janet @ the taste space

Zesty Orange Cashew Spread

In Appetizers, Favourites on April 27, 2011 at 6:36 AM

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a gem of a restaurant called Rawlicious. I try not to go out to eat very often, but if I do, I try to go somewhere that is different than what I might make at home. While I may not agree with the philosophy of raw purists, I see no harm in eating more raw foods, nor in exploring the techniques that goes into raw cooking.

Raw cooking – is that an oxymoron?

I digress.

While I have already been smitten by raw kale salads, it was at Rawlicious that I discovered spiralized zucchini noodles (oh yes, I want a spiralizer! especially if I grow zucchinis in my backyard!) and raw cheesecake (tastes more like a mousse than a cheesecake but I was impressed by the versatility of cashews!).

I know that some vegans can have a hard time giving up certain meat or dairy products, and there seems to be a plethora of vegan alternatives for sale. However, talk about processed food! I can’t say I am really interested in soy yogurt or processed meat alternatives. I am still searching for a good sour cream alternative, if only to make a Hungarian Chickpea recipe I have had my eye on (anyone care to share their favourite recipe?).

I have seen a few cashew cheese recipes, and was intrigued. Especially when I saw Gena’s Zesty Orange Cashew Cheese since it included fresh orange juice.

You will note that I changed the name of this from cashew cheese to cashew spread, because I’ll be honest that this didn’t taste at all like cheese. But it was DELICIOUS! A sweet, creamy dip with full orange flavour with a complexity coming from the miso.

There are many ways to use this addictive spread, other than eating it straight from a spoon (that is great, too!). Mix it with some salad greens, spread it onto bread or crackers, or add it to your favourite sandwich/wrap.

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Min at Honest Vanilla, to this week’s Raw Thursdays well as to April in the Raw.

Zesty Orange Cashew Spread

1 1/4 cups raw cashews
1 tablespoon mellow white miso (totally optional, but if you leave it out, you’ll want to add a little more salt)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp freshly squeesed lemon juice
3/4 cup fresh (or bottled) orange juice
1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine cashews into a food processor along with miso, salt, and lemon juice.  Grind the cashews until they are well ground, about 30-60 seconds.

2. With the motor on, drizzle in orange juice in a thin stream. If the consistency starts to get thinner than you want, just stop adding liquid. Likewise, if the spread remains too thick, add more juice.

3. Add zest and pepper, and pulse to combine.

Makes ~1 1/2 cups

  1. That looks amazing. I am a miso addict too.

    Try blending some silken tofu in with that too and using as a pasta sauce.

  2. I am smitten with raw kale salads too! In fact I just made on this morning with some sporuted white beans and sun dried tomatoes. I will have to write up a post for it. I digress. This looks SO wonderful I can’t wait to try making a cashew spread to replace cheese when I go on my detox. This zesty orange option sounds wonderful!

  3. I truly think that when it comes to some vegan food alternatives, it’s best not to compare them to anything non-vegan and just accept them as they are! A delicious spread is a delicious spread and that is that. And this looks super delicious!

  4. Omg, wat a fantastic spread…

  5. Yum – I’m on a new kick of making spreads w/ beans, nuts, whatever! This looks delicious. There’s a place in NYC I used to go to a lot that makes a means lasagna with zucchini “noodles” and cashew cheese, and I swear it’s one of the better lasagnas I’ve eaten.

  6. I made my first cashew cream the other night – as a cupcake frosting! So good 🙂

  7. […] pairing of ingredients but they work wonderfully together. Just as Gena suggested, I used the Zesty Cashew Orange Spread with an apple in a Swiss chard wrap. That dip, divine as it is solo, it is even better in this […]

  8. […] orange-beet soup that had an extra twist from the miso. Followed up by the exquisitely delicious zesty orange cashew spread, I knew I had rediscovered an old favourite […]

  9. I’m a bit wary of the orange in something that seems like it should be savoury – but remember how much you said you loved this so I’ve saved the recipe. 🙂

  10. […] couldn’t back out of  a birthday cake, though. I knew what I wanted: a vegan cheesecake. I have gushed over ones I have eaten at restaurants in town, but had yet to try making it at home.  I […]

  11. […] quickly become boring! This is when it becomes exciting, because the experimentation in raw foods has created some luscious treats, perfect during the hot summer when you don’t want to turn on […]

  12. […] Asparagus and Carrot Salad with a Miso-Walnut Dressing Edamame Miso Dip (Hummus, Asian-style!) Zesty Orange Cashew Spread Baked Eggplant with […]

  13. Oh I can think of about 5 different things that this would be amazing with… wraps, crackers, salad, soup, jicama… Thanks for sharing it at Raw Foods Thursdays!

  14. Mmm, I’ve been looking for a non hummus recipe for a while and this seems to fit the bill. I adore orange in anything. Yum!

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