Sunday, November 9, 2014

So, A Seed and A Nut Walked into My Blender....

I first heard rumblings of using raw sunflower seeds in place of raw cashews for sauces and dressings maybe a year or two ago. I never gave it to much thought, because I don't have nut allergies, and I am so in love with cashew cheese and cream, it seemed unnecessary to complicate things. Then, for some reason the last time I was at the Co-op, in the bulk aisle for some reason sunflower cream popped into my head, and I almost gagged at the difference in price! Like a six dollar a pound price difference! So, I got some raw sunflower seeds, and decided to give it a go. For some reason, I felt like I wasn't ready to go all sunflower seed, so I did what I do best, I found the grey area! I wanted to make a cashew cram sauce for a brown rice, kale, and lentil bowl. So, I used a half and half combo of cashews and sunflower seeds and it was delicious! I ended up going full 70's hippie and turned the whole shebang into a casserole, and boy was it delicious! And as most casseroles do, it was way better as leftovers! But back to the sauce. I used about 1/4 of a cup of raw cashews, and about the same of raw sunflower seeds, soaked for around two or three hours, nutritional yeast, salt pepper and a garlic clove, and about a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. I used almost a cup of water, as I wanted a thinner than usual sauce since I was casseroling. I have now used the sunflower/cashew combo twice, and I love it. It is an amazing way to stretch your cashews without missing any flavor, or creaminess. And sunflower seeds are lower in fat and calories than cashews, if you're into that kind of thing. And sunflower seeds are full of vitamin E, and magnesium, which from what I've read, a lot of people are lacking. Magnesium counterbalances calcium, and we need it for healthy bones, and energy production. Now I feel like a dork for waiting so long! I've decided the next batch of vegan mac and cheese I make, I'm going to try going full sunflower, just to compare cashew v. sunflower. If you love cashew cheese and cream, and sauces, I really recommend trying some sunflower seeds mixed in, it's a great money saver, and a great way to get some extra minerals in too, it's a win win situation!

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