Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raw Cashew Ricotta

Raw Cashew "Ricotta"
Soaked cashews and a sliced lemon, soon to be delicious raw cheese. 
Cashew cheese kind of changed my life. I can't pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but all you need to know is this: one day I discovered that raw cashews could be made into vegan cheese and things were never quite the same. As a long time vegan, the one (and really ONLY) thing I'd truly missed was creamy foods. Not really cheese per-se, but the richness of a creamy pasta dish like lasagna or baked macaroni and cheese. This recipe will satisfy all of those cravings and, brace yourself,
is actually GOOD FOR YOU.
Also completely raw and uncomplicated to make.
Enough said. 
Use it as you would ricotta in a raw or baked vegan lasagna, to fill vegan ravioli or to make your vegan mac and cheese extra creamy, throw some onto a veggie pizza or use it to top off soups and stews. The possibilities are really almost endless. Both the nutritional yeast and red pepper are optional and, while they add a bit of extra
flavor and color, won't be missed if left out.   

Raw Cashew "Ricotta"
makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 1/4c raw cashews
(whole or pieces)
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1tsp sea salt
1/2c water

1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1tbsp nutritional yeast

Place cashews in a bowl, cover with water and soak for at least 4 or up to 8 hours.
Drain water from soaked cashews.
Place them in a blender or the bowl of a food processor.
Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth.
Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to a week.

The finished product. 

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