Cashew and tahini dressing

You know how sometimes you just need a simple, go-to tasty dressing that will liven up any dull dish (not that we have much dullness in The Sensitive Foodie Kitchen!) – you know, the thing you can splash all over a salad, dip your roasted veggies in or liven up a simple sandwich? Well, this is mine, and it works a treat.

Of course, a simple dressing of lemon juice and unrefined oil is lovely and refreshing, but it doesn’t really hit the sumptuous button. This creamy cashew and tahini dressing really does. It’s rich but still light and you can adapt it to suit your tastebuds. And with the whole goodness of both cashews and sesame seeds, it’s packed with nutritional benefits too, including good amounts of manganese, magnesium and zinc.

Our bodies are made up of a complex mixture of minerals; some get a lot of attention, others not so much. We hear a lot about calcium and strong bones (dairy is not the answer!), zinc for our immune system and magnesium for healthy hearts. Manganese is rarely in the mineral limelight, so today I’m going to remedy this, as it deserves attention of it’s own.

Whilst we only need a small amount every day to keep our body stores full, manganese is essential for growth and bone health, as well as strong hair, nails and healthy skin. It’s also needed for numerous enzymes involved in metabolic processes like blood sugar control and thyroid function. As with much essential nutrition, a type Western diet high in animal products and refined foods will be stripped of manganese; just maybe that contributes to the massive increase in chronic health problems? Anyone who eats a mainly plant based diet, however, will have no problem getting enough manganese as it features in nuts, grains and veggies.

So a good dollop of this dressing will help stock up your manganese reserves. If you add it to a salad including spinach and chickpeas, you’ll be super stocked! And it tastes so good, your mouth will be as happy as your body. This recipe makes enough for 4 servings and keeps in the fridge for 5 days. Enjoy!

Cashew and tahini dressing
1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 cup water
1 heaped tablespoon tahini (make sure no added oil)
pinch of salt
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional but good)
good squeeze lemon juice

Drain the cashew nuts. Place in a blender with the water and blend until smooth (add a little more water if too thick). Add the remain ingredients and blend again for a minute or so until everything is combined and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.

The photo is roasted sweet potato and mini peppers alongside pan fried pak choi topped with the cashew and tahini dressing and pine nuts. Gorgeous! Follow me on Instagram for regular food pics and ideas – @the.sensitive.foodie.


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