A good friend always told me that the sign of a true artist in the kitchen is one that can succesfully layer flavors in a dish.

This simply means that when you bite into something the taste changes as you chew. In each bite you may experience a sour taste from the apple hitting the sides of your mouth, while your tickled with a little sweetness at the back of your throat from the honey, while the tip of your tongue is tantalized with the sharpness of the vegan cream cheese and crisp walnuts. Adding to that we have layers of another sort – texture!

This bite size “apple-tizer” has the perfect mix of crunch and creaminess.

In this recipe we soak our nuts before using them. If you are anything like me, stubborn as a bull, I had been convincing myself for years that “aint nobody got time for that!” But, recently I have been educated on why this is so important. For years I had thought I was allergic to walnuts, they made my tongue feel swollen. Walnuts, however have a coating on them that acts as a enzyme inhibitor and can leave animals feeling bloated and swollen after eating them, along with a bunch of other nuts and seeds.

Here are some reasons why soaking is beneficial to our health:

  • it removes anti-nutrients like phytates and tannins
  • it helps to neutralise enzyme inhibitors
  • it increases the potency of nutrients such as Vitamin B
  • it makes proteins more readily available
  • it eradicate toxins contained in the colon and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria like lactobacilli which we know is vital for intestinal and colon health
  • it promotes the growth of healthy enzymes vital for healthy digestion

We hope you enjoy this fun little, colorful appetizer!


Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cup soaked cashews (rinsed)
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

*soaking your cashews not only removes the enzyme inhibitors but it also gives you a smoother product (removes the grainy texture). You can leave out the garlic if you want a plain flavor or try adding herbs like dill or basil to spice it up a bit.

Instructions for Vegan Cream Cheese:

  • Put everything in a high-speed blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Cover and refrigerate. Will keep for two weeks in the fridge or 4 months in the freezer.

Apple Slices with Walnuts & Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe:

  • 1 thinly sliced apple (or pear)
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • grate beet to garnish


Arrange apple slices on a serving tray. Add a dollop of vegan cream cheese, a piece of walnut, and drizzle the entire tray with honey before serving. I like to add a bunch of grated beet to the center of the dish for a pop of color. Enjoy!

Katie Israelson