This is a vegan, egg and dairy free dish, which makes it suitable for almost everyone! I have been working on this No Mayo Potato Salad for quite some time now, wanting to evoke the creaminess or the original without relying on any kind of egg-based mayo or dairy substitutes. Using pureed soaked, raw cashews as the base of this dish also has another advantage: it can be left out at room temperature for much longer than traditional egg or dairy based recipes. Yay!
“But Cashews are legumes!”
I see this go round and around the Paleosphere on a regular basis. In fact, I’ve seen cashews claimed as a nut, a seed AND a legume! However, cashews are the seeds of the cashew apple, even though they are called “nuts” and treated as such in cooking. Now a legume is defined as either a member of the botanical family “Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant”. Given that a cashew apple is in the botanical family Anacardiaceae, I don’t believe that cashews can be considered legumes.
Mark Sisson writes about why he considers cashews ok to eat in small amounts once they have been soaked to remove phytic acid. The phytic acid thing is pretty interesting, especially when you consider that a serving of almonds has 68.5% of the phytic acid found in the same sized serving of cashews, yet you don’t see many Paleo people soaking almonds that often. Phytic Acid aside, soaking the raw cashews here also helps soften the nuts, making them much easier to blend into a smooth paste, which is essential to the texture of this No Mayo Potato Salad recipe.
How to make No Mayo Potato Salad
Prepare bite size pieces of white sweet potatoes however you like so that they are cooked but still a little firm to the touch. I like to roast mine. That way I don’t have to worry about trying to drain all the water off the potatoes like I would if I were to boil them, and there’s much less chance of overcooking the potatoes to mush! When the potatoes are cooked through, remove them from their pan or baking tray and refrigerate them while you make the dressing.
You will need to have soaked your raw cashews in advance. I do this by putting them in a bowl and covering them with filtered water and leaving them in the fridge overnight. I’ve also run across recipes that call for soaking the cashews for only about 2 – 3 hours. However long you choose to soak the cashews for your Paleo hummus, make sure to rinse them well and then drain them thoroughly. Add your drained cashews to either a blender or food processor (a mini food processor will also work) and process until you have a thick but almost spreadable paste. Depending on the machine you use, this may take a little time. Next you will want to start adding the coconut milk a 1/4 cup at a time, processing until smooth after each additional 1/4 cup before adding the next. At this point, you should have a smooth dressing-like consistency. Once that is achieved, the herbs and seasonings are added. Lastly, the dressing is tossed with your cooked and cooled potatoes, along with minced fresh chives. Don’t blend the chives in with the other herbs and seasonings or your potato salad will end up with a slight green tinge! If the dressing is too thick for your taste, add a little water to the bowl and mix until the consistency is as you prefer.
You can refrigerate the No Mayo Potato Salad, but it is really best to bring it to room temperature or close before serving. This is because the cold will thicken the dressing considerably because of the fat content of the coconut milk. Once it is no longer fully chilled, the creamy dressing consistency will return!
A note on the hot dogs in the picture…
Those are organic, grass fed, uncured hot dogs from Organic Prairie! I still consider them a treat – which is just as well because they’re usually sold out at the one store I know that sells them 🙂
- In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes in the avocado oil to coat them evenly before spreading them in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast at 400F for 20 - 25 minutes. This has the advantage of keeping excess water out of the potato salad later, unlike boiling them. When cooked, remove the potatoes from the tray and refrigerate.
- Add the raw cashews to either a food processor or blender. Process until you have a thick but almost spreadable paste.
- Add the coconut milk a ¼ cup at a time, processing until smooth after each additional ¼ cup before adding the next.
- Once the raw cashews and coconut milk mixture is smooth, add the lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, mustard powder and dried dill. Process until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked & cooled sweet potatoes, dressing and minced chives.
- If the dressing is too thick for your taste, add a little water to the bowl and mix until the consistency is as you prefer.
- Toss gently and serve at room temperature.
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