I just finished an Ayurvedic Spring Detox and Clean Eating Challenge and I have not eaten dairy products for a few weeks and I’m feeling really good,  but I miss the creamy and rich taste of dairy.

After trying a few dairy alternative cheeses I was not satisfied with, I thought I would try to come up with my own recipe using cashew nuts.  This creamy white “cheesy” sauce  hits the spot!

Ayurvedic Inspired Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Spinach Bake

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Serves: 6


Creamy Cashew Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups  raw cashews, soaked in very hot water
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 cups (240-480 ml) unsweetened plain almond or rice milk or water

 Sweet Potato Spinach Mushroom Onion Filling

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large purple or sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced (chanterelles, morels, cèpes a.k.a. porcini, false chanterelles, shitake or the common field mushroom)
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach (or baby kale or power veggie blend)
  • 1 Tbs of Vata or Pitta or Kapha Spice blend**
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil to coat large casserole dish.



  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Soak cashews in very hot water for 20 minutes and set aside.
  • Coat the bottom and sides of casserole dish with olive oil and set aside.
  • Thinly slice medium sweet potatoes to about ¼ inch thickness, along with the onion. Using a mandolin slicer on the thinnest setting is useful.
  • Add 2 tsp olive oil to a large non-stick frying pan. Add your Vata or Pitta or Kapha spices and sauté for 10 seconds.
  • Add the mushroom plus 2 pinches of sea salt and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Then add onions and add a pinch of sea salt and saute for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the 2-large handful of spinach (or other baby greens) along with 2 pinches of sea salt to frying pan, mix gently, place lid on the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Drain cashews and then add to a high speed blender.
  • Add arrowroot starch (for thickening), nutritional yeast, garlic, sea salt, 1 1/2 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk or water to blender
  • Blend on high until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Transfer to small pot and cook over medium-low to medium heat for 5 minutes, whisking frequently. The sauce should thicken and bubble. Be careful not to burn.
  • Add more dairy-free milk or water as needed to thin.
  • Line the bottom of the casserole dish with a layer of thinly sliced sweet potatoes.
  • Add ½ of the sautéed spinach, onion, mushroom mixture on top of the sweet potatoes.
  • Add 1/3 of the creamy cashew sauce on top and spread it evenly.
  • Add another layer of the thinly sliced sweet potatoes to cover bottom mixture.
  • Add remaining ½ of the sautéed spinach, onion, mushroom mixture on top of the sweet potatoes.
  • Add another 1/3 of the creamy cashew sauce on top and spread it evenly.
  • Add remaining sweet potato slices on top, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, then cover with the remaining creamy cashew sauce and spread it evenly.
  • Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.Uncover and cook for 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the liquid to evaporate.
  • Take out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes to cool.Enjoy!


I brought my casserole to a gathering so I halved my recipe and baked it in a pie dish. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

The Creamy Cashew Sauce can be used as a topping for baked potatoes or as a creamy white sauce over pasta or zoodles. It is a versatile sauce to add creamy richness to any dish.