Cindy's Cashew Cheese

Deprivation is the mother of culinary invention.
I'll admit, I am prone to pout on occasion when I feel deprived over my inability to tolerate gluten or dairy. But, as this basic cashew cheese recipe has developed, I've learned to love its versatility, taste and creamy texture. It's a delicious indulgence!

Create a batch of this delicious, ricotta-textured "cheese" to use on pizzas, in lasagnas, as a base for a dip, or to mix with a marinara or pesto sauce for a dreamy, creamy sauce. Freeze most the recipe in 1/2 cup containers to pull out as you crave.

Cindy's Cashew Cheese
3c. raw cashews, soaked in water overnight in the refrigerator
3/4 c. water
4 teaspoons dry sherry
7 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Soak the cashews in a large bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight.
Rinse and drain the cashews.

Combine all ingredients in blender (the Vitamix blender works best, but a regular blender will do). To begin, mix at a low speed, then increase to the highest speed setting, and mix for about 3 minutes until you have a consistent, creamy texture.

You may use a food processor, but you will have a more textural, granular "cheese".

Add less water (1/2 c.) for a thicker, cream cheese-like texture. Add more water (1 c.) for a creamier dip.

The "cheese" will thicken as it sits overnight. If you wish to freeze portions for later, place the containers in the freezer the next day.