Have you tried this healthy alternative to cheese made with dairy? It’s Cashew Cheese and it’s made from ground cashews! It’s so easy to make and blends up in just a few minutes. Make this as a healthy snack to spread on crackers or use it as a base in other yummy recipes! Find out more about this Raw Vegan Cashew Cheese and get the recipe at Sweetie Pie and Cupcakes!
When we entered the pie contest a few weekends back, we visited a gal running a Vegan booth and she was selling these little snack packets with energy crackers and cashew cheese. I was intrigued. I had never tasted or even heard of cashew cheese before. Needless to say, we ripped into the packet and quickly powered through the crackers and cashew cheese. I found the cashew cheese to be amazingly creamy and you couldn’t tell that it wasn’t cheese made from dairy. The best part of it was, our stomachs felt settled for hours afterwards (sometimes regular cheese can be a little hard on the stomach). I was excited about this new cheese and put it on my recipe to-do list! So here it is! After lots of tweaking, a super simple raw vegan cashew cheese recipe!
The raw vegan cashew cheese recipe comes together very easily in a food processor. We love our KitchenAid food processor. I’ve been using it to make almond butter, to slice zuchinni, to puree all kinds of things, and now… to make Cashew Cheese! The vegan cashew cheese only takes a few minutes of blending. It is best, however, to soak the cashews for 8 hours up to overnight. I found the cheese came out much more creamy if the cashews had been soaked.
My favorite part about this cashew cheese recipe is it serves as a base for so many other recipes to come! I experimented with flavors and even came up with a yummy cashew cheese cake. I’m so excited about the limitless potential with the cashew cheese. You can add many flavors to it to make it unique.
Here’s a simple list of some ideas to flavor your raw vegan cashew cheese:
- Garlic flavored Cashew Cheese– add one teaspoon of fresh minced garlic or a half a teaspoon of garlic powder plus some sea salt
- Lemon, Dill and Pomegranate Cashew Cheese– add one teaspoon of lemon zest and an extra 2 teaspoons of lemon juice plus 2 tablespoons of dried dill. Garnish with dill and a handful of Pomegranate seeds. This is the version you see pictured!
- Sun-dried Tomatoes Cashew Cheese– soak the cashews in water with sun dried tomato. Then use that water and tomatoes in the recipe to blend the cashews. Add a few sun-dried tomatoes to the top for garnish. Add this one to your Italian dishes for a great alternative to dairy. It’s a great way to thicken up sauces.
- Vinegar or Wine and Mustard– add 2 tablespoons of white wine or 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of your favorite dijon mustard.
- Olive Tapenade Style Cashew Cheese– chop 1/3 cup of your favorite olives, we love Kalamata and green olives, and simply stir it into the already processed cashew cheese. Top with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and some lemon pepper.
- Chipotle with Adobe Sauce Style Cashew Cheese– add 1 teaspoon of processed Chipotle with adobe sauce into the cashew cheese recipe for a spicy cheese. We process a can of Chipotle in adobe sauce and separate the puree into small freezer safe bags and keep it in the freezer to use in recipes. This is a great addition to your favorite Mexican dishes.
- Truffle Cashew Cheese– Add 2 tablespoons of truffle oil (white or black truffle) and 1 teaspoon of truffle sea salt. Blend all ingredients together with Cashew Cheese. This truffle version tastes amazing! Add the truffle cashew cheese to fresh green salads, potatoes, quinoa, pasta or as a dip for veggies.
All of the cashew cheese variations go well with raw veggie sticks like celery, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. They also pair well with your favorite gluten-free cracker, or with rice, quinoa, or millet. Cashew cheese is a great way to sneak in healthy fats, fiber and protein into a diet and of course it is dairy free. You can make the raw vegan cashew cheese ahead of time and keep the base recipe in your fridge and then blend in the other ingredients to make a few varieties for your guests at your party. Or make your favorite version and keep it on hand in the fridge for your upcoming recipes.
Cashew cheese resembles a cheese spread and it takes less than 10 minutes to make. If you love healthy baking, you are going to love the potential of cashew cheese and all the things you can create with it.
Here’s the base recipe: