When January rolls around, I’m in the mood to eat pretty healthy, but winter still makes me crave comfort foods here and there—Saturday morning bagels, for instance. With a latte. And the newest episode of Scandal. Mmm… (BTW, when is Scandal coming back on?? I’m really not a fan of this “winter break” trend that’s taken over TV in the past few years. But, I’ve gotten off-track…)
I’ve mentioned this before, but cashew cream was a total game-changer for me when I started cutting dairy out of my diet. It can be substituted for so many different types of recipes. I use for everything from a pasta sauce and savory dips, to mousse and this here “cream cheese.” So, I decided it was time to get a little fancier with the latter. This is recipe number one—three more to come this week, so don’t be a stranger.
Orange Currant Cashew Cream Cheese
Prep time: 10 min | Ready in time: 2 hours, 10 min
Yields: About 3 cups
2 cups unsalted cashews
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest from one orange
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup currants
- Soak cashews in orange juice for 1 to 2 hours.
- Zest one orange. If you don’t have a zester, use a potato peeler, but make sure you dice it up really well.
- Separate cashews from orange juice with a strainer (KEEP the orange juice!).
- In a blender, process soaked cashews, honey, salt, and some of the orange juice—start with about 2/3 of a cup, then add as needed. You’ll want to use as little liquid as possible, just enough to get the ingredients to blend well. NOTE: If you need more liquid than the 1 cup of orange juice, you can use water or non-dairy milk.
- Pour blended cashew cream into a bowl using a rubber spatula to get it all out, then stir in the currants and orange zest. TIP: You might want to do a taste test before you add the zest—I like a really orange-y flavor, but you might prefer it without the zest. Up to you!
- Refrigerate, covered for at least two hours until it thickens up. It will keep well for about a week and a half.
Spread on bagels, toast, and even use it a few tablespoons in a smoothie to add protein and a little sweetness.
NOTE: This recipe makes quite a bit, so you’re welcome to half it. Though, unless you have a very powerful blender, I’ve found it’s a little harder to blend just one cup of cashews at a time. You may be able to pull it off, but I just wanted to give you a heads up about that little issue.
Try one of the other three flavors…