Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vegan Cashew Cheeze (dairy free Ricotta-style)

When I was making lasagna last week, I was looking for a dairy-free "cheese" filling to use in place of Ricotta.  I found a few recipes that looked really good (and simple to make), but I ended up going with one I found on The Simple Veganista blog.

This would be PERFECT for recipes in my #MeatFreeMay Challenge group.  Join us!!  Click here to join the free Facebook group: Fit & Healthy Meat Free May Group - we're all just sharing recipes and being accountable to eating a #MeatFreeMay - use that hashtag on Instagram too!

See below for step-by-step pictures while I was making it!

Approx. 1.5 cups Raw Cashews
3/4 cup water
2T Nutritional Yeast
1T Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg's)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Garlic Sea Salt (optional)
1/2 tsp Cumin
Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste (optional)

Soak cashews for about 3 hours in water (I used raw cashews in a container, so I just added water to fill the container).  After 3 hours, drain cashews and place in food processor with 3/4 cup water and the other ingredients.  You may opt to use 1T nutritional yeast to start and add more to your liking.  I like a stronger cheese flavor, so I added the full 2 tablespoons.  You can also add more water if you want to thin out the mixture a bit.  Mine came out pretty thick.  I think I'll add more water next time, and depending on the recipe.

Use right away in your recipe or cover and refrigerate for a few hours before using.

Dry cashews on Left vs. Soaking cashews on Right

Dry cashew on Left vs. Soaked cashew on Right

More Dry vs. Soaked

Cashews added to food processor

Garlic Powder, Garlic Sea Salt, ACV, Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Cumin

After adding spices and 3/4 cup water to food processor

After blending in the food processor

Finished Cashew Cheeze

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