Experimenting with Cashews

You know that moment when you get a new gadget and for the first few days that it is in your possession, all you think about is how to make the most of it... I think it has happened to everyone whether it be when they got a new phone, camera, computer, or kitchen gadget. Well, this month I was lucky to receive a high speed blender as a gift and let me tell you, I kind of became obsessed!

The very first day I got it, I started making a list of all the recipes I wanted to try making that required a high speed blender. The list included these 7 ingredients vegan cheesecakes made with soaked cashews. I had actually tried making this recipe before using just a regular blender and although the cheesecakes turned out yummy, the consistency was not quite right because the cashews were not completely blended and smooth. Therefore, I promised myself that the day I would actually have a high speed blender, this recipe would be one of the first ones I would try.

And then that day came and guess what? I did not even make that recipe! Instead, I opted for a similar one that still required cashews but that was a variation of one of my favorite chocolate bars: Snickers. I made Minimalist Baker’s vegan snickers cheesecake squares. The base of these bars is a mixture of dates and walnuts; the filling, made with soaked cashews, is creamy, slightly lemony, and sweetened to perfection. The toppings are really what steal the show: a date caramel with roasted salted peanuts held together by a generous drizzle of dark chocolate! These bars were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. So much so that my boyfriend even described them as one of the best desserts I have EVER made – keep in mind that I make at least one different dessert every week so his statement says a lot!

Experimenting with Cashews: Vegan Snickers Cheesecake Squares

The second recipe that made it to my list of “Recipes to Make with my New Favorite Kitchen Tool,” was these creamy vegan lemon bars. I decided to make these bars specially for my mom because she is what I call the ultimate citrus lover. Her favorite citrusy sweets include key lime pie, lemon meringue pie, meringues with lemon zest, and lemon pound cake. Therefore, when I saw this recipe by Dana Shultz (the Minimalist Baker), it just seemed like the perfect weekend treat for my mom. These bars turned out so tart and creamy and their almond/oat crust just propelled them to the top of the list of most decadent lemon desserts. The fact that they are entirely vegan is just unbelievable! The texture of the filling (made with soaked cashews, coconut cream, and lemon juice) baked almost exactly like a cheesecake – it was mind boggling.

Experimenting with Cashews: Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars

One last recipe that was not on my list, but which I stumbled upon this weekend was these non-traditional creamy chia puddings. Instead of soaking the chia seeds in non-dairy milk overnight, this recipe calls for soaking them in water and then blends this mixture with cashews, dates, vanilla extract and cinnamon. The result is a silky, rich, and nutty pudding that is not only absolutely exquisite, but also super satisfying and filling. I think this recipe will officially become a new breakfast staple!

Now that I feel relatively comfortable with my new blender and with the basics of working with cashews to create desserts, I think I will try to incorporate cashews in savoury meals like using them to make a creamy Caesar salad vinaigrette or even cashew cheese (!!!!!).

Follow me on Instagram (@muriellebanackissa) to learn about my latest creations in the kitchen!