My husband Rick and I run two WFPB, SOS Free Meetup groups. We have a total of three meetings per month with presentations, recipe demos, pot luck dinners and more.
One of our members shared her thanks with a WFPB cheese recipe which can be used as a base for Alfredo Sauce and Cesar Salad Dressing!:
I am over the top excited so I have to write you. I was SOOOOO inspired last night at the WFPB Pot Luck – your energy, wisdom and enthusiasm, sitting at the table with Alex (and her WFPB parents) who is so young and so smart and adventurous about her new WFPB food prep (and resulting greater health) and JoAnn who I cornered to give me an update on how I get my fairly hard home-made soy yogurt to become hard cheese!!!!!
I got home and immediately got on the web searching for cashew cheese because JoAnn’s recipe takes 30 days to get hard cheese. Oh my – I leave the country in 2 weeks and I really want to experience my 1st cashew cheese before then!
I just made my first ever spreadable cashew cheese (pic attached). I tweaked the recipe below because I had no lemon juice. I used fresh pineapple juice (hey- its citrus!). I also used 2 cups of raw organic cashews and added 2 large gloves of roasted garlic because I just made a big batch of that and for me there is never too much garlic. It is delicious and it has not even chilled yet. It will make a great dip. The next batch will be sweet – a cashew cream!!!!
Thank you for the life enhancing work you and Rick do!!! My life is better because of how much I am learning from you all and from the other WFPB people at the pot-lucks.
CASHEW CHEESE SPREAD
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 cup water (to start)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt substitute
1. Soak the cashews. Place about 1 1/2 cups of cashews in a container with warm water and soak for at least 2 hours.
2. Drain the cashews and add all ingredients(cashews, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt substitute) to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. This will likely be very thick and you will need to manage the speed to ensure that it continues blending. If it’s way too thick, add a little more water.
I’ve found this specific list of ingredients to be the perfect combo. The nutritional yeast adds a distinctly cheesy taste, the garlic and salt substitute intensify the flavors, while the acid from the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar brighten things up. In all, it’s an extremely flavorful base recipe that can be pulled in a million different directions.
3. Chill. Spoon the cheese into a jar or container and refrigerate. I don’t know exactly why, but cashew cheeses become much better after refrigerating for several hours. The texture improves and the flavors meld together perfectly.
The final texture will be solid, but spreadable. You can easily thin it out (such as for pasta sauces) by adding more water. If stored in a sealed jar, the cheese will last for about a week in the refrigerator.
Cashew Cheese Tips & Ideas
Make an extra firm cheese spread by stirring in an extra tablespoon of nutritional yeast until dissolved, and even some Italian herbs like rosemary and sage.
Thin with more water and pour into a food-grade squirt bottle to make a pretty cashew cheese garnish
Make a “cheddar” cashew cheese by blending with a little dried turmeric and some extra water. Then, toss with macaroni for cheddar mac & cheese.
Make the perfect Alfredo sauce by cooking fettuccine, draining the pasta, and tossing with this cashew cheese and about 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water to achieve the right consistency.
Blend with more water, garlic, Dijon mustard, and Kalamata olives (not to many for those limiting salt) for a Caesar salad dressing
This is the WFPB mother sauce. There are at many ways this basic sauce can be used.
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