For the cashew cheese
1 cup of raw cashews
3 teaspoons of nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
4 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
12 fresh jalapeños
For the crumbing
¼ cup of gluten free bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
¼ cup of almond milk (or a plant based milk of your choice)
For the dipping sauce
1/3 cup of raw cashews
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
5 tablespoons of water
Soak the 1 cup of cashews and the ¼ cup of cashews over night, in separate containers with enough water to cover them. Once soaked, drain the water from the 1 cup of cashews and discard the water.
Preheat your oven to 200c and make the cashew cheese by placing all the popper ingredients (except the jalapeños), into a blender and blending for 5 minutes. Make sure you scrape any lumps from the side of the blender and add them to your mixture so that they blend nicely too. Once the cashew cheese is smooth, set it aside.
Slice each jalapeño in half. Remove and discard the seeds. Put a generous teaspoon of the cashew cheese mixture into each jalapeño half and set aside.
To make the crumbing mixture, combine the bread crumbs and nutritional yeast and place them onto a plate. Pour the milk into a small shallow bowl. Carefully dip the stuffed poppers into the almond milk. Place them onto the breadcrumb plate and cover them generously with crumbs. Shake off any excess crumbs. Repeat until each popper is well covered. The bottom half will only have a thin layer of breadcrumbs, but the cheese stuffed top will have a nice thick layer. Place the poppers onto a dry baking tray and into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes until the jalapeños have softened and the bread crumbs have browned.
While the poppers are cooking, make the sauce. Drain the remaining 1/3 cup of cashews and discard the water. Blend the cashews with the rest of the sauce ingredients, for 5 minutes until smooth. Place the sauce into a serving dish.
Once the poppers are cooked, place them onto a platter, with the sauce and serve immediately.
Yields: Makes 24 poppers.
Time: 30 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook. Plus the soaking time for the cashews.