Move over nachos topped with processed cheese food product. Stand aside Velveeta blocks of cheese. The cashew nut is the new big cheese at the party! A search for cashew cheese online will retrieve tons of recipes and dips for different tastes and applications. The following recipe comes from Lexie’s Kitchen, whose Raw Nacho Cheese Sauce is such a wonderfully yummy cheese dip with the perfect creamy texture and nuanced nacho flavors. Plus, it won’t harden like some of those conventional cheese dips and it’s dairy-free! Also, the ingredients are minimal, which makes preparing this a breeze. I usually like my nacho cheese with a bit more heat, so I’ve added some chopped green chiles (I imagine jalapeños would also work well) and a bit more lemon and red bell pepper to Lexie’s original recipe because I especially love those flavors. I also plan on making this cheese with soyrizo (soy chorizo) or some chili bean type of seasoning, but alas, that will need to wait for the next time since I’m fresh out of cashews! I served this cashew queso alongside Late July’s organic and gluten-free Sea Salt by the Seashore snack chips.
Thank you Lexie for making such a delicious dairy-free cheese sauce! Definitely stop on by Lexie’s Kitchen to check out her other creative recipes.
1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for 2 hours)
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed
juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 tbsp 3 tbsp of water
1 small can chopped green chiles or jalapeños
Rinse and drain soaked cashews. Rough chop the red pepper, removing the seeds. Blend cashews, red pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, onion powder, turmeric, and
1 tbsp 3 tbsp of water in a high-powered blender until smooth (see my Utensils page for info about high-powered blenders).* Add more water if necessary to obtain a nacho cheese consistency. Drain green chiles and mix into cheese according to taste. Garnish with a few chiles on top. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
UPDATE 4/14/12: I made this last night and only had 1 tbsp of olive oil left in my pantry. To compensate, I increased the water. My hubbie and I actually liked how this changed the texture slightly (more creamy, less thick).
*If you don’t have a high-powered blender, I suggest trying this recipe in a food processor rather than in a traditional blender.