I'm always looking for yummy dressings to put on my salads....my fallback is simply extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of tamari......
I love to use cashews to add creaminess to raw, vegan soups and sauces so I was happy to see a recipe for a vegan, raw Caesar salad dressing in the most recent issue of VegNews.
The recipe uses cashews for creaminess, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast for that cheesy taste, dates to round out the sweetness, lemon juice for tang, Dulse for that slight taste of the sea and celery for saltiness and to add body.
Let's talk nutrition for a second......
Hemp seeds are the seeds of the Cannabinum plant and no, they don't have any THC in them like their relatives do....they do have highly digestable forms of protein, omega fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and vitamins E and A in them....
Nutritional yeast is a non-leavening type of yeast that is packed with protein, fiber and vitamins, in particular, the B complex vitamins, including Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin, B6, B12, Folic Acid and Biotin (B7). A mere 2 Tablespoons has ~8g protein and 4g fiber, as well as less than a gram of fat!!! It adds a great cheesy flavor to dishes and can be used to replace Parmesan cheese.
Dulse is a form of seaweed. It has a high protein content, as well as high fiber content and is high in nutrients such as iodine, sodium and iron. It can be used as a salt substitute and lends a "fishy" flavor, or the flavor of the sea to recipes. In this recipe, it takes the place of anchovy paste or anchovies, which are used in classic Caesar dressing.
The recipe couldn't be easier....just put all of the ingredients in the blender and process.
The result is a creamy, somewhat sweet dressing.
The dressing was definitely creamy, but was a bit too sweet and not tangy enough. I will give you the recipe as is, and let you know where I'd make some changes for the next time....
Vegan Caesar Dressing
1/2 cup cashews (I soaked mine for a couple hours)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt (I used more, prob at least a tsp of Celtic Sea Salt)
Juice of 2 lemons (I also used the zest of a lemon as well)
Black pepper to taste
3 pitted dates (I would only use 2 next time)
1 tsp dulse flakes (I would use 2 tsp next time)
3/4 cup water
2 stalks celery, chopped
All you do is put all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.....
While this recipe is not technically "raw", it is vegan, so enjoy (and try something raw today)..
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