Basic Raw Vegan Cashew Cheese

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Raw
  • Dairy Free
    Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
    Gluten Free
  • Egg Free
    Egg Free
  • Soy Free
    Soy Free
  • Blender
  • Processor

My dad always tells me that happiness is tied up in expectations. If you keep your expectations in a realistic place, you're less likely to be disappointed. I've found this advice to be true in all aspects of life; and I offer it up today when making this cashew cheese.

Don’t get me wrong, this spread is absolutely scrumptious. But if you turn on your food processor expecting this to taste exactly like cheese made from cow’s milk, you may be a little disappointed. Conversely, if you think of it as a dairy-free healthy cheezy-tasting alternative to conventional cheese you will be thrilled with the results.

People dipping into this vegan cashew cheese usually say the same thing when they come up for air - “Oh yum, this is delicious. But it doesn’t taste like cheese”. I should call it cashew spread.

For those of you not familiar with raw food, pureed nuts or seeds and water are used to make dairy-free cheeze. Raw almonds, macadamias, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds make awesome vegan cheezes But, cashews yield the best results when making neutral-flavored spreads.

You can add any aromatics or other flavorings to this basic recipe. Just pulse and add to taste. I like to keep this cashew spread the consistency of hummus or ricotta so it acts like a cream cheese spread that's fantastic with chips, crackers, or veggie sticks, or slathered on sandwiches or wraps.

Basic Raw Vegan Cashew Cheese

Basic Raw Vegan Cashew Cheese

Makes 2 cups 10 MINS

For flavor variations, omit the nutritional yeast and garlic, and halve the lemon juice from the basic recipe and add:

herbed cheese:

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 finely chopped green onion

tomato-basil cheese:

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

chive cheese:

chile cheese:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 finely chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 small green chile, ribbed, seeded, and minced or 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

sweet cheese:

truffle cheese:

sesame cheese:

  1. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Throw the cashews into the food processor with the other ingredients (except the parsley) and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. Add more water as needed. Tweak lemon juice, garlic, salt, and onion powder to taste.
  3. Transfer the cheese to a bowl, and stir through the parsley.

Photo by Trent Lanz, and styling by Alicia Buszczak


Google+ Pinterest


Load Comments

Google+ Pinterest