This recipe is a revelation. It actually tastes like real, traditional tzatziki. I have come across a lot of vegan substitutes in my time that do indeed taste nice, but importantly don't taste similar to what they are replicating (prime example: almost every vegan cheese). This tzatziki is different. It contains absolutely no dairy products, but the combination of soaked cashews with lots of mint, cucumber and lemon juice literally tastes the same as normal tzatziki!
What's more, not only does soaking the cashews give them a creamy consistency, it also washes away the enzyme inhibitor that stops the nut from trying to sprout. Eating raw, unsoaked nuts, and therefore consuming this enzyme inhibitor, prevents us from absorbing the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals contained within them. So, yeah, soak your nuts!
3 cups / 640g tzatziki
3 hours+ for soaking cashews
|2 cups||unroasted, unsalted cashews, soaked in water for 3 hours or more (I soak mine overnight)|
|1||whole lemon's juice|
|2||medium garlic cloves, crushed|
|½||tsp freshly ground black pepper|
|½||whole cucumber, finely chopped (it will seem like too much, but is not).|
|2||large handfuls fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (=15g leaves or 25g with the stems).|
- Drain the cashews and rinse them well. Put them in a powerful smoothie maker/blender, or in a food processor if you don't have one. You can use a stick blender, but the result won't be as smooth.
- Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and water and blitz to a smooth puree. It should have a thick, yoghurty consistency and shouldn't need more water. But if so, add it carefully as you don't want to make it too runny. Bear in mind it will thicken in the fridge.
- Add a touch more salt, to taste.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl, or a bowl you'd like to serve it in. Add the cucumber and mint and stir through. Now refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- To make it look fancy, garnish with more mint leaves and tiny pieces of cucumber, a good grind of black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Delicious served as part of a mezze feast with falafel, tabbouleh, pitta and hummus, or just as a snack with some crackers, carrots or tomatoes.