Recipe: Delicious Dairy-Free, Plant-Based “Cheese”

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 If you want to achieve sustainable weight loss and better health, ditch the dairy. The most common protest we hear? “I could never give up cheese!”

A Brief History of Cheese

Cow’s milk was a God-send to the earliest dairy farmers. Back in the days before factories, mass-production, and commercial capitalism, food was often in scarce supply. Most people had to work hard to support their sustenance needs… so it must have been awesome when they realized that there was a way to make milk stay edible for an extended period of time: cheese. But these were times which called for desperate measures like... eating old, fermented milk to survive. What the hell is your excuse?

Here’s an easy, delicious recipe to help you replace cheese:

Super Simple, Spreadable Cashew Cheese

Full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup RAW cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons water or unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (Himalayan salt is best!)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: Add 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast for an extra “cheesy” flavor

You’ll need: A food processor

Directions:

  1. Submerge your cashews in water and let them soak for at least 3 hours. You can soak them overnight if you like, up to 10 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Put all of your ingredients EXCEPT FOR the water/plant-based milk in your food processor. Pulse repeatedly to break the cashews down, until they form a coarse, wet meal then scrape the sides of the food processor down with a spatula or a large spoon.
  3. Turn the food processor back on and slowly add the water/plant-based milk while the motor is running. Pause periodically to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  4. When your cashew cheese is fully blended, it will be smooth and thick, resembling the consistency of hummus. Add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice according to your own taste preferences.

    How to Serve & Store

    Serve with your favorite sliced vegetables (or fruit- apple slices, for example!), fold into warm quinoa, rice, or gluten-free pasta dishes, or dollop on soups and stews. You can even use your cashew creation as a replacement filling in recipes that call for ricotta cheese (Crepes! Eggplant rollatini! Raw lasagna!).

    Experiment with flavors! You can even add your favorite herbs and seasonings like basil, dill, chives... even try sundried tomatoes, dried fruit, or a drizzle of raw honey.

    If you prefer a firmer cheese, wrap your cashew cheese in cheesecloth, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

    For more of a cheese sauce à la mac n’ cheese, increase your ratio of liquid to cashew. Gradually add more water or plant-based milk until you achieve your desired consistency.

    Refrigerated in an airtight container, your cashew cheese will stay fresh for about 5 days.

    Written by Nicole Neuhaus

    Healthy-Lifestyle Life-Hacks Recipes

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