Cashews. Garlic. Cilantro. All of the best flavors wrapped in browned zucchini. This makes a great appetizer and is an awesome crowd pleaser.
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It feels like spring time in my neck of the woods and that always gives me mixed feelings….mostly because I’m a mom. Because spring time means my kids will soon have yet another grade completed and will be one year closer to leaving our nest and making it out in the real world.
In a way, I feel more sad about the school year coming to a close than when New Year’s rolls around. Fresh air, blossoming trees, and birds chirping is yet another reminder that my children are a year older,a year smarter I hope, and I’m a year wiser I hope.
But spring time is also a gentle reminder to plant those seeds for a prolific summer garden. And even if growing your own crops isn’t on your to-do list, farmers far and wide are doing just that so look for summer squash at a farmer’s market near you.
Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable, wouldn’t you agree? It can be added into sweet treats like brownies and breads, and can also be made into savory appetizers such as this one. There’s so many different ways to prepare zucchini that even with an overabundance of this summer squash, you can be creative and make yet another dish.
Cashew Garlic Zucchini Pinwheels
What I love the most about these pinwheels, is the cashew and garlic filling. To maximize health benefits of cashews, I suggest taking the extra step of soaking and dehydrating them first. As strange as it sounds, soaking nuts actually enhances nutrient bio-availability and increases enzyme action. It’s not difficult to do, just some thinking ahead and an extra step. Having said that, feel free to skip this step and use regular cashews if that’s all you have.
Cover cashews with filtered water so that all nuts are completely submerged. Add 1/2 tablespoon of Celtic Sea Salt. Loosely cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth and allow to stand on the counter for 6 hours. Rinse nuts to remove salt residue and spread out in single layer on a tray to dehydrate at 150F degrees for 12-16 hours or until nuts are slightly crispy.
I use THIS dehydrator but an oven can also be used. Just keep in mind that it’s important to dry nuts and seeds at low temperatures to preserve the fragile nutrient profile so 150F degrees is the maximum heat that you’d want to use. Most ovens come preset with a low temperature closer to 200F degrees so you may need to consult your oven manual to override that base temperature. I typically have a “Nut Day” where I soak all my nuts (our favorites are pecans, cashews, and almonds) in separate bowls and then dehydrate them all in one shot. This way, I have nuts ready to go whether to eat them by the handful or be used in recipes.
I hope you’ll get to try these pinwheels while zucchini is still plentiful.
Cashew Garlic Zucchini Pinwheels
Garlicky cashew and cilantro filling in browned zucchini sliced.
- 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4" slices
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cups raw whole cashews
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 6-8 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon real salt
Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Arrange zucchini strips on pan and cook until browned (2-3 minutes). Flip and cook the other side (additional 1-2 minutes). Set aside on paper towels to absorb excess fat. Continue with the remaining zucchini strips.
In a food processor, pulse cashews, cilantro, garlic, sour cream and salt to combine well. Pour olive oil through spout and continue to pulse until it forms the consistency of thick paste. Add more olive oil as needed.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of cashew mixture on each strip and carefully fold over to create a pinwheel. Do this for the remaining zucchini strips.
Best eaten immediately but can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
Soaking Cashews (optional)
Cover raw cashews with filtered water so that all nuts are completely submerged. Add 1/2 tablespoon of Celtic Sea Salt. Loosely cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth and allow to stand on the counter for 6 hours. Rinse nuts to remove salt residue and spread out in single layer on a tray to dehydrate at 150F degrees for 12-16 hours or until nuts are slightly crispy.