and oh so satisfying. You can drizzle it, use it as a dip, use it as a dressing or as a creamy pasta sauce or even as a sandwich spread or nacho stack sauce. The uses are limitless!
In terms of making your life a lot easier, this is a really great recipe to pair with pre-prepped grains and/or roasted veg so that you can have access to easy, healthy and delicious food at hand during the busy weeks without having to compromise on your health or on the taste and enjoyment of your meals :D WIN, WIN, WIN.
Cashew nuts are a great staple to have on hand in any kitchen - but particularly in a vegan kitchen. The versatility of cashews is quite remarkable! You can use them in a range of desserts: think vegan custard, creme brûlée, vegan cheesecake or pannacota. You can also use cashews in a range of savory dishes from creating classic dishes like vegan hollandaise, mayonnaise or béchamel sauce to creating new and delicious savory sauces, dips, spreads, cheeses and bringing an all-round awesomeness to any dish. I mean, who doesn't love cashews!?
If for some reason, you do not like cashews, also not to worry - using them in their raw soaked state there is NO cashew flavor so they become a wonderful blank canvas to create your foodie dreams with!
Cashews have a host of vitamins and minerals, too. Some of these include: Vitamin K, E and B6 and minerals: copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, selenium and iron.
So basically, LETS GET CHEESE-SAUCE-MAKIN'!
· 100g raw cashews (or one cup of soaked cashews)
· 1/3 cup of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
· 1 cup of filtered water
· 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
· 1/8 cup of nutritional yeast
· 1 tablespoon of dark miso paste (this adds a lovely umami flavor as well as some saltiness, if you do not have access to miso paste you can most likely substitute this for a high quality Soy Sauce like Kikkoman - although I have yet to try that)
· 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
· 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
· 1.5-2 teaspoons Himalayan sea salt
· 1 teaspoon chia seeds
· ½ teaspoon chili flakes
· 1 teaspoon olive, grapeseed or coconut oil
1. Pre-soak cashew nuts for a few hours or overnight. If you were unable to pre-soak cashews, you can simply boil them for 3-5 minutes to soften them. In terms of nutrients however, I would recommend pre-soaking them in order to avoid destroying the nutrients in the nuts. Soaking the nuts also reduces enzyme inhibitors contained in the nuts allowing the nutrients to be more bio-available and also ensuring easy digestion of the nuts.
2. In a nutribullet (or blender of choice), place the cashew nuts, water, chickpeas, nutritional yeast, miso paste, apple cider vinegar, salt (add as you go so that you can adjust the saltiness to your individual palette- keeping in mind that if you're using your sauce on grains or veggies usually it with will detract some of the saltiness of the sauce, this is particularly true for grains as carbohydrates take up salt which means you usually need to add a bit more salt than what you would if you were to simply eat the sauce plain/by itself) and chia seeds together. Blend until smooth.
3. In a small saucepan place the oil and bring to heat. Add in your sliced garlic and fry until it just starts turning slightly golden at the edges. Then add in your dried thyme and chili flakes. Cook until fragrant and golden.
4. Now add the garlic mixture to the rest of the blended ingredients. Blend again until smooth and delicious. Taste and adjust according to your individual preferences and then store and/or serve!
We thoroughly enjoyed this sauce with a meal I made comprised of fresh garden veggie salad, avocado, green peas and some homemade Nigella Seed Naan bread and some roasted veggies. It was a delectable!