I have been cooking since I was little and made my first full meal by myself when I was 8 years old. I still remember it well; Oven-Fried Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes and canned green beans (canned vegetables were the big rage back then). I bought my first cookbook that same year. I have never looked back though my eating choices have changed dramatically. When my children were little, we ate a home-cooked dinner pretty much every night. On the weekends, I would make special breakfasts too because I had more time. I love trying new things and experimenting with different foods.
With each change of my food preferences, I am always eager to attempt making something new. Some attempts are great and I constantly play around with them until I am thoroughly pleased with the results. Some, I discard simply because they just don’t become something worth serving again but I have been pretty lucky that my attempts usually turn out well.
When we became solely plant-based eaters, a whole new world opened up and I am constantly finding new and interesting foods to work with. There is one ingredient that is an important basic in my pantry and though I don’t use them all the time, I always have them on hand. Cashews, Glorious Cashews are a must have in all vegan pantries (as long as allergies aren’t an issue of course).
Cashews are actually the seeds of a Cashew apple and grow on the outside of the apple! According to Wikipedia, the shell of the seed can be used in many applications from lubricants to paints (who knew) so they are pretty versatile too but I use the actual nut, not the shell.
I use raw, unroasted cashews and they can be made into sauces, milk, (n)ice cream, “cheeze”, and nut butter among other things. The key to using cashews is soaking them and having a good blender to process them. Fortunately, cashew milk can now be purchased (my favourite one is Earth’s Own Unsweetened Cashew Milk) and it can be substituted for dairy milk in numerous recipes. If you want a real treat try the Cashew Milk Salted Caramel Cluster Frozen Dessert by So Delicious! It is addictive!
Over the next little while I will post some recipes using cashews as the primary ingredient so have some in stock and get ready for some yummy treats!
Susan is our resident vegan. She’s been a vegetarian for 20 years, and a vegan for 3. She has researched both lifestyles extensively and is constantly exploring new recipes, add her own twist. She is a long time SPUD customer, and now our very own resident vegan blogger!