Sweet Potato Cashew Cheese

When I posted my recipe for sweet potato hummus a few weeks ago, I suspected it would be a hit, and I was right. In the time since I first shared it, a ton of readers have tried, modified, and repeated the recipe. Hooray! I love when the things I like to eat are as well loved by others as they are by me.

I have two favorite dips/spreads. Hummus is one. The other is cashew cheese, and I love it for pretty much the exact same reasons I love hummus: it’s tasty, addictive, versatile, and completely open to modification. Just as there are tons of hummus varieties to enjoy—red pepper, sundried tomato, olive, sesame, mixed veggie—so too are there hundreds of ways to enjoy cashew cheese. I tend to like it best mixed with sundried tomato and basil—“pizza cheese,” I call it—but I’ve also mixed it with dried cherries and lemon zest, mixed herbs, and red pepper flakes. No matter what I do with it, it’s delicious.

Given the success of sweet potato hummus, I wondered this week if I couldn’t enhance my basic cashew cheese the same way, and with equally stellar results. I whipped up a small batch of my recipe—1 cup cashews, 1 tbsp miso, dash of salt, juice of 1 lemon, water—and then blended it with one small steamed sweet potato—about a cup’s worth of flesh. The result? About a cup and a half of this insane goodness:

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This stuff is so, so, so, so good. I mean, SO good. And it’s a cinch to make. An additional upside—at least for my readers who are watching their weights—is that the sweet potato cuts a bit of the fat in what would otherwise be a healthy, but higher fat dip. I love nut pates and cheeses, but I realize that they’re not ideal foods for dieters. This dip is still very rich, but it’s a lighter spin on regular cashew cheese. More flavor with less fat? Not a bad tradeoff.

Sweet Potato Cashew Cheese (Semi-raw, vegan, gluten free, and soy free if you omit the miso)

Makes 1 3/4 cups

1 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp mellow white miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of 1 lemon
1 medium sweet potato, steamed or baked, and flesh scooped out (you should have about 1 heaping cup of mashed potato)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dash nutmeg

1) Place cashews in the bowl of a food processor. Add the salt, miso, nooch, lemon juice, and turn on the motor. With motor running, drizzle a thin stream of water into the bowl until the cashews are forming a creamy, uniform dip, like so:

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You might need to stop now and then to scrape the bowl.

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2) Add the sweet potato mash, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and blend again.

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Check seasoning and season to taste.

3) Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, and devour.

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I first tried this cheese in a collard wrap for lunch, and loved it:

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And last night, I had a big bowl of kale, beets, carrots, steamed butternut squash, and maple flax crackers topped with the new recipe. I loved this nutrient dense salad—so filling and tasty:

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If you make anything this weekend, make this. It’s a wonderful high-raw spread. Note that canned pumpkin or squash would be equally good in the recipe—just measure out a heaping cup!

And on that note, I have a ton of flashcards to make (my first set of midterms are next week—oy!) and M’s due to arrive in a couple of hours :)

Welcome to the weekend!

xo

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