This Cucumber Cashew Ranch post is for my MIL (Hi J!), she enjoyed this dip that I served at my daughter’s graduation party. She was excited to hear it was cholesterol free and only had good fats (the kind your body knows what to do with) in it so it is ultimately guilt free.
When I was a vegetarian Ranch was one of my must haves and something I used a couple of times a week. When I went vegan I tried some of the tofu or “sour cream” ranches but they just did not hit the spot so I quite even trying. I then started to play with cashews as our dairy source and triple SCORE! I now make almost everything creamy that I used to love from dairy for out of them (Ranch, sour cream, ice cream, mac & cheeze, whipped cream and more…). I can even get my kids to eat some of the raw veggies that they normally would not touch by dipping them into this creamy and delicious dip.
This recipe is not exact as everyone has a little bit different taste preferences and honestly I make it slightly different each time so I will just give you the ingredients, approximate amounts to use and you adjust it to your taste. I have made a chipotle ranch out of this as well by just adding chipotle spices and it is a totally different dressing/dip. Get creative and you could have many different recipes from this one base.
I used this dip to try the Gardein Buffalo Wings (pictured below) which unfortunately I do NOT recommend. First of all the wings have to be fried in a lot more oil than it says for them not to stick which is just not healthy. They never really crisp up like the Gardein Crispy Tenders (which I think would work much better with your own homemade hot sauce). They are soft, slimy and the hot sauce is just hot and not tasty, BLAH.
**If you do not have a vita-mix I highly recommend you soak the cashews overnight to soften completely.** If you do have a vita-mix or other high powered blender then I still recommend soaking for a couple of hours to get more nutrients from them, make them easier to digest and to soften them so it will be very smooth and creamy.
Cucumber Cashew Ranch
1 cup soaked raw cashews (NOT roasted or salted!)
1/2 cucumber, add more to taste and texture consistency
Enough clean water to just barely cover the cashews once placed in the blender or food processor
1 teaspoon (or more) garlic powder
1 teaspoon (or more) onion powder
1 teaspoon (or more) dried parsley
1 teaspoon (or more) chives
1/2 teaspoon (or more) dill weed
1/2 teaspoon(or more) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon (or more) sea salt
pepper to taste
Make sure you soak your nuts, rinse completely and pour into your high powered blender or food processor.
Add all the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and blend until creamy. If you are doing this in a food processor stop periodically and scrape the sides down.
Taste and adjust the spices to your liking. If you need it to be thinner adjust the moisture with either more cucumber or more water.
Pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate until well chilled, although it can be eaten right away if you do not mind it slightly warm.
Once it is chilled serve on a salad, as a veggie dip,or with your favorite vegan chicken wings and ENJOY!