What is Tzatziki? 

If you had to ask this question, don't feel bad! I had to look it up as well.  If you didn't, then kudos to you. I knew I had seen it before but never gave it much attention. If you do a quick research you will find that this is a greek sauce that can typically be served with meats such as lamb or used as a dipping sauce. Today I am using it as a dip! Traditionally, the recipe calls for strained yogurt cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and some other herbs.

However, I didn't have a lot of these ingredients because I had just recently returned home from our family vacation which means I hadn't been to the grocery store. What I was surprised to come home to, however, was a garden filled with Cucumbers. So off the record, if anyone is interested in trying a garden and are looking for some easy 'newbie' veggies, then cucumbers are the way to go! They are seriously the easiest veggie to grow. With that being said, be ready to be overwhelmed with a bountiful harvest like I have been every year. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but while they are easy to grow they can still be a lot of work to deal with once they are here. Ive been looking up a lot of cucumber recipes to make sure I use them all this summer and this was one that I found. Its super easy! And if you follow a vegan lifestyle then this will work for you as well! It uses soaked cashews instead of yogurt. Something I usually ALWAYS have in my pantry are raw cashews. They have a long shelf life and they serve as a great snack when you are in a hurry! They are also loaded with all kinds of energy boosting nutrients as well as a hearty dose of minerals that most of us are missing out on in our every day diet. When I saw an alternative that used cashews I was thrilled!:) 

1 cucumber (diced)
1 cup cashews (soaked and rinsed)
1/2 cup water
lemon juice (start with 2 tbsp)
salt (start with 1 tsp)
garlic powder (start with 2 tps)
Cayenne (start with 1 tsp)
pumpkin seeds (optional) 

pour 1 cup cashews into a bowl. Fill up with water and let soak. This process takes about 30 minutes. I usually use this time to prep other ingredients. after 30 minutes, put cashews in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with water. Pour cashews into a blender and add diced cucumbers, 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, and other seasonings. Blend until desired consistency. NOTES:  I actually used a whole cup of water and it came out extremely runny. YIKES. so i just added some pumpkin seeds and more cashews and blended for quite some time and it finally came out right. I cut the recipe down to a 1/2 a cup, so if it comes out too thick just add some extra water. Its also important to note that the original recipe called for the diced cucumbers to be folded into the dip, not blended. I had a pretty big cucumber to use up though so i thought the best method would be to blend it all the way in. It turned out fine! Its all about preference though. I didn't give exact measurements on the seasonings because i didn't really measure. I always find that its best to start off small ( be extremely conservative) because you can always add more. I started with about 2 tbs lemon juice but felt it needed a little more. Im pretty sure i juiced a whole lemon when it was all said and done. (About 4 tbsp) ha! that and the garlic powder and cayenne are what made this dish so darn tasty in my opinion, so i added the most of those. I served it with some cut up cucumbers and pretzels. I even made avotoast with it too, which was  DELICIOUS! This dish can be really tasty with the right seasonings and SO healthy. So get in the kitchen and give it a try. Remember to have fun and just play around with the flavors. You never know what your taste buds will like until you try!:)