Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet Ann from The Paleo Network. She and her husband are triathletes that have gone grain and dairy free and are reaping the benefits! They were featured on our local news a few weeks back to tell their story. We had a great time chatting about food, of course we did, we both love to be in the kitchen!
Today I am sharing a recipe with you for her Cashew Alfredo Sauce that she happened to mention to me. I decided I had to make this since it sounded so good!!! It is such a versatile sauce and could be used in so many ways! I was craving mushrooms today so I sauteed mushrooms and grass-fed ground beef together and drizzled…ok drenched it with the sauce! Yum!!! Ann uses it in a number of ways that she shares with you today!
The only thing I did differently was that I sauteed the garlic in coconut oil (or you could use butter) and then added it to the oil to add to the cashew sauce. I don’t like to use olive oil with high heat is the reason for this.
Hello to all of you! A big thank you to Kate for giving me the opportunity to write this post. A little background on the recipe I’m sharing with you today. I grew up in the Midwest eating creamy casseroles and decadent comfort foods. My favorite Italian dish (and maybe my favorite dish all together) while growing up was Fettuccine Alfredo. Since going Paleo, I no longer eat dairy or grains. What does this Midwest girl do? I learned you could make creamy sauces out of cashews. I knew nutritional yeast added a “cheesy” flavor. Traditional alfredo sauce typically has garlic in it. So I threw ingredients together into my Vitamix blender and tested it out on some spaghetti squash and zucchini “noodles”. Perfection! Since then, I’ve used it as part of my Paleo Lasagna and on Paleo Pizza (drizzled on top of the meat and veggies). I’ve also mixed it into cauliflower rice, roasted Brussels sprouts and shredded chicken. It also tastes great in omelettes (serves as a glue to hold it together) or atop egg muffins.
Recipe: Cashew “Alfredo” Sauce
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 6 hours
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 t. sea salt
- Drain and rinse your raw cashews.
- Add the cashews to your blender (I use my Vitamix ) and enough cold water to cover the cashews. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Saute minced garlic in the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly golden.
- Add oil and garlic to the cashew sauce along with the sea salt and nutritional yeast. Blend again until incorporated and smooth.
- Add additional water, if necessary.
You could probably add a little fresh basil (either to the blender or as a garnish). Roasted red peppers (pureed into the sauce) could also be a nice touch.
Let us know what you drizzle or pour this Alfredo sauce over!!!
I am starting to wonder why it took me so long to start cooking with a crockpot! It can make meals so quick, easy and ready for you when you arrive home from a long day. Plus, it’s fantastic for making bone broth! I was inspired to make this cashew chicken by this recipe that I found on Pinterest, but made quite a few changes to remove the sugars, gluten and a few other things. Speaking of Pinterst, if you are on there and addicted like me, come follow me. Although this recipe was done in a crock pot, I think you could probably make this on the stove or in the oven as well. Let me know if any of you try this! I just don’t think you can go wrong when cashews are involved!
Recipe: Cashew Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped (whites and greens)
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos (gluten free soy sauce alternative)
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated (A Microplane is my favorite for this and zesting)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup cashews
- Add the chicken pieces and onion to the crockpot
- In a bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients except the cashews
- Pour the mixture over the chicken and mix so the chicken is coated
- Set temperature to low and cook for 3-4 hours
- Add in the cashews and serve
Double the sauce if you want some extra to put over vegetables.
The Cauliflower Fried “Rice” or the Cashew Bok Choy would be a great vegetable to have with this chicken dish!
As I have mentioned before, I have a
slight, ok major addiction to Justin’s Nut Butters. I have realized that I can not buy a jar of it until I am sure I can eat it in moderation. It seriously tastes like frosting, have you tried the Vanilla Almond Butter flavor yet? I keep hoping he will come out with a cashew butter, but he hasn’t. Cashews tend to be a sweeter nut and I think they would be a great addition to his line, especially a chocolate cashew butter…yum!!!
Instead of waiting on him, I created my own!! I tried to make it a bit less addictive but it’s still pretty darn good. It’s a perfect addition to sliced apples or spread on top of the Grain Free “Wheat” Crackers, Grain Free Honey “Wheat” Crackers or just by the spoonful!
Recipe: Maple Vanilla Cashew Butter
- 2 cups roasted unsalted cashews*
- 3 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder or 1-2 vanilla bean pods (substitute vanilla extract to taste)
- 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
- 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar, powdered*
- Place the nuts in a food processor or Vitamix blender and blend until smooth and creamy
- Add in all the remaining ingredients and blend until combined
- Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It will harden a bit so remove a few minutes before serving if you want it softened
*I buy raw cashews and roast them on a dry cookie sheet in the oven at 450 for about 5 minutes. You can certainly buy them roasted.
*Run the coconut sugar through the Vitamix or coffee grinder before hand to powder it. I may work to skip this step but the cashew butter may be a bit gritty. I actually like that!
For a lower sugar option, you can use Nature’s Hollow Xylitol Maple Syrup and Lakanto in place of the coconut palm sugar.
Feel free to try this with any nut or a combination of nuts!
Initially I was trying to create another frosting option for my sugar cookie recipe. I went for the soaked cashew method that so many raw desserts are made from. Cashews are a sweeter nut and work really well as the base for dips, spreads, fillings and more. Their mild sweetness and smooth texture add body and flavor to dishes. The Raw Food world uses them a lot and I have been experimenting with them as well.
My concoction didn’t really turn out like frosting. I just wasn’t digging the idea of spreading it on a cookie, it didn’t wow me! I did like the taste…a lot! I decided to grab some strawberries and apple slices and dip away. Yum! I imagine you could get really creative and find many uses for this dip. I have another recipe coming soon that uses this as a drizzle.
I would have to say that cashews may be my favorite nut. It’s a toss up between macadamia nuts and cashews, but I love the sweetness cashews have. Did you know cashew nuts are actually the seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil. While cashew apples are not some we enjoy in the United States, they are regarded as delicacies in Brazil. Who knew?
Cashews are full of healthy fats, powerful antioxidants and many important minerals. Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and most of it is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Their high copper content gives the seeds the power to eliminate free radicals and they are also a good source of phytochemicals. Cashews are particularly rich in magnesium. We all know that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is as well!
Recipe: Coconut Cashew Dip
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked (at least an hour)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk*
- 1 tbsp full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 2 vanilla beans scraped or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp Swerve, Erythritol or sweetener of choice
- Add all of the ingredients into a Vita-Mix, blender or a food processor should work. If using a food processor, I would run your sugar through a blender or coffee grinder so it’s not grainy.
- Blend until well combined and smooth
- Store in the refrigerator
*I used So Delicious Sugar Free Vanilla Coconut Milk. Any non-dairy milk will work but you may want to add additional vanilla if using a plain milk.
I want to hear what you dip in this or spread it on!