Intro: Raw Cashew Nacho Cheese
Raw food recipes fascinate me. I suppose with great constraints comes great creativity : )
Using nuts as the basis for cheese substitutes is something I have meant to try out. I really like cheese, so I was dubious. However, nacho cheese seemed like a great first candidate. First, nacho cheese generally isn't so much cheese as it is plasticy orange goo...no counting you nacho gourmets out there who use actual cheeses. Second, since it is meant to be served with lots of other toppings, there is room for variation in taste and texture. And third, this is a very quick and simple recipe. So no huge investment of time or money required.
Since cashews are mild in flavor, this recipe can easily be adjusted to fit your taste by changing up the spices or just using a packet of taco seasoning. I combined/subtracted/changed around some versions I found to make something more my style (For example, I'm not a big fan of tahini, so the amount here is less than in many other versions).
You don't have to go all hippie-vegan-raw crazy with something like this either. For a small adjustment, you could just trade out standard nacho cheese for this version and still heat it and serve with your favorite toppings, but overall you will have a less processed, lower fat meal. Incremental changes can go a long way!
2 Cups Cashews
1 Cup Water
1 Red Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Flax
2 tsp Chia Seeds
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Cayenne
Soak raw cashews for 1 - 2 hours and drain.
Then just pop everything in the blender and mix til smooth (several minutes).
Pour into a bowl and let sit a few minutes to thicken up a bit. Serve at or slightly above room temperature over chips and pile on fresh veggies, salsa and guacamole!