Nuts About Nuts!

One use of nuts that most are unfamiliar with are nut ”cheeses” . Cashew cheese, almond cheese, walnut cheese are all great alternatives to soft dairy cheese. They are simple to make and bring protein, healthy fats and fiber to any dish. But just as important they deliver flavor and a rich texture. They are great in a veggie lasagna and as a spread on sandwiches. All it takes is your favorite nut and a food processor. The varieties of “cheese” you can make are only limited by your imagination. Here is a short list of options. (Note: Nutritional yeast is simply deactivated yeast. It can be found in most markets in the health food section or the bulk food section)

 

Cashew cheese

  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked in water for 2 – 4 hours (soaking is optional)

  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup water as needed for desired consistency

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

  • 4 cloves minced

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)

  •  

Place the cashews, nutritional yeast, 1/2 of the water, 1/2 of the lemon juice, garlic and sea salt in the food processor and pulse until roughly blended.

Gradually add in more lemon juice, garlic and salt to taste. Transfer the cheese to a bowl, and stir through the parsley if using. I like my cheese the consistency of ricotta. The more water you add, the creamier and thinner the cheese will become. Add less water for a thicker, more rustic cheese.

For a different flavor omit the nutritional yeast, garlic and 1/2 of the lemon juice from the basic recipe and try adding and making:

Herb cheese:

  • 1 chopped green onion

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

Tomato basil cheese:

  • 1 tsp organic tomato paste

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic

  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Chile chive cheese:

  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Chopped Chives

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

Chilli cheese:

  • 1 – 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

  • a pinch of red chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli

or

  • 1 – 2 Tbsp freshly chopped fresh flat parsley

  • 2 chopped green onions

  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest

  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle or 1/2 finely chopped jalapeno pepper or 1 serrano chilli

Sweet cheese:

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp raw agave nectar

Sesame cheese:

  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 Tbsp tahini paste

     

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