Cashew and Pumpkin Spice Dip

Marsha Gardner

By
@mrdick1950

Pumpkin is one of those warm, cozy flavors that you really can't enjoy as much in summertime. So I say, bring on the crisp air. And bring on the pumpkin recipes...

Last fall this was a big hit at our tailgating get togethers. When you are asked for the recipe a dozen times in a weekend you know you have a hit on your hand.


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Comments:

Serves:

4 cups

Ingredients

15 oz
can solid pack pumpkin
2 c
raw cashews (soaked over night and drained)
1/2 c
water cashews were soaked in
1/4 c
maple syrup or to taste
2-3 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin
1/4 c
freshly squeezed lemon juice or orange juice for a warmer, less zesty flavor
1 tsp
cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper

Directions Step-By-Step

1
1 can 15oz. pumpkin (unsweetened, pure)
2 cups raw cashews (soaked and drained)
1/2 cup water (use soaked nut salted water)
1/4 cup maple syrup (sweeten to taste)
2-3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (you can use olive or pumpkin seed oil as well)
1/2 tsp sea salt (salt to taste)
1/4 cup lemon juice (or orange/tangerine juice for a warmer, less zesty flavor)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne (add more for extra spicy pumpkin dip)
optional: blend in additional soaked pumpkin seeds to add another layer of texture/flavor
2
Soak the raw cashews overnight in salted water. Drain, but reserve the water for use in the dip.

Preheat oven to 250-degrees.
3
Add the drained cashews, pumpkin, maple syrup, lemon juice, oil, salt and spices to a food processor or high speed blender,

Add the water in a few splashes at a time. Add more if needed. You want to process the cheese into a thick texture - a bit thicker than hummus. Process until the desired texture is reached (at least 2 minutes on high).
4
Do a taste test. Add in more spices/salt/sweetener/lemon juice as you see fit. You can also add in additional flavor changers like harissa for a smoky/spicy taste. Or crushed sage for a warm herbed flavor. Or extra black pepper for a peppery flavor. As I said above, you can also substitute the lemon juice with orange juice for a mellower, warmer flavor. I used lemon and loved it though
5
When your flavor is perfect, pour your cheese into your baking serving dish. Sprinkle a few modest spices on top. You can also top with a few pumpkin seeds as a nice garnish. The seeds will toast up nicely in the oven. Shallow dishes will result in a firmer/drier end product. Deep dishes will keep your smooth creamy texture.
6
For a shallow dish, bake at 250 for 50+ minutes. For the deep dish where you only want to warm the center and crisp the top you only need to bake at 250 for 20-30 minutes. The cheese dip will dry out the longer you bake it. The more you bake cashew cheese the more familiar you will get with your baking preferences.
7
Serve warm. You can also chill and firm up in the fridge if you'd like a cold pumpkin cheese dip. I enjoy both options. Serve with veggies, fruits, crackers, bread cubes. You can also add a drizzle of oil and/or maple syrup over top the final serving cheese if you'd like.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Vegetable Appetizers
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian