When I became a vegetarian in 1991, it was fairly easy to give up meat. I missed chicken, but not beef, pork or fish. I resisted going vegan for the next 20 years because I didn’t think I could give up cheese.
However, after a very short time, I didn’t miss cheese at all. I’ve tried most of the commercial vegan cheeses and find that I prefer to just do without. The exception is nut-based home-made cheese. I’ve tried a few recipes for cashew based cheeses that hit all the right spots.
I really like this simple soft cashew cheese. It is very easy to make, tastes great on crackers, on top of vegetables, mixed into chili, etc.
You can make it either in a high speed blender (i.e., Vitamix or Blendtec) or a food processor. I’ve tried both and they both work well. I prefer the blender because of the smoother consistency, but not everyone has one because let’s face it, they’re expensive!
- 2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
- 1/3 cup water (plus 1 – 3 Tablespoons of water as needed)
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
- 1/2 teaspoon organic red miso paste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Soak the cashews for approximately 4 hours. Rinse and drain.
- Place cashews, water, nutritional yeast, bouillon base, miso and garlic in the carafe of a blender or a food processor.
- Turn slowly to the highest speed and blend until very smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add more water if it is too dry.
- Refrigerate and enjoy as a soft, spreadable nut cheese.