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Eat Well Aug. 23. 2013
Condiments

Artichoke Cashew Cheese Spread

Aug. 23. 2013
Condiments
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

Artichoke + cashews + blended into one thick and creamy (non-dairy) spread = heavenly! That’s an equation anyone can figure out. Cashew Cheese is a very common dip, spread, and “cheese” used in many vegan recipes and is especially great for those who aren’t consuming dairy. The sweet cashews take on a whole new life and texture after they’ve been blended with the creamy roasted artichokes and cheesy nutritional yeast to create a delicious spread. This is one of my favorite dips/spreads I have on hand in my house, hopefully it’ll be a new favorite of yours as well! Introducing, Artichoke Cashew Cheese Spread.

What makes this dish “cheesy?”, my pal nutritional yeast. You know I’m a fan as I’ve used this ingredient in many recipes thus far. It’s a key player to create a nice cheesy flavor combined with the sweet and nutty cashews, refreshing lemon, and bold garlic.

The most common question I receive after posting pictures of artichokes via Instagram is “how do you cook these?!” I’ll be honest, the first time I ever saw an artichoke I had no idea how to cook it let alone know what to do with it! For years I relied on frozen artichoke hearts or canned artichoke hearts (which still can be used perfectly well in this recipe!); but one day I was up for the challenge (and the fresh artichokes were on sale), so I went home and started deconstructing this beautiful vegetable.

How to Roast & Eat Artichokes | *note you can also use the canned (gasp! yes, I said canned- well rinsed) or frozen artichoke hearts in this recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees F
  2. Slice 1 inch off the top of the artichoke, cut tops off each leaf, and also remove the stem
  3. Gently spread the artichoke leaves apart with your fingers
  4. Lightly drizzle olive oil on the artichoke (from the top)
  5. Wrap each artichoke in foil completely
  6. Roast for 60-90 minutes, until sizzling
  7. You can eat each individual leaf by simply biting the artichoke leaf and scraping with your teeth the soft flesh at the bottom of the leaf- you will not consume the entire leaf
  8. After all the petals are removed (a.k.a. enjoyed!), you will be left with the artichoke heart
  9. There is an inedible portion called the “choke” which is easy to spot on the artichoke heart because it’s very fuzzy- simply take a knife and remove this portion
  10. The remaining bottom is the artichoke heart

There are quite a few varieties of artichokes, French, Globe, purple, green, large, small, etc. Not only are artichokes delicious solo, but they’re especially delicious when paired with the ingredients in this recipe. Artichokes are actually very nutritious despite the lack of popularity- you seldom hear of the artichoke having a significant source of any one nutrient but they contain a great amount of fiber!

Nutrient breakdown of ARTICHOKES |

  • Folate
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Antioxidants }  silymarin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid.
  • Flavonoids } carotene-beta, lutein, and zeaxanthin (in small amounts)
  • Fiber } about 14g of fiber/ 1 cup of artichoke hearts
  • Additional found in the dip |
    • Healthy fats from the cashews
    • B vitamins especially from nutritional yeast
Artichoke Cashew Cheese Spread
Recipe Type: dip, spread
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
A vegan recipe for a creamy, thick, savory and slightly sweet artichoke spread, may also be used as a dip.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups roasted artichoke hearts (may also use frozen or canned, well rinsed)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes in water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • 1/4 cup red sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes in water until slightly soft.
  2. Simply blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender or food processor until thick and creamy.
  3. Keep refrigerated until served.
  4. Enjoy!

Have you ever tried roasting artichokes before? Share below, I love hearing what you have to say!

Happy Friday,

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 -2 cups roasted artichoke hearts (may also use frozen or canned, well rinsed)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes in water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • 1/4 cup red sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes in water until slightly soft.
  2. Simply blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender or food processor until thick and creamy.
  3. Keep refrigerated until served.
  4. Enjoy!

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