Blastin’ off Vegan Mofo with Cashew Cheese

This year’s Vegan Month of Food (or Vegan MoFo) is officially here. If you don’t know what Vegan MoFo is, it’s basically vegan-food-blogging on crack.  Bloggers all over the world commit to posting about vegan food at least 20 times in one month. TWENTY times!! If you’re a blogger, or anyone who has ever felt that there’s not enough time in a day, then you realize how intimidating this can be.

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I wasn’t initially planning on participating but somehow I ended up on the official list.  I have no theme. I have no plan. Unless flyin’ by the seat of my pants is considered a plan. I figure I’ll just do what I normally do but more of it. There. Plan done.

To start off my first EVER official Vegan MoFo post, I thought I would talk about one of my favorite recipes here at Luminous Vegans. One that I go back to all the time because it’s so tasty, easy and versatile…..cashew cheese!

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I’m a big vegan cheese lush but I can’t afford to always have Daiya around.  So I usually keep a batch of this savory cheese spread in the fridge to use throughout the week and it satisfies my cheesy cravings. It can be eaten alone, on bread, with veggies or in other dishes (like mashed cauliflower or stuffed shells).cashew_cheese-4672-2

It’s quick and easy to make and ready to eat right away.  The only part that takes planning is remembering to soak the cashews before hand. It’s softer and more spread-y immediately after blending, but firms up some in the fridge. These pics were taken right after blending it.

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Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soaked raw cashews, drained (A couple of hours or overnight soaking is best. But it works just as well if you soak it in hot water for 30 minutes and use a high speed blender. I use my Vitamix)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt

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 Directions

Throw everything in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Store it in an air tight container for up to a week in the fridge.

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61 thoughts on “Blastin’ off Vegan Mofo with Cashew Cheese

  1. Rambling Vegans

    We love this recipe and have made it several times. It’s perfect on potatoes, both regular and sweet! Love the stuffed shell recipe with them, too. Have made that several times as well!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I am soo happy to hear that you like it! I just tried it with regular potatoes the other day because I saw your comment and it was tasty. If you use it in other creative ways, I’d love to hear about it. I’m always looking for more ways to eat it since I nearly always have a tub of it in the fridge.

      Reply
  2. Becky

    Cashew cheese is the best! Your recipe sounds similar to one that I make, but I’d never thought to use tahini. I bet that makes it extra awesome!

    Reply
  3. cookeasyvegan

    Almost-instant cashew cheese is my kind of cheese — and no specific mofo plan sounds very familiar. Though this year (and last) I’m trying for loose weekly plans.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I like Daiya, but I don’t like their prices. One day I will bite the bullet and make like for reals vegan cheese using rejuvelac/probiotics and all that mess just to see what difference it makes. But in the meantime this easy cheese is all the way for me. I hope you try it and like it.

      Reply
  4. Becky_R

    This recipe sounds great! I am dreaming of a day where I can have a Vitamix blender too, like all the cool kids! I know my blender, although quite good, will never get through all those cashews with that amount of liquid ^_^

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Aww, a vitamix is great but blenders and food processors can rock this out too. A reader actually mentioned using a coffee grinder on the dry cashews instead of soaking. You could try this trick AND then even soak them for awhile to help your blender out.

      Reply
  5. Maggie Muggins

    Hey man, sometimes flying by the seat of your pants is the way to go. I’ve never made a cashew cheese that wasn’t cultured before, sounds way easier! It looks so creamy and full of awesome.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Definitely! That’s kinda how I live my life too…for better or for worse :-P. I’m the opposite of you. I’ve never had cultured cashew cheese because it intimidates the crap out of me.

      Reply
  6. cameraphonevegan

    Ah, good luck to you! I think we all feel that scary, what did I commit myself to? every year as we hit the registration button. I’m going to bookmark this and try it with a different nut, since the recipe looks very easy and straightforward. Thomas can’t do cashews, and I can’t do almonds (I realized recently) so I’m going to see what I can get to work!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Ooh, I’d love to know if you get it to work with other nuts. Readers have commented before that they can’t do cashews either. I just am addicted to cashews and don’t have much experience with other nuts. I’d love to know creamy alternatives.

      Reply
  7. ameyfm

    yum. That looks so good. I find that I really like these quick, homemade cheezes better than almost any store bought options (though, I do like a little daiya quesadilla every once in a while). I think theme-less mofo-ing can be really fun and it gives you so much flexibility to do whatever you want!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I also like daiya too for variety and convenience and the meltiness, but it can get pricey. And yeah, I was scared enough to commit to mofo, let alone a theme. But I am super excited to see all the cool themes that other bloggers are doing. It’s all so much good stuff going on in the vegan blogosphere! I’m afraid if I blink, I’ll miss something 🙂

      Reply
  8. veganmiam.com

    Happy Vegan MoFo! Miam, miam, I ❤ cashew cheese. I am also a vegan cheese lover, too 😉 I've tried some yummy cheese from Greece…and oh my, it's far different than the American/Canadian cheeze products. Thanks for posting this awesome cashew cheese recipe, I always use tahini and miso in my recipe. I have never heard of the tahini product you've posted… but that looks wicked. Did I see scallions on the bread? Hehe, ❤ scallions!

    Reply
  9. HomeschoolingMomInNY

    Sounds and looks scrumptious! Your cashews look roasted. Most recipes I’ve seen call for raw cashew, does this recipe work with roasted cashews? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Actually, thanks for bringing that to my attention. Those are RAW cashews. I need to add that in the post. They do look roasted in the picture and I’m not sure why, but I assure you they are raw. I think roasted cashews would work just fine. It just might have more of a roast-y flavor ? I dunno, I’m totally guessing here 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Reply
  10. Susmitha - Veganosaurus

    “…it’s basically vegan-food-blogging on crack.” I couldn’t have put it in a more enlightened way than that! Hahaha

    I loooooove nