The Perfect Avocado Toast

You heard me. Perfect.

Now, I will admit, the word is subjective, so if you like your toast soft, toast the bread for less time. This is my version of ‘perfect’, and I bet that if you try it this way first, then decide what your version of the word is, then, well, that’s even more perfect!2016-07-16 10.52.55

There are a lot of jokes out there about avocados. My favorite one is that, by the time you’re ready to use one, it’s gone bad already. Can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to us, although it’s been rare since we became vegan since we eat everything before it even has the chance to get too old to eat. We buy so much of our organic produce from Costco because of that, and usually we’re waiting for an avo to ripen and, once it does, it’s in our bellies immediately.

Hint: To keep your avocados from ripening too soon, keep them in the fridge and check on them daily to eat them at their peak!

Believe it or not, you can add the best toppings in the world to your avocado toast, but if your bread is sub-par, your toast will be, too. Invest in a nice artisan sourdough or french, and go crazy.2016-07-16 10.50.17

I like my bread crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside, having a nice contrast with the smooth avocado and crispy toppings (not pictured).

Seriously, avocado toast is a God-send. No matter how hungry you are or what time of day it is, it’s always a good idea, is delicious, and super healthy for you! 2016-07-16 10.56.45

Toast your bread after drizzling on some olive oil, or just toast it if avoiding oil.

Mash your avocado, leaving some chunks in tact if desired. Mix your avocado with a pinch of the following:

garlic powder
onion powder
cayenne pepper
21 seasoning salute (Trader Joe’s – get this.)
sea salt
black pepper
optional:
lime juice
shallot
garlic cloves

Top toast with avocado mash. Add sliced tomatoes, red onion, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of pink himalayan salt.2016-07-16 11.05.24

That’s it! Pair with some Roasted Rosemary Sea Salt Potatoes (recipe coming soon!) or a big, leafy salad. This one’s a great add to a brunch menu, too 😉

Do you have a unique way to make your avocado toast? Let’s hear it! We’re always ready to try something new when it comes to our favorites.

Garden Raw Cashew Cheese

Ah, good ol’ cashew cheese. It truly has become a phenomena, and I don’t think any of us are complaining… well, maybe the dairy industry, but they have a long list of debts to pay, so I’m not too concerned about their welfare!

Now, let’s get down to cashew cheese.2016-07-06 16.22.41

I first tried cashew cheese a few years ago from a local food store in town when it was first coming on the health food scene (as far as I knew, at least). I honestly couldn’t believe how delicious it was. I’m not even a huge cashew fan.

GASP.

I know. You’ll get over it. I have.

Since I was still eating dairy cheese at the time, I really had no reason to purchase cashew cheese, aside from the fact that it was leagues healthier for me, but at that time in my life I didn’t think I was unhealthy. First step toward making a change is realizing there’s the need for one, of which I did not have. Ah, if only I’d been open to learning a bit more about the poison I was putting into my body… But that’s no fun, now is it?!…………

Fast-forward to veganism and last fall, when the absence of dairy cheese was as gaping as an empty stomach, and to re-discovering cashew cheese. It was a savior compared to what had become a disappointment in dairy cheese and the terrors behind it. Not only was cashew cheese superior when it came to health, having nothing that wasn’t excellent for you in it (if you’re thinking, ‘but they are the fattiest nut!’, get over it. All nuts are fatty, but it’s a totally different, healthier fat than the inherently deadly fats present in animal protein), but it was surprisingly delicious. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was, with fresh herbs and spices folded in, and just the right amount of ‘cheesiness’ which came from what I’d soon find out as being the nutritional yeast, or ‘nooch’ as it’s called in the vegan community. I was in heaven, and the next step after falling in love with this creamy goodness was, of course, trying my hand at making it myself.

After scouring recipe after recipe on Pinterest, testing and re-testing, I finally found the perfect base recipe on which to add my eclectic flare and make it my own (as usual). I do hope you try it, love it and share it with family and friends. Just please remember to credit me so I can gain a footing in the vegan food blog world. I love this recipe and actually sold a few packages of it earlier this year, so I’d really appreciate the love ❤ Thanks, y’all! ~L.

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Here’s the version wrapped in cheesecloth to drain the moisture. I prefer it as a creamier cheese without the cheesecloth, but you can suspend it over a large bowl and stick in the fridge overnight to make it more dense, like a cheese ball. Wait, who you callin’ cheese ball?!


Garden Raw Cashew Cheese

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 24 hrs, 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy peasy lemon squeezy
  • Print

A creamy, scrumptiously satisfying spread for toast points, crackers or anything else you can put this stuff on <em>or</em> in! My favorite cashew cheese recipe, now shared with you 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic raw cashews (we buy Hoodie’s from Costco)
  • water (for soaking cashews)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves**
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large sun-dried tomatoes, diced fine***
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or scallions/green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Presentation (choose some, all or none):

  • sliced chives or scallions/green onion
  • fresh basil
  • cracked pepper
  • lemon zest
  • paprika

Directions

  1. Soak raw cashews overnight in enough water to cover them 1 inch (I know some recipes say you can soak them for a few hours, but if you’re making this recipe, trust me. The longer you soak, the better. I actually soaked them for two nights once and it was the creamiest I’d ever made, so if you have 48 hours, get to soaking!) Drain and put in high-speed blender or food processor.
  2. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, 2 Tbsp water, vinegar, lemon zest, garlic, salt & pepper. Process until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. If you’re using a high-power blender, it may take less time (my Vitamix only takes about 2 minutes to make this super creamy, while I’m using the blending tool to help).
  3. Scoop the cashew cream mixture into a large bowl, adding the sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, chives, basil & chili flakes. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, if desired. Garnish with paprika, basil & lemon zest, or any of the presentation items above, and dig in.
  4. ~Just a heads up: this stuff disappears much faster than you’d imagine, and guys absolutely love it. Hopefully you’ll memorize the recipe soon enough like I did! Bon Appetit – xox

  • You can also use rice wine or white wine vinegar which are a bit more mild, but I like the tang of the apple cider vinegar.
  • ** I love garlic, so if you don’t, maybe stick to 1 clove. My fiancé just assumes I have garlic breath sometimes. Luckily, chances are, so does he 😉

  • These are optional, as they add a bit of sweetness to the spread. Some people aren’t huge fans of sun-dried tomatoes, and they can be an acquired taste. Totally your dish, only use what you want!


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Fruit-tastic Mornings

I’ve been starting every morning with a very large helping of fruit.

It helps that Costco is starting to carry organic, sweet, ripe and ready to eat variations, including strawberries and watermelon. We were very close to stopping our purchases of watermelons since the recent ones we’ve bought were basically tasteless, barely red at peak ripeness, and not juicy in the least bit.

Here we have a bowl of organic strawberries, raspberries and the BEST watermelon we’ve had in AGES, all from Costco. [not an endorsement…]

Having fruit for your first meal, or before any meal, allows your digestive system to refresh itself by processing the fruit sugar quickly and efficiently into fiber, without fermenting (what happens if you have fruit AFTER a meal) or causing gas and bloating. It provides sustained energy until your next meal (normally about an hour or two after eating it for me) with no spike in blood sugar.

It’s a win-win for everyone!


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