Quick and Healthy Snack Options III – Cashew & Cherry Cheese Spread

Can anyone tell that I am getting ready to go back to work and am in a desperate race against time to figure out what kinds of snacks I can pack now that I am gluten-free and going for at least 75% raw?

Well, today, I whipped this up in my high speed blender, which – trust me – is getting more and more use as the days slide by. To tell you the truth, I’m thinking about getting one for my office!

Cashew & Cherry Cheese Spread

2 cups of raw organic cashews
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons water
1 lemon
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cherries (I found these in the bulk section at Whole Foods).

Soak the cashews for 1 to 2 hours, drain, then toss into a high speed blender (such as Blendtec or Vitamix)

Add agave nectar and the water.

Grate all of the peel off the lemon and add it to the cashew mix. You may want to do this directly over the blender container to avoid making a mess!

Juice the lemon directly into the blender, seeds and all.

Blend until relatively smooth.

[On my Blendtec, I used the dip/sauce/fondue setting. I think I scraped it down and hit for a couple of pulses just for good measure].

Add the 1/2 cup of dried cherries.

Blend enough until the cherries start to break up.

[At this point, the blender didn’t sound happy, so I just used the pulse feature a couple of times and let the cherries do what they wanted!]

This yielded about two cups of a lightly sweet, yet zingy spread. It’s about 120 calories per 2 Tbs, so it’s just a little more caloric than other more common nut butters.

I took two tablespoons and filled up four stalks of celery (which was plenty filling as a morning and afternoon snack)!

Note, the original recipe (which did not call for water and did call for a touch of sea salt) was much, much thicker and quite a bit more cheese-like.

I found this gem (along with several others) at Choosing Raw. If you have any curiosity whatsoever about how to eat well, raw, you’ll get your answers there!


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