Cashew ‘cheese’ is so versatile! Depending on the amount of blending, this recipe can make you 3 types of cheeses!! Basically, the difference is in the blend for parmesan, cream cheese, or alfredo sauce. Read step 2 for a description. It feels like real comfort food from when I was a kid!
Prep Time: 12 hours (to soak cashews overnight) + 15 mins of prep
- 284 g raw cashews
- 1/4 tsp coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
- 1/4 cup water (to thin the mixture to make a sauce)
- Soak cashews overnight in water (cover them entirely) in a glass bowl. Don’t let soak for over 12 hours. You can drain the water after soaking and place in the refrigerator if you can’t make it right away.
- Put cashews, vinegar, salt, onion, and garlic powder into a food processor. Make sure to taste test as you go!
- For “parmesan cheese” consistency, pulse until the cashews break up into smaller pieces.
- For “cream cheese” texture, continue to blend until the consistency becomes smooth. Put in the fridge to use like actual cream cheese!
- For “alfredo sauce,” add in 1-2 tbs of water and blend until you have a very smooth consistency.
- Use the cashew cheese as you please! I put the sauce over chickpea pasta or sweet potato glass noodles and serve with pan seared chicken and some scallions.
- You may need to add some black pepper or additional salt when serving. Enjoy!!!
So, I haven’t had dairy in almost 4 years. I’m lactose intolerant and sensitive to cow’s milk. I haven’t been brave enough to try cheeses from other animals’ milk, but maybe one day soon. In the meantime, I’ve been searching for a mac n’ cheese or alfredo replacement. This is the closest I’ve found!
While visiting Los Angeles the other week as a mentor for StartingBloc, an international social innovation leadership fellowship, I got to eat at vegan restaurant Café Gratitude three times. While some people think it’s a bit hippie-dippy because you order everything by saying “I am bold/energized/happy/fun/etc.,” I really appreciate it there because they are willing to accommodate my sensitivities.
I ended up with the “cheesy” off the kids menu as one of the only things I could eat to avoid my food sensitivities (surprise surprise). The sauce used in that dish was made of cashews. Now, I always though I was sensitive to cashews, but it actually was other ingredients mixed with the cashews (like olive oil, lemon, and mint– that’s a story for another time). Anyway, I knew I had to make this when I got home and I am so glad I did!