In my ongoing efforts to Pumpkinize All The Things, I bring you this smooth, savory and altogether delicious cheese spread, just waiting for canvases in the form of crackers, toasted bread, apples, carrots, celery and you-name-it as modes of delivery. If you’re into pumpkin but have had it up to your eyeballs in pumpkin spice, or maybe you just want to add to your repertoire, this spread is the perfect way to enjoy October’s favorite gourd. It’s creamy, cheesy, luscious, a little zingy, subtly sweet, packed with umami, and, dare I say, sophisticated. It’s also waiting for you.
2 cups untoasted, unsalted cashews or cashew pieces, soaked for two hours or more and drained 1 packed cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling) 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ¼ cup plus two tablespoons nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon mellow white miso 2 capsules probiotic powder 4-ounces plain vegan cream cheese 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or refined coconut oil (optional but this helps the texture be smooth) 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon ground pepper 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup toasted pecan pieces, salted Optional additional smoked paprika, salt and pepper
In a large food processor, add all the ingredients except for the pecans and process until smooth. This will take a couple of minutes. Alternatively, you can use a high-speed blender but its shape isn’t ideal for making this. (If you do, use a silicone scraper spatula for getting all the remnants out.) Place in a covered container for eight hours or longer for a zingy taste. Before serving, sprinkle with pecan pieces, and additional paprika, salt and pepper. This is best served cool. Pumpkin, cheese, apple, carrot, cucumber, bread.