This garlic and herb cashew cheese recipe is everything to me. It is healthy and dairy-free. Cruelty-free. And it makes me happy happy in the I-was-raised-in-New-England-on-cheese-and-crackers-sort-of-way. All the comfort, but without the dairy.
Foods I obsess about… Boursin cheese. Stuffed bites like jalapenos and mushrooms and tartlets. Creamy pasta (yummmm). Popovers. And Pizza.
I gave this some thought, and that is my list. My favorite foods. All of which are or can be easily vegetarian-ized. But VEGANizing is a whole other ballgame.
Hold up. ✋
Disclaimer: I am not vegan, I am vegan-ish. I eat eggs and honey. But for a couple months now, I have had no meat and no dairy and I am loving it. After being a fluctuating vegetarian for years, I finally took the plunge. …Like all of you, I am on a journey, learning and evolving as I go. My outlook on life and my place in the world – nature, politics, everything – has changed dramatically in the past couple years. At age 44, this is my mid-life crisis and I am embracing it. Life is a lovely process, isn’t it?
Okay, not even sure why I went there, so let’s regroup..
So, I have created a self-challenge. Create vegan versions of my favorite things. I am a scientist. This can happen. 👌
…are you still with me?
They don’t have to taste the same, but they do have to make me happy in the same way these life-long-food-loves of mine do. My relevant happiness receptors need to be bound, you know?
Okay, so on with it, and here we are. With a vegan spread made from cashews. Inspired by the classic, Boursin garlic and herb cheese.
I recently shared my Cashew Avocado Cream when I topped twice-baked potatoes with it, and I am full-in committed to seeing where else cashews can take me. A garlicky pasta sauce perhaps? Maybe a white sauce for pizza? A sour cream sub? We will see. 😀 But here, in my desire to create a Boursin-esque cracker spread, cashews were the answer.
All we are doing here is soaking some raw cashews in water for a bit, then blending them up with some lemon, herbs, and garlic. That is ALL THIS IS. C’mon think about it! How simple is this? All natural, no dairy, and DELICIOUS. Buttery, garlicky, creamy ….that’s why I say this recipe is everything. It is just SO GOOD.
So that’s it folks. I’m really proud of this one, this is a really special recipe. We can have our cheese and crackers! ❤️
Say it with me …Vegan once a week. Vegetarian twice a week. …It’s a start. 🌎💚
- 3 Tbs vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 8 oz raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 Tbs fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp dried dill
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp fresh snipped chives
- Place the butter and soaked cashews in a food processor. Add the garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the cashew cheese to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste for seasoning.
- Line 2 molds (such as small ramekins or glass bowls) with plastic wrap. Divide the cheese between the two, then fold over the plastice wrap to cover the top. Put in the fridge 2 hrs to chill, firm up, and for flavors to combine. Serve with crackers.