A dairy-free alternative to cheese, made with raw cashews and nutritional yeast.
I’ve referred to cashew cheese in several of my posts, unknowingly without posting a recipe of my simple and basic version of classic cashew cheese!
Cashew cheese is perfect for those of you wanting an alternative to dairy or for the adventurous foodies who want to give a new recipe a try. I promise this won’t disappoint—it’s full of flavor and not to mention nutrition from the main ingredients raw cashews and nutritional yeast. This is also the perfect recipe to make on your batch cooking day since it stays well throughout the week.
Classic cashew cheese contains a large range of B vitamins including B12 (notably from the nutritional yeast), magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
This recipe is not only vitamin- and mineral-rich compared to standard dairy, but it’s also much easier for many of us to digest, tastes great, and is versatile to use! There’s a key player in why this recipe is so delicious, and that’s nutritional yeast.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of yeast used as a food, it’s especially high in B vitamins and protein and also contains fiber, selenium, and potassium. Before entering the plant-based community, I never heard of nutritional yeast. Fast forward to the present moment and I adore nutritional yeast for boosting the nutrition content in simple foods and also for achieving a cheesy flavor sans dairy.
Nutritional yeast has been a pantry staple of mine for years and there’s hardly a day I go without using a bit of it. Because it contains B vitamins (which most brands fortify in foods), it’s a complete protein and has a cheesy flavor, it’s popular in plant-based lifestyles; but who says it stops with plant-based diets? Everyone can enjoy and incorporate nutritional yeast into their diet.
In just 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, there are roughly 45 calories, 8g of protein, 5g of carbohydrate (4 being from fiber), and 0g of fat! This, of course, will depend on the brand, but in general, the nutrition information will be hovering around this. That makes it awesome in my book!
Ways to Use Nutritional Yeast
- Salad: Sprinkle dry flakes on salads for a cheesy flavor. It also mixes really well with liquid creating a creamy and thick dressing
- Sauce: Add it to cheese sauces or create your own
- Soups: Add into soups or stews for a thickening effect and also flavor
- Scrambled eggs: Sprinkle into scrambled eggs for added flavor and nutrition
- Popcorn: Sprinkle on popcorn for a cheesy flavor and boost of protein
- And much more…
How to Use Classic Cashew Cheese
- Dollop: Scoop onto baked potatoes, on a salad, fresh pasta, scrambled eggs, etc.
- Dip: Use as a dip for vegetables, fruits, gluten-free crackers, etc.
- Dressing: 1 Tbs. classic cashew cheese + 2 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar = creamy salad dressing
- Sauce: 1/4 cup classic cashew cheese + 3 Tbs. dijon mustard + 1/2 cup of almond milk = creamy cheesy sauce
- Spread: Smear onto sandwiches, cracker, wraps, gluten-free toast, etc.
Warning: This recipe is so delicious you may find yourself wanting to consume the whole bowl… use moderation and portion control with this recipe because it is calorie dense from using cashews—but also nutrient dense! Simply use 1-2 Tbs. as a serving or work it into your daily calories, etc. I’m all for flexibility.