In a medium pan over low heat, sauté onions and sage with the veggie broth and maple syrup.
Make sure to keep the heat low and be patient for the onions to caramelize. It takes time but if you turn up the heat you will burn them without getting the true caramelized taste.
You may need to add another splash of veggie broth if they get too dry and sticky before they are ready. You will know they are done when they are very limp, browned but not burned and they become sticky. Once done, let cool.
Once the onion mixture is cool, place in a blender or food processor along with the lemon juice and mayo and blend until mixed but still slightly chunky.
If using cashew base:
Follow sauteeing instructions above, while the onions are cooking place the cashews, water, lemon juice and salt into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. You will need to scrape down the sides to get it to mix well.
Then once the onion and sage mix is cooled, place it in the blender and pulse a few times to incorporate.
Recipe makes about 2 cups.
You can also sub silken tofu for the mayo or follow the instructions for the oil-free cashew base.
If you are not using a high speed blender you can either soak the cashews overnight, boil them for 30 minutes or grind them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder.