Vegan cheese is not something I ever thought I’d be completely on board with, but I have to admit my palate has changed a lot since cutting back on the dairy alternatives. My Tyne Chease addiction is costing us a ridiculous amount each month, so I decided to try and make my own dairy-free cheese at home. It cost me £1.12 to make the cheese using the list below. The ingredients are reasonably cheap and the process is simple enough. The outcome was similar to Hummus in terms of appearance and texture, so we use it as an alternative to spread on toast. You can pulse the mix to suit your own tastes. I’ve since tried it smoother and it worked fantastically well. I finished off the jar dipping corn chips in. Waste not, want not!
Many people ask where vegans get their protein from, because clearly meat is the only originator. Cashew Nuts have 15.31g of protein per 100g, with adults needing (according to the NHS, at least) 50g per day. While I’m not suggesting you eat a whole bag of nuts to consume your RDA – any diet is about balanced sources of nutrition – it goes to show that animal products are not the only source! Using nutritional yeast is a great way of adding a ‘cheesy’ tang to mix, as well as B12 (the brand I use is fortified with it, so check the label). Once you become more adept you can also add sundried tomatoes, herbs and spices to ‘jazz’ it up.
Raw Vegan Cashew Cheese
1 cup of raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight in water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
I clove of Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ cup water (I add mine gradually to ensure the mix isn’t too ‘loose’)
- Drain the cashews off and rinse.
- Place the cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper into a food processor. Pulse repeatedly to break the cashews down.
- Adding the water in stages to ensure the mixture doesn’t become too sloppy. It will eventually form a coarse, wet mixture. I’d blend ours to the consistency of Hummus, but with a longer pulse it will resemble Cream Cheese. How powerful your food processor is will determine how long you need to do this for. I use the milling tool on our Nutribullet, which means I have to do it for a while!
- Taste the cheese and add more seasoning if required.
The cheese can be kept for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge, although ours never lasts that long!
Thanks for reading,