Dehydrated Creamy Cashew Sauce

It sounds SO GROSS when you say it like that. Haha.

So a vegan diet staple is raw cashews, soaked in water, then pulverized into something similar in consistency to Alfredo sauce. There are different spices, etc you can add to give it different flavors, but basically it’s cashew mush. (I’m doing a great job of making this sound appetizing, aren’t I?)

The thing is, I made this one that’s from a Vegan Green Chile Mac and Cheese recipe and it’s actually really delicious.

Okay, actually I changed the recipe a bit for my purposes. Also yes, I know that technically green chiles are a nightshade but I figure if I use one can of them over like 8 servings it’s probably little enough not to bother me. I hope.

Ingredients (doubled and adjusted from original recipe)
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight, then drained
  • 1 cup water (more if necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 TBSP salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp pepper (or to taste)
  • 4-5 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1 4-oz can diced green chiles

Instructions

  1. Sweat onion and garlic in coconut oil until tender.
  2. Pour half the cashews, 1/2 cup H2O, half the green chiles, nutritional yeast, and ALL the spices (including salt and pepper to taste) into your food processor and turn it on. Add more water if it’s more “nut butter” than “creamy” consistency. Let it run for a while (because you don’t want any chunks). Taste it. Remember that all your spices are in this half so if it’s not over-spiced and too salty, add more. (You’re going to combine it all at the end – if I didn’t put all the spices in the first half, I’d forget completely. If you want to split the spices between food processor batches, be my guest.)
  3. Put your non-stick dehydrator sheets onto your dehydrator trays.* I found that this recipe spread out nicely onto 4 trays. Split this first batch of sauce evenly onto two trays and spread it into a thin, even layer using a spatula. Go ahead and pop these into the dehydrator while you blend batch #2.
  4. Pour the other half of your cashews, 1/2 cup H2O, and the rest of the green chiles into the food processor and run it until smooth. Repeat the process of spreading it onto two more dehydrator trays.
  5. Pop them into the dehydrator and run it at ~135*F for about 8 hours. It should be brittle and not at all sticky when finished.
  6. Wash your food processor and leave it to dry while your sauce is drying.
  7. After 8 hours, pull your dehydrated sauce off the trays and pulse in the food processor until roughly the texture of graham cracker crumbs. I recommend doing this in 2 batches like you did when it was liquid.                                    
  8. Mix all the crumbs together in a bowl or ziplock (to evenly distribute the flavors) and then portion out into quart-size Ziplock freezer bags (don’t buy bargain brand!) with your noodles. You want about 3 oz of noodles (something thin that will cook quickly) and 2 oz of sauce crumbs (ew, gross) in each portion. I also added about 1 oz of dried broccoli.

Rehydrating Instructions

Heat 1 1/2 cups of water to boiling. Pour into the ziplock, close bag, and place inside your bag koozie. This one takes 10-15 minutes to rehydrate with the quinoa fettuccine noodles I used.

2015-09-23 11.28.45

It rehydrates nicely though the sauce turned out to be a little more bland than I’d hoped. Next time I’m going to increase the spices and salt when I make the sauce, and add a little corn starch to help it thicken.

*Note: I have a 5-tray Excalibur dehydrator. It’s huge. If yours is smaller you might have to dehydrate in batches.

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3 thoughts on “Dehydrated Creamy Cashew Sauce

    • It actually really is! I just had this funny moment as I was describing the dehydrated sauce – sauces should be creamy and sauce verbs include “ladle” or “pour” but I was saying “sauce crumbs” and it just felt very strange! I suppose the more food I dehydrate the more normal it will seem!

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