Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yogurt was one of my go-to foods before I became vegan. I can remember swirling brown rice syrup into cream-top yogurt for a snack when I was little; when I was in college, I always had a tub of yogurt in the fridge to top with berries and nuts for breakfast or a substantial snack.

Finding non-dairy yogurts that do not have creepy additives, gums and stabilizers can be a challenge. Those that I have found tend to be coconut based (and thus taste of coconut) and cost a fortune.

So I decided to make my own out of soaked cashews and it’s totally amazing! Rich and creamy and tangy, it would be perfect with a swirl of sweetness from jam or maple. It does take 24 hours to culture, but takes only minutes of effort.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when making this yogurt. First, you absolutely must soak raw cashews. Soaking softens the cashews and allows them to blend up into a seamless cream. Soaking also gets rid of phytic acid and makes the nuts easier to digest, so that’s a bonus! Second, you must use non-chlorinated water, since chlorine can kill the probiotics that will culture your yogurt. Third, if you want a thicker, Greek style yogurt, you should reduce the water, add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil, or add a thickener like agar agar. Lastly, if you want to use your yogurt for savory applications, leave out the date and swap in a teaspoon of agave nectar (the sugar will help it culture, but should have a minimal impact on flavor).

This recipe will be a hit with your friends who are gluten-free or following a raw foods OR whole food plant-based OR paleo diet!

Love and yogurt,



Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yield: 1 cup yogurt

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 date, pitted
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 probiotic capsules, OR 100 Billion Probiotic Cultures OR 1 tablespoon live, active non-dairy yogurt
  1. In a blender, combine cashews, lemon, date, salt and water until totally smooth.
  2. Transfer the blend to a clean, glass jar. Using a non-metal spoon, stir in your probiotics or live, active yogurt.
  3. Cover the jar with cheesecloth, a clean towel, or a paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Allow to culture in a warm spot for 24 hours.
  4. After the yogurt has cultured, transfer to the refrigerator. Keeps for 3 days.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

When I’m the only vegan at a potluck (which is nearly always), I feel a responsibility to represent my cuisine well. It’s certainly not a burden; I take enormous pleasure in cooking for those I love. But for as long as I’ve been vegetarian of vegan (almost 18 years), I’ve heard things like:

You must only eat rabbit food. 

Isn’t is bland?

Don’t you get bored? 

I really believe with all my heart that choosing plant-based food over animal products has the ability to mitigate problems like climate change, soil degradation and animal suffering. And it’s good for our bodies, too. But I’ve never found it a successful strategy to talk about these things. The most persuasive way I’ve found to represent the joy and abundance of a vegan way of life is through sharing amazing food that is as far away from boring and bland as possible. That’s how you can open minds and start dialogues.

This salmon colored spread has never failed to blow people away. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up and is great for paleo, gluten-free and whole foods plant based friends. It has become my go-to potluck dish and I hope you’ll bring it to your next party.

Love and Potluck Revolutions,



Roasted Red Pepper Dip
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until totally smooth.


For a nut-free version, replace the walnuts and cashews with sunflower seeds.


Mushroom Pâté

I love French food.  I had the amazing fortune to study abroad in Aix en Provence, and find myself returning again and again to this beautiful country.  I am captivated by their culture, especially their food culture.   Meals are transcendental celebrations that synergistically elevate ingredients into sublime territory.

But French food is not always vegan friendly.  Let’s talk about pâté.  It’s a rich, spreadable meat paste.  What makes it delicious is the savory, fatty richness of the whole thing.   It’s easy to replicate this with plant ingredients.

This pâté has all of the savory richness of the traditional recipe with none of the harm.  Walnuts provide richness, lentils provide body, and mushrooms provide umami.  Whizz them all up in the blender with a few spices and you have a delicious, spreadable French treat.  Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!




Mushroom Pate

Yield: 4 cups

Adapted from David Lebovitz's Faux Gras

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion peeled and diced
  • 10 ounces white button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs de provence
  • 1/4 cup port wine (or other red wine)
  • 2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sautee until caramelized. Add the mushrooms, garlic and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally until they are starting to stick to the pan. Deglaze with the port wine. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together lentils, walnuts, lemon juice, tamari, sugar , cayenne and remaining oil until smooth. Add the mushrooms and continue processing until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.
  3. Transfer to mixture to small ramekins. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


For a nut allergy, use sunflower seeds in place of walnuts.

For a soy-free option, omit the tamari and replace with sea salt.




A few weekends ago, Eric and I went to Governor’s Island for a Unicycle Festival.  We discovered the festival around 11:48am on a Saturday, and the festival began at 1pm.  Now, usually I am a snob about jarred peppers.  But we had some on hand, and I wanted to quickly whip up a picnic lunch so we could get on our way.  I threw everything in the blender, grabbed some bread and a few cut up veggies, and we were on our way.

