Soak cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes -1 hour (or overnight in cool water). While cashews are soaking, measure out almond milk and add lemon juice and set aside to curdle (this makes your vegan “buttermilk”).
Drain and rinse cashews several times and drain again. Then transfer to a small blender (a blender is preferred over a food processor for achieving a smooth texture) and add almond buttermilk, garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, vinegar, and maple syrup. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until very creamy and smooth.
Add herbs and pulse several times to incorporate (you don’t want it fully puréed).
Taste and adjust flavor, as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, maple syrup for sweetness, lemon juice or vinegar for acidity, garlic for garlic flavor, or herbs for a more herbal flavor.
Use immediately at room temperature or refrigerate for 3-4 hours to chill. It will thicken in the refrigerator, so you can add more almond milk or water later on to thin if needed.
Enjoy with vegetables, salads, cauliflower wings, or pizza! Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 7-10 days. Not freezer friendly (will likely separate upon thawing).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with lesser amount of maple syrup and without optional ingredients. *Recipe as written makes ~1 1/3 cups total dressing.