Savory spreads are great on crackers, hors d’oeuvres, or piped into pasta shells. They are firm enough to be cubed to go into a salad or rice dish. They can be used in a stuffed potato, enchilada, or any lettuce wrap or nori roll.
The sweet version of this spread can go in the middle of muffins, on pancakes, rolled into crepes, mixed into a creamy fruit smoothie, or cubed and arranged on a fruit platter.
1 cup liquids + 1 cup solids + 1–3 teaspoons agar agar powder. Add the flavorings, herbs and spices. Put all ingredients in a Vitamix (turned on high) for 4–5 minutes. Pour into mold. Let set until cooled and firm. Unmold, garnish, and enjoy!
Agar Agar is a whole-food, nutritious Red Sea algae that is used as a thickener. It is basically tasteless. It comes in bars, flakes, and powdered. For these recipes, I have used the powdered.
TIP: 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon.
Agar agar powder works great with fruit to make fruit glazes, sauces, jellies, or jams. By using 1, 2 or 3 teaspoons, you can determine how firm you would like it. One teaspoon is a soft gel, two teaspoons works for a jam, and three teaspoons is used for the above, firm recipe.
SAVORY SPREAD RECIPE
LIQUIDS: 1 cup vegan milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or home-made sauerkraut juice, Japanese ume plum vinegar, or a vinegar of your choice.
SOLIDS: 1 cup nut flour, such as almond, macadamia, tiger nut flour (a root, not a nut, for those who don’t eat nuts), or 1 cup any white beans (use 2 teaspoons of agar agar with the flours and 3 teaspoons if using the beans).
Vitamix: Place your choice of liquids and solids into the Vitamix, with spices, herbs and flavorings added. Only a dash, because it easily picks up flavors! Suggested spices for the Savory Spread are: cayenne, sea salt, oregano, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast.
I use a meat or candy thermometer to measure temperature. Should be between 115º and 120º after Vitamixing.
SWEET SPREAD RECIPE
Sweet Spreads use the same process. 1 cup fruit juice + 1 cup fruit, agar agar, and a tablespoon of your favorite liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut nectar)—or no sweetener at all.
Add flavoring or extracts of your choice: lemon, orange, vanilla, or almond. Follow the same steps as in the basic recipe; it’s very versatile. Enjoy creating your own variations!