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I used to use a lot of cream of mushroom soup back in the days before cancer. But for the last eight years, I've had to learn to live without it; until now! I wanted to create something I could use in various ways just like the old way of using cream of mushroom soup. This recipe is simple, but very tasty with very few ingredients. The milk that I used was my homemade hemp milk which is just 1/8 cup of hemp seed to 3 cups of water. It was the perfect milk for this cream of mushroom. If you're using another milk, it will probably change the taste. I also soaked the cashews overnight so I could achieve that creaminess I like. Since I've been making this Cream of Mushroom recipe, I've used it as a sauce with my Breakfast Patties, over marinated vegetables and with these Walnut and Pecan Meatballs. I've also crumbled breakfast patties into the sauce and made kind of a chipped beef style sauce or gravy. I guess I'm getting my fill from eight years of not using it.

For the meatballs, you could certainly dehydrate these in a warm oven with the door open. They don't take too long in the dehydrator; just a few hours depending on your dehydrator and the temperature you use and how big your meatballs are. I like to dehydrate mine at 145 degrees for an hour and then turn the temperature down to 115 degrees for several hours. If I'm in more of a hurry, I'll keep them at 145 degrees until they are done. Kristy made a raw spaghetti sauce over zucchini noodles and we put the meatballs in the sauce in a double boiler to warm them up a bit. They were wonderful in the "spaghetti."  I also love to soak the "meatballs" in the cream of mushroom in a double boiler and eat them that way. You could also crumble them to use in various dishes (I actually crumbled one and put in my salad). Any way you choose to eat them, they are delicious!

Cream of Mushroom

1 cup soaked cashews (we like to soak overnight for a super creaminess)

1 cup of chopped, fresh mushrooms

3/4 cup non dairy milk (We used our homemade hemp milk) You can use less or more depending on how thick you want it and on your blender.

1 clove garlic

1/2t sea salt

Put all ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until very creamy. Transfer to glass bowl and store in refrigerator. This keeps well in the refrigerator, but will turn brown on top. Just stir it well and it will be fine. It also thickens as it cools so if you want a thinner sauce, next time you use it,  just dilute with your milk or water.

Walnut and Pecan Meatballs

(Makes about 13 medium sized meatballs)

Dehydrate the onions and celery to soften for about an hour at 115 degrees

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 cup soaked and/or sprouted buckwheat (soak at least 30 minutes)

3/4 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 clove garlic

1T coconut aminos or tamari

1/2T coconut vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or raw apple cider vinegar

1/2T oregeno

1/2t thyme

1/2T sage

1/2t sea salt

3/4t onion powder

3/4t garlic powder

1/4 cup raw "Cream of Mushroom"

1/2 cup chia gel or 4t chia seeds mixed with 1/2 cup water for 10-15 minutes until gelled

2T psyllium husks

Directions

After softening the onions and celery, place buckwheat, walnuts and pecans in your food processor and process until crumbly. Add your softened onions and celery, garlic, spices, vinegar, coconut aminos or tamari, cream of mushroom, and chia gel. Process until smooth. It's OK to still have some onion and celery pieces in the mix. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in psyllium husks and blend well.

Form your meatballs and place on a mesh tray lined with parchment paper and dehydrate at 145 degrees for one hour and then 115 degrees for several hours until done. You can keep the temperature at 145 degrees if you want them done earlier or you can dehydrate in a warm oven, with door cracked and rack on top until done. They shouldn't take too long so watch carefully. I would guess between 45 minutes to one hour but that is only a guess since I haven't tried them that way and it also depends on the size of your meatballs. Store meatballs in a covered container in the refrigerator.