Sweet Potato Cashew Cheese

by Gena on February 11, 2011

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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!


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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassandra February 11, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I was digging on sweet potatoes in spreads this week, too! I made an edamame dip with Asian flavors and threw a couple of baked ones in. It really made the whole thing so creamy. I’m going to continue with this tasty trend, I think.


VeggieGirl February 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Ohhhh Gena, this is fabulous!

Good luck studying!


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Oh, Gena, I seriously want to make this right now. I LOVE your cashew cheese with meyer lemon and bing cherries and I know this one will not disappoint. Thank you!!


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn February 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Now that I’m high raw, I think it’s time for me to attempt my first nut cheese! Thanks for the recipe, girl!:)


Alyssa Boyle February 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Looks amazing, Gina! WouldnMt ya know I just bought a big bag of sweet potatoes…


hippierunner February 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm

This looks yummy. I need to get myself the ingredients to make it!


eliz@thesweetlife February 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm

It looks so smooth and creamy in the blender! Yum.


Brittany February 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I haven’t been buying raw cashews lately because I was seriously getting addicted to them…!
But I think I will take a stab at taming my addiction so that I can buy some again for this, because it looks delicious.


Morgan February 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Oh! THis looks so good! I love the idea of adding the sweet potatoe!


veganlisa February 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Sounds like a phenomenal combo. Thanks Gena!

p.s. good luck with finals next week.


Ela February 11, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I’ve just really begun to enjoy yams/sweet potatoes–have just been eating them straight and occasionally in a smoothie, but this looks so good, I’ll have to try it.

Your food always looks so beautiful!


Christin@purplebirdblog February 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm

This is getting made this weekend, no question. :)


Namaste Gurl February 12, 2011 at 12:13 am

I have yet to make your amazing sweet potato hummus, but this sounds better! Definitely adding this to my list of foods to make for the long school week :)


Hannah February 12, 2011 at 4:56 am

Reasons why I love this recipe:

1. You use sweet potato unstead of the pumpkin which is sometimes so ubiquitous on American blogs that it makes me canned-pumpkin-less Australian soul cry

2. Even though I’ve loved chickpeas all my life and have only been experimenting with raw food for a few months, I’ve alreayd made more cashew cheese than hummus :P


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 12, 2011 at 5:45 am

Finals, flashcards, and studying while juggling your boyfriend’s arrival…omg you are in college again, for real, aren’t you!! Wow…I am soo impressed by your life path, Gena. Seriously..just your last sentence took me back to my former life, i.e. college.

Your sweet tater cheezey spread here looks wonderful. I am a fan of it just based on the no-beans involved. Not that I dont love my roasted chickpeas and hummus-ey spreads but beans and my tummy are not friends in more than very small quantities so this is a perfect dip.

And anything that starts out w/ 1 c of cashews and nooch, well, it’s gotta be delish!



Michelle (Housewife in the Raw) February 12, 2011 at 7:45 am

Umm, yes please! I have a sweet potato sitting on my counter, just waiting to get used. I think this will be the way. I better get some cashews to soaking.

Happy Flash Card making! I remember when I took organic chemistry and had flash cards out the whazoo but still needed more learning opportunities, I started writing formulas and equations and reactions on my bathroom mirror with dry erase pens. I brushed my teeth and fixed my hair with visions of hexane and benzene rings and all the like dancing through my head.


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) February 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

Lovin’ this recipe. I’ve got to make it. I’ve been addicted to a similar recipe but the “orange” component is carrots (cooked) and it is astonsihingly good. So I have no doubt that your creation is as good as you described it! Thanks again Gena for another great recipe to try. Were you torn between becoming an MD and a chef????


JL goes Vegan February 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

I definitely have acquired a cashew cheese addiction and need a little variety. This looks fantastic!


Rachel (tea and chocolate) February 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

Oh my, this sounds amazing Gena! I love cashew butter on sweet potatoes, so I imagine I’d love this too. Good luck studying!


melissa February 12, 2011 at 10:43 am

oh wow…nom! i’ve been on quite a sweet potato kick lately so this fits in perfect time! happy flashcard making + M v-tine celebrating :)


Lia February 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

Looks stellar! I will just ned to get myself a sweet potato and this will be blessing my taste buds! Good luck with your studies :D yay school!


Christine (The Raw Project) February 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

This looks wonderful, I’m adding sweet potatoes to my Whole Foods list for today. Thanks! :-)


Sarah (Flavoropolis) February 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

What a creative recipe! I’ve never seen miso and nutritional yeast mixed with sweetness, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I can’t quite imagine what this would taste like but I trust that it would be delicious.


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day February 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Have a lovely weekend!… and seriously this sounds so good.


Laura C February 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

How could you possibly have finals already?! UCSD’s winter quarter just had midterms! This looks insanely good though! Looks like a great job for my blending stick- I’m always too lazy to use my food processor :)


Alex @ Healing Beauty February 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Looks divine!!! I love sweet potatoes but have yet to try the hummus, which also looked delicious. Do the cashews need to be unsalted? I’m having a hard time finding unsalted cashews at a reasonable price.


Dara February 12, 2011 at 7:06 pm

That looks awesome! I think I might try it with almonds instead of cashews (I’m allergic to cashews. Sad times.). I was wondering, why are vegan cheeses and sauces made with cashews so often as opposed to other nuts/seeds? I guess there must be something about them that makes them particularly good for such things!


Gina February 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Sounds delicious, I’m already thinking of all of the delicious things I could make with this.


Gina February 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Finals next week!? That’s so early!
But ugh, I hate finals. Good luck on them :)


Lauren February 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm

This looks so good! Love me some hummus!


Susan February 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Wow, looks fantastic. I will have to try this! xo


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 13, 2011 at 1:36 am

ohhhh… i just roasted sweet potatoes. i just need miso. maybe i can switch it out for a little tahini? can’t wait to try it out!


Gena February 13, 2011 at 11:32 am

Yeah, miso is optional. Enjoy, Laura!


BIOCHEMISTA February 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hi Gina,

I just wanted to say that I think your blog is fabulous. I’ve spend the last 20ish mins browsing old recipes and I’m seriously obsessed :)

Can not wait to try this sw potato cashew cheese. Do you know where I might find the miso? I’ve never purchased it before.

Thanks lady :)


Pure2raw twins February 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Okay, I just commented and forgot to hit submit comment, haha. Sorry I am a little tired, also sorry for the lack of comments, but we are always thinking of you! Hope school is going well!!!

And I cannot wait to make this. I have been a huge sweet potato kick lately :) I normally do tahini but now need to try cashews, yum!


Hayley February 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I made this today and it’s amazing. For lunch I wrapped it in nori ,totally inspired by a recent post on here– highly recommend the combo.


Jenna February 14, 2011 at 3:33 am

Made this yesterday..soso good :)


elise February 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

2 weeks ago i made a version of this but with butternut squash. i used it as a sauce for a mac ‘n cheese type casserole. it was SOOOO good.


Sara D February 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

I can’t wait to make this tonight. I just put my cashews in water. There’s really no way you can go wrong with cashews and sweet potatoes.


Jen February 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I made this tonight and really really love it! You weren’t kidding when you said it is “so, so, so, so good.” I can’t wait to make collard wraps with this or just eat it out of the bowl with my finger as I have been doing ever since I made it. ;)

Thanks for the recipe! This will be something I frequently make.


Lindsey February 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I made this tonight and LOVE it! I will definitely be making it again. Thanks for the recipe!!


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