Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing
Creamy and with some light texture, this Dairy-free Caesar Dressing is my take on the store-bought version that’s full of dairy and a lot of unpronounceable ingredients. Made as whole and nutrient-dense as possible, it uses raw cashews and my secret weapon, zucchini, to create a smooth and creamy base that is mixed with different seasonings to provide that rich caesar flavor. To add even more benefit, I also feature two different traditionally fermented digestives (see below) to add flavor and added support for a healthy gut.
Highlights of this caesar dressing:
- Raw cashews. Since we’re not using dairy, we need a just-as-creamy alternative. Enter: raw cashews. They provide that desired rich mouthfeel, while also adding healthy fats and a variety of nutrients like magnesium, B vitamins, manganese, and copper.
- Zucchini or yellow squash. My secret weapon for providing water (as it has a high water content), an extra boost of nutrients, and fiber. The fiber contributes to a smooth consistency while allowing water to be adding that doesn’t just thin the dressing out.
- Fermented digestives. This caesar dressing is not only dairy-free, but it features two different fermented foods: organic miso paste and traditionally-fermented sauerkraut. The miso provides a deep, umami flavor while the sauerkraut adds a slight tang, crunch, and prebiotics for the good bacteria. Both provide probiotics to help aid a healthy gut microbiome.
- Herbs. Beyond vitamins, minerals, and fiber, high concentrations of phytochemicals like terpenes are found in herbs. Terpenoids are the plant chemicals that provide the intense colors, aromas, and flavors to the different herbs. Not only that, but those terpenoids benefit the plant and thus our body in a variety of ways – the oils usually providing some medicinal quality such as having anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties.
How easy it is to make:
This Dairy-free Caesar Dressing is my take on the store-bought version that's full of dairy and a lot of unpronounceable ingredients. It's made as whole and nutrient-dense as possible, has a smooth and creamy base, then mixed with different seasonings to provide that rich caesar flavor. Bonus: it also feature two different traditionally fermented digestives to add deep flavor and added support for a healthy gut.
- Raw cashews, soaked until softened, 20-30 minutes, and drained
- Zucchini or yellow crooked-neck squash, chopped
- Lemon, peeled and chopped, or juiced
- Celery, chopped
- Water, as needed
- Fresh garlic, minced
- Onion powder
- Minced sauerkraut or capers
- Dijon mustard
- Miso paste, tamari, or coconut aminos
- Pinch kelp or dulse flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a high-speed blender, add about equal parts cashews and zucchini to a high-speed blender. Add as much lemon as desired, start with about half if unsure, and a splash of raw apple cider vinegar if using. Lastly, add the celery, about 1 stalk is a great place to start. Remember, you can always add more ingredients in after tasting, but can’t take away.
Blend on high, slowly streaming in water to help blend (remember the squash has water in it) until you reach desired thickness and it becomes very creamy. Use less water to make a dip or more water to make a pourable dressing.
Taste. Assess the thickness and taste. Adjust with more lemon or water if needed. If you’ve added too much water, blend in additional squash or cashews to make it more thick.
Now, let’s add the seasonings, which are all to taste. Whisk in as much of the remaining ingredients as desired. If unsure, try about 1 teaspoon of each of the dried seasonings and add more as needed after tasting.
Taste. Assess the flavor and adjust by adding in more of the seasonings as desired.
This stores in the fridge for several days, up to a week, so can easily be made in a large amount and use throughout the week.
The dressing thickens as it sits, especially if it sits overnight. A splash of water may need to be added.
*For those that don't know, my recipes are made as whole and nutrient-dense as possible, but still incredibly satisfying. I share my recipes without measurements and hope they equip you to not feel confined to a recipe, but rather confident in your kitchen to be able to create something unique, nourishing, and delicious all on your own. So take this recipe as inspiration and enjoy! Head on over to my IG @noelle.parton and tag me if you try this out, or contact me if you have questions or comments.
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