A Classic Favorite
Let’s face it. It’s hard being plant-based in our modern dairy- and meat-obsessed world. One thing I’ve struggled with in my plant-based journey is the craving for comforting favorites, and I have a hard time feeling satisfied with a dressing that isn’t creamy. I LOVED ranch dressing. It was my favorite dressing, and it helped me get more vegetables into my husband, too. So when I turned plant-based and dedicated myself to cooking from scratch as much as possible, ranch dressing seemed to be on the list of things I’d just have to give up.
Well Good News, Folks!
We live in an amazing time for vegans and vegetarians. Cooks and chefs all over the world are working to find innovative new ways of making plant-based versions of classic favorite recipes. One of my favorite innovations is the cashew. It is truly incredible what this nut becomes when you grind it down. And if you add a touch of seasoning, you can transform the cashew into something rich, creamy, and delicious.
A Simple Base
It all began for me with the Vegan Cashew Sour Cream recipe. Once I nailed down the flavor for that, I quickly saw the possibilities. One of my earliest trials was a vegan cashew Alfredo Sauce (recipe coming soon, I swear!). It was incredible, and completely dairy free! Ever since then I’ve been working on a Ranch replacement recipe that was great on salads but yummy enough for a veggie dip. Well guess what? I nailed it! And I can’t wait to share it with you!
I have two young kids, one of which has special needs, so I really can’t be bothered with overly complicated recipes that require lots of cooking and attention. It’s time consuming enough just to stand around chopping vegetables! This is why I LOVE this recipe. You just throw most of the ingredients into a blender, much like the Vegan Cashew Sour Cream recipe, and then afterward you stir in dill to taste and water until it’s the consistency you’re looking for; a little more for salad dressing, not too much for a good dip. So easy!
The Right Tool For The Job
I use my Nutribullet Rx for my dressings and hummus. It makes it really easy to whip up and is very easy to clean. I also recently got the Nutribullet combo set which can make nut butters, and I love it as well! The combo set has a larger capacity jug that’s great for all the things I try to shove into my smoothies. It also has more options for speed, which gives me more options in what I can make.
I only mention it because when I began a plant-based journey I deliberated over which blender to buy. While I couldn’t afford to spend a lot, I also didn’t want to get something that would break on me within a year. Finally I settled on the Nutribullet Rx as my first blender, and it’s served me well over the past year and a half. Just remember, if you choose that blender, to never blend hot liquids and always use the key tool to get a tight seal.
Just As Versatile As The Original
I always test my dips and dressings and adjust to taste as needed. Well, at the time I first made this dressing I was chopping up veggies for a big salad, and tried it with a carrot stick and a celery stick and oh my gosh! It was so good! Now I always make a dish of chopped carrots and celery to keep in the fridge for a quick and tasty snack. Even my four year old daughter can’t get enough of it! Today I used it as a dressing for a lettuce and veggie pita filling inside a toasted, whole wheat pita. Yummmmmm. And last week I tossed it on my kale and mixed-veggie salad. It’s seriously good on absolutely everything where you would use traditional ranch dressing. I can’t get enough!
What dairy or oil based dressing do you miss the most?
Vegan Cashew Ranch Dressing
- 1 c raw cashews
- 1 c water Plus extra, to thin to desired consistency.
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp dill
- 1 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- Place all ingredients except dill in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Move to a glass container.
- Add dill and stir. Adjust to taste as needed.
- Add additional water as needed to achieve desired consistency.