I could never go vegan.Said almost every vegan (before going vegan)
And admittedly, cheese is delicious. Creamy, melty or sharp, there is a cheese for every meal.
Last week, I read To Brie or not to Brie, Can Vegan Cheese Taste as Good as Dairy?
It is the story of two sisters who have opened the UK’s first and only, vegan “cheese” shop, La
Unfortunately for me, La Fauxmagerie is a 17 hour flight away.
If you have only ever tried the vegan cheese on offer at the supermarket, I know you have likely been disappointed.
I looked at all the vegan cheese brands on my supermarket shelf and every cheese had at least 20% and in one case 25% coconut oil, and a corresponding hike in calories and saturated fat. They were also nutritiously void, with potato starches,
Luckily for me, (and you!) I have been experimenting with nut cheeses for well over a year.
So today, I am sharing with you three different, beginner cashew
These are uncultured cheeses, so to get a bit of that cheesy salty funk, I use white miso paste instead of table salt.
For sharpness, I use apple cider vinegar, for a bit of fermented bite.
These are ready to eat, on the day you make them, but admittedly, taste better the day after you prepare them to allow for the cheese to firm and the flavours to blend.
Cashew Cream Spread.
I love cream cheese on a bagel or a cracker and this cashew cream cheese delivers the flavour and the texture of luscious cheese spread!
I tried many recipes before arriving at this cream cheese. They were white, looked like cream cheese, but they were bland. My cashew cheese spread is a little cheesier.
It can be rolled into a log, or spooned out of a pot, or blended with a little coconut yoghurt to make a creamy dip. Just add your favourite seasonings, like fresh herbs, caramelised onions, spices or chopped dried fruit and stir!
- 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in water for to 2 hours (no more!)
- 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp of white miso paste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Soak the raw cashews for two hours, but no longer! Otherwise, they go a bit grey and too mushy.
- Combine the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and white miso paste into a powerful blender or food processor.
- Blend and scrape the mix, it might take some time for it to come together, resist adding any additional water until the mix has gone from grainy to creamy.
- I make two batches of this at a
time,and freeze half. I think my blender manages the larger volume better, and I get a creamy cheese texture faster.
- Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for a week. Can be frozen, but whip up in the blender after defrosting to restore the texture.
Cashew Cheese Melt
This recipe borrows from the cream cheese recipe above, but adds a special ingredient, tapioca flour, which delivers the melty bite.
- 1 quantity of cashew cream spread
- 1/4 cup coconut yoghurt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavoured whole nut milk
- 4 Tbsp tapioca starch
- Add the cashew cream spread, and the other ingredients into a blender and blend until well incorporated. The texture should be thick, creamy and pourable.
- It is important to taste and adjust the flavour at this point, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, white miso for saltiness, apple cider vinegar for acidity, or coconut yogurt for more creaminess and bite. You are making the rules here! Flavour to your preference.
- Transfer the mix to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. The mix will start to bubble and thicken and look a little clumpy, don’t panic!.
- Keep whisking and the mixture will come together in a dough-like ball-shape within a few minutes. Watch your heat! Lower heat if cooking too quickly. Expect a little mix will stick to the bottom of the pan, that’s normal.
- Lower heat to the lowest setting and switch to stirring with a silicone spatula. Continue stirring until “ball” is formed (a bit like choux pastry). Then transfer to a glass mould and put in the fridge to cool and firm.
- Once cooled in the fridge, it can be scooped into “bocconcini balls”. I prefer to slice it.
- Use within a week and keep covered in the fridge for a week. Not suitable for freezing.
I love to use the cashew
Plus, come wintertime when a hearty lentil soup is on the menu, a cheese melt on toast makes it a comforting,
This recipe is based on the fantastic cashew parmesan recipe from Minimalist Baker. I like to add pine nuts, try the recipe with and without and see which you prefer.
- 3/4 cup of raw cashews
- 1/4 cup untoasted pine nuts
- 3 Tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes
- 3/4 tsp of sea salt, or pink Himalayan salt
- 1/4 tsp of fine garlic powder
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until well combined and the mix resembles milled parmesan cheese. Be careful not to over-process the cashew parmesan into a paste!
- Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for a month. Can be frozen for 6 months.
We use this mostly with our pasta, but it can be used on pizzas, as a topping on crackers, or for any other recipe that you would use parmesan!
So please, if you are vegan-curious, give these cashew cheeses a try. They are also a great option for your vegan guests, or if you want to add a talking point to your next cheese board!
I would love to know what you think of these cheeses, please leave a comment with your thoughts below.