The Unicycle Festival turned out to be disappointingly tiny, but the dip was delicious!  And given how ludicrously simple it was to make, I have since been persuaded to change my snobbish ways.

This makes a delicious accompaniment to the Chesapeake Cakes, but it’s also a fantastic picnic or party dip.

Love and Jarred Peppers,

Amanda Signature



  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon date syrup or other sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender of food processor. Blend until completely smooth.


For a gluten-free diet, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

For a Paleo diet, omit the breadcrumbs entirely and increase the walnuts by 1/2 cup.

For a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet, omit the olive oil.

For the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, omit the date syrup.


The Breads and Basics Chapter

rosemary bread

We have arrived at the final chapter!  This one features all the staples that will assist you throughout the other chapters.  Of course you can buy pizza dough from a store, and commercially made vegan sour creams and nut milks, but it’s so easy and fun to make them yourself.  You’ll receive no judgement on my end, whatever you decide to do.  But this chapter is for the DIY crowd who wants to experiment fully in the kitchen.  This chapter features:

No Knead Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Multigrain Toasting Bread

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Spelt Flour pizza crust

Olive Oil Challah

Cashew Cream Cheese

Nutmeg Pie Crust


Pickle Brine

Nut Milk

Cashew Cream

Sour Cream

Miso Tahini Vinaigrette

Simple Syrup

Date Dulce de Leche

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Here’s the final chapter: Breads and Basics Chapter

Thank you so very much for reading through these pages.  I have poured my heart and soul into these recipes, and it means the world to me that you’re looking at them!  If you have any feedback, questions, comments, or concerns, always feel free to reach out to me at amanda@inclusivevegan.com.  I’d love to hear what you think!

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, so The Inclusive Vegan is taking a 2 week summer break.  See you back here soon, with a whole new batch of plant based recipes that everyone can enjoy, together.

Love and Gratitude,

Amanda Signature

The Pantry Delicacies Chapter

Quick Cranberry Sauce Prep

The first time I was in Alaska, I discovered the art of keeping a well stocked pantry.  I was visiting my dear friend Carolyn whose pantry was brimming over with wild blueberry jam, rosehip jelly, and pickled everything.

In Alaska, food that is shipped from the mainland is expensive, so you learn to make do with what you can grow or forage.  It all starts with the edibles you can get your hands on.  And Carolyn very graciously took it upon herself to teach me all her pantry magic tricks.

We went on incredible hikes through Alaskan rain forest, and collected rosehips and other goodies.  We plundered her garden for beets, carrots, and cucumbers.  And when the raw materials had been collected, we got to canning.

This chapter is dedicated to Carolyn and includes five of my favorite pickle recipes, along with quick and easy jams, nut butters, and sauces.  It features:

Single Nut Butter

Spiced Almond Pumpkin Seed Butter

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Roasted Peach and Bourbon Jam

Fig and Balsamic Jam

Quick Cranberry Sauce

Wild Blueberry Jam

Chai Spiced Pickled Parsnips

Rosemary and Cinnamon Pickled Red Beets

Ginger Pickled Golden Beets

Juniper Pickled Fennel

Spicy Pickled Carrots

Here it is: The Pantry Delacacies Chapter

Love and Canning,

Amanda Signature

Tomato Jam

IMG_3449Eric and I sometimes remark that we live in a veritable human hive, a 24 story building housing over 400 units.  And yet, we don’t know our neighbors.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been in the elevator with the same person twice, nor would I be able to recognize anyone in my building on the street.

With one exception.  There was this incredibly lovely Jewish family who used to live on our floor.  They would keep their doors unlocked and open for Shabbat each week.  They would prop their front door open with a stroller, and their darling daughter, Ruth, would toddle out into the hallway charming everyone who stepped off the elevator.  Inevitably they would have to chase after Ruth as her curiosity pulled her further down the hallways.  And they would greet everyone who passed.  This, I have found, is a rarity in New York City.

But there are some urban outliers who do manage to build neighborly community.  On a recent trip to Cambridge, I stayed with my dear friends Olivia and Molly.  Community is a huge value for both of them, and they clearly live by their values.  They know and love their neighbors: they lean on them and support them for everything from borrowing a cup of sugar to celebrating major milestones.

As we sat down for lunch that Sunday afternoon, their downstairs neighbor and landlord came and knocked at their door.  She was just looking for a bit of sourdough starter that Olivia had stored in their fridge.  We chatted for a moment and provided her with the starter, and then she made her way downstairs.  A few minutes later, she returned with a jar of homemade tomato jam.  Just because she thought they might enjoy it.

After this beautiful exchange had ended, Olivia asked if I wanted to try the jam.  I did, and it was incredible!  Sweet and spicy and savory and bursting with love. In her overflowing generosity, Olivia sent me back to New York that afternoon with half the tomato jam and the recipe.

We are not quite in tomato season yet, but I hope you’ll keep this in your back pocket for the looming late days of summer when tomato vines hang heavy with fruit.  I hope you’ll think of this recipe then, and use it to make a special treat to share with your neighbors.

Neighborly Love,

Amanda Signature



Tomato Jam
  • 5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon red chile flakes
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly simmer the jam until it becomes a sticky, jammy mess. This will take between 1- 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
  2. When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from the heat and fill sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe rims, apply lids, and twist on rings. Submerge in boiling water and process for 20 minutes.
  3. When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Crispy Chickpeas






















I never considered going vegan until I met Julie.   I was living in Norway the year we met, and had decided to try a different challenge every month as part of my New Year’s Resolution.  With 12 months to fill, I would ask friends for challenge suggestions. Julie, my friend and colleague from the University of Life Sciences, suggested we go vegan together for the July challenge.  It sounded fun, so I happily signed on.  Julie and I decided to create a food blog, so that we could exchange recipes and stay in touch after I left the country.

One of the first recipes Julie posted to our shared blog were these chickpeas.  And they are a revelation!  You toss chickpeas in a bit of oil and your favorite spices and roast until crispy.  They add fabulous crunch on top of soups and stews, but they are also fantastic on their own alongside a cold beer.

Love and Chickpeas,

Amanda Signature



Crispy Chickpeas
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Gently dry the chickpeas between two paper towels or clean dishcloths, until most of the moisture has been removed.
  3. Toss the chickpeas with oil, salt, paprika and pepper.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until crispy, shaking the pan every 10 minutes to check their progress.
  5. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Hazelnut Butter


When I was 9 years old, hazelnut butter was a special treat for me and my best friend Laura.  My mom would come home with a jar of it from a local health foods store, and we would eat it out of a jar with a spoon.

It is becoming more and more common to see nut butters beyond just peanut and almond in the grocery stores these days.  A jar of hazelnut butter, if you can find it, will cost you 2-4 times what it’s worth.

Homemade nut butters are some of the easiest and most cost effective recipes on the planet, and hazelnut butter is one of my favorite variations.   It requires just two ingredients and 10 minutes.  That’s it.

Of course, you can jazz it up in myriad ways.  Add some sugar and cocoa powder if you’re in the mood for some homemade nutella.  You can also add a variety of spices, if that’s your jam.  I love adding in garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg.

If you’re not a fan of hazelnuts, try any nut you please (except walnuts, which will never quite break down into a spreadable paste).  You can also mix and match, just for the fun of it.  Cashew macadamia is a killer combination.  So is pecan and sesame.

And there are a million ways to use it.  Spread it on muffins, stuff it into dates, swirl it into smoothies.  The possibilities are endless.

Love and Hazelnuts,

Amanda Signature



Hazelnut Butter
  • 1 lb. roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Place hazelnuts and sea salt in a food processor.
  2. Process until a smooth paste has formed, about 10 minutes. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times throughout the process.
  3. Store in an air tight container for up to one month.


For a raw food approach, use raw instead of roasted hazelnuts. For a whole foods plant based approach, omit the salt.



Homemade Coconut Milk


I love making homemade nut and seed milks.  They taste so much fresher and cleaner than the pre-made stuff you can buy at the store.  But they tend to be a pit pricey.

This homemade coconut milk is super fast, easy, and inexpensive.  It’s not as thick as canned coconut milk, but it’s perfect to pour over cereal, use in baked goods, or drink straight from the container.

It reminds me of when I was little and my mom would buy glass bottles of whole milk.  If you were lucky, you’d be the first one to open to bottle and taste the cream that had floated to the top.  This milk is just like that milk.  The cream will float to the top, and you can either have a decadent first pour or shake before use to redistribute the fat.

Love and Coconut Milk,

Amanda Signature



Homemade Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup dried, shredded coconut
  • 4 cups water
  1. Place coconut and water in a high speed blender. Blend on high until totally smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Strain the milk through a nut milk bag. Once most of the milk has been strained, squeeze the remaining pulp to extract every last bit.
  3. Pour into a clean, air tight container. Store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.


If you don't have a high speed blender, just blend on high for an extra few minutes. If you don't have a nut milk bag, you can use a clean tee shirt, a few layers of cheesecloth, or even clean nylons. If you want to flavor to milk, feel free to add a spoonful of cocoa powder, a pinch of sea salt, or some vanilla extract.