An easy, make-ahead cashew cheese spread with cherry balsamic jam.
Today’s guest post is from Michele Spring at Thriving on Paleo. I first met Michele through her paleo recipe iOS app, Nourished. I was honored to be a featured contributor to the app, and I’m so happy to have Michele as a guest contributor here on Cook Eat Paleo. I love Michele’s style of cooking — and her gorgeous photography.
This recipe is perfect for summer — easy, make-ahead, and portable! I plan on making it to take to an outdoor concert on the lake. And I think the cherry balsamic compote will be great with duck or grilled meats.
Here’s Michele with her Basil Cashew Spread with Cherry Balsamic Compote recipe. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure statement here.
I’m so excited to be guest posting here on Lisa’s site! I’ve known and respected Lisa for years and love how delicious her recipes are, so it’s such an honor to add one of my own here.
When I first found out I might not tolerate dairy very well it was quite a blow. I love cheese and spreads made from dairy. But luckily the vegan community has been dealing with the lack of cheese for quite some time now and they have come up with quite a few alternatives, such as making “cheese” out of nuts.
Now if you ask me, these don’t taste exactly like dairy cheese, but they still are a nice, creamy consistency and can replace cheese in many situations. I’ve made a delicious lasagna using a macadamia nut ricotta, have used cashews in many baked goods for the cheese-like flavor, and there are some store-bought versions that are quite good as well.
I came up with this cashew spread and cherry compote because I wanted a picnic-friendly appetizer for the summer. It is really quite versatile though as it also makes a great appetizer for a cookout and is delicious on crackers (I made paleo crackers but you can do store-bought paleo crackers) or spread on some paleo bread. I also inadvertently discovered that the cashew spread by itself makes a tasty dip for veggies.
You can make the spread and compote ahead of time and just keep in the fridge. They last for at least a week in the fridge and easily transport in small containers. Feel free to substitute strawberries for the cherries if that’s what you have on hand. Or if you are feeling adventurous, mix strawberries AND cherries and really enjoy the fruits of the summer.
I also want to mention that if you cannot tolerate nutritional yeast you can certainly remove it from this recipe. It just happens to impart even more dairy-like flavor, but it’s not critical.
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for at least 1 hour)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white cooking wine
- ¼ cup water
- 1 handful fresh basil
- sea salt to taste
- 2 cups cherries, fresh or frozen, pitted
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Add all of the cashew spread ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Store in the fridge until ready to serve (it will thicken up a bit in the fridge).
- Add the cherry compote ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to medium heat.
- Once it starts bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and use the back of a fork to mash the fruit.
- Continue cooking for 15 more minutes, occasionally mashing further as you stir.
- Remove from heat and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Michele Spring is a mom of two young boys, suffers from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Celiac Disease, and is an expert on using the paleo diet to feel your absolute best. When she’s not blogging you can find her sewing up a new outfit, reading a great book, or desperately trying to keep her kids from making her house look like a tornado hit it. Connect with Michele on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.