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?
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?).
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.
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