Step by Step Guide To Making Vegan Cashew Nut Cheese
Whether you’re looking to lower your dairy intake, or you’ve made the leap and gone full vegan, finding something as satisfying as cheese can be tricky. This quick and simple vegan cashew nut cheese recipe is the solution when you want comforting creaminess, without the dairy. It can be a great base for vegan dip, perfect for topping pizzas or eating as is on toast. Try our recipe below to make your own vegan cashew nut cheese.
Vegan Cashew Nut Cheese
What you’ll need
2 C (500 ml) raw cashews
1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane, plus extra to taste.
zest of 1 lemon.
juice of 2 lemons.
¾ C (180 ml) water.
2 Tbsp (30 ml) nutritional yeast.
pinch of sea salt.
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil.
2 Tbsp (30 ml) micro herbs, optional
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with cold water. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to soak for 12 hours. Note: if you’re under time pressure, you can soak the cashew nuts for about 2 hours using boiling water. The texture won’t be as creamy but will still be really delicious.
Once soaked, drain the cashews thoroughly and add to the jug of a food processor. Add the grated garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast, salt and olive oil. Pulse until very creamy and smooth, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed by adding more lemon zest, nutritional yeast, garlic, or salt.
Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a large mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of muslin (or a clean, fine, absorbent towel). Use a spatula to scoop the cheese over the muslin, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a ball. Secure with a rubber band. Place in the fridge to set for at least 6 hours but preferably 12 (or even longer if you have). The excess moisture will drain away and the cheese will hold its shape when released from the muslin.
To serve, unwrap from the muslin and gently invert onto a serving platter. Reform if needed, then coat with chopped herbs and a bit more lemon zest if you’re using it. It is fragile, so handle gently.
Enjoy chilled with crackers or vegetables or on top of a pizza.The cheese will hold its shape for about an hour or two out of the refrigerator, but it really is best when chilled. Keep leftovers well covered in the fridge up to 5 days.
To make our pizza we topped a base with slices of cashew cheese and sliced baby tomatoes. We oven roasted this until the cashew cheese was grilled, then removed from the oven, drizzled with olive oil and topped with rocket and fresh avo.
If you’re looking for more ways to remove animal products from your diet, check out our easy vegan substitutes.
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