Here’s something a little creamy, a little sweet, and easy to pair with nearly anything. Behold, shockingly simple, pretty, sumptuous sweet vegan ricotta. This spread pairs beautifully when slathered on crackers or toast, crowns fruit in a gorgeous way, adds oomph to baking recipes, and is a creamy, dreamy topping for oatmeal and granola. I like mine nestled between french toast and marmalade.
A small dish of this is an elegant addition to any brunch table or party (when paired with fruit and sweet biscuits for dipping). Making a strawberry shortcake? You’re gonna need this. Extra perk: I’ve made this before for kiddos and they lap it up. And since there are no processed sugars, grains, or gluten, it’s a sweet treat everyone can feel nice about. Recipe and photo contributed by Ashlee Piper, from The Little Foxes.
Makes: About 2 cups
- 2/3 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 5 dates, skins on
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a medium sized dish, place the cashews, almonds, and dates, and cover with 1 cup of water. Allow to soak for 30 minutes.
Once soaked, add the entire mixture (soaking water included), lemon juice, and vanilla extract in to a high-speed blender. Blend until creamy and thick. The consistency doesn’t have to be completely smooth (when making this more like traditional sweet Ricotta, I use a bit less water and allow the blend to be chunkier).
This recipe will keep covered in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to use, just stir and slather on!
Variations and notes:
This recipe is a base for many wonderful variations. I encourage you to be creative! Add fresh orange peel, a dash of cardamom, orange blossom water, or some light espresso powder (not all together, though) for different flavors. You could get really Italian with this and serve topped with some Bee-Free Honee and pine nuts for a gorgeous treat.
I especially like this basic recipe paired with sour marmalade on fresh toast, and topped with some Flower Pepper (a nice mixture of peppercorns and edible dried flowers).
- For more vegan cheese-like recipes, go to Vegan Cheese-y Delights.
- Here are more easy vegan breakfast recipes and ideas.
Ashlee Piper is a governmental strategist, writer, and wellness coach living in Chicago. She owns All Is Wellness, a boutique plant-based lifestyle consultancy, and manages the Vegucated Schoolhouse Online Community, a free space that offers expert advice and support to thousands of people in transition to veganism. Her writing can be found in Ecorazzi, Reader’s Digest, Our Hen House, and Girlie Girl Army, and on her own vegan food and style website, The Little Foxes.