Cashews are one of my favorite fats to use during a fast. Of course they’re great to use any day of the year, but I’m especially happy to have cashew-based dairy substitutes on oil free days since most store bought products contain added oil. This Creamy Cashew Spread is currently in heavy rotation on my breakfast menu, it’s perfect to use instead of cream cheese on bagels or toast. It also makes a great dip for veggies, and I used it to dot vegan mac n cheese for extra cheesiness, with great results!
I used homemade coconut yogurt for extra flavor. You don’t *have* to use it, but I highly recommend it. If you skip this ingredient you will just need to add a little extra water, but it won’t have quite the same flavor, and may not thicken up as well (although you could leave it to drip in a nut milk bag while it ferments to help it firm up better).
Cultured Creamy Cashew Spread
2 C raw cashews*
1 C water
1/4 C Cultured Coconut Yogurt
1-2 tsp sea salt, to taste**
2 probiotic capsules, contents of
Add first four ingredients to blender (salt starting at 1 tsp, and adding another 1/4 tsp at a time as needed), and blend until smooth. Open probiotic capsules and empty contents into the cream, blending again to incorporate. Place the cashew cream in a sterile glass jar, and fasten cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar with string or a rubber band. Let it sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, then replace cheesecloth with a tight fitting lid and store in the fridge for 1 – 2 weeks. The spread will get a little thicker after a day or two in the fridge.
It is normal for a skin to form on top during fermentation – and it is totally edible! However, if you do happen to see mold appear or if the spread gets an “off” smell, dump it and start over.
Note: 2 teaspoons of salt is quite salty, but I love it this way on my German fitness bread. It’s probably best not to put in 2 tsp all at once, though.
*Soaking the cashews will make them softer for blending, and also help make certain nutrients more easily absorbed. You can soak them for 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge, then drain & rinse before using. I have been known to skip this step completely when I didn’t bother to plan ahead.
**Iodized salts and salts containing anti-caking agents should be avoided when fermenting foods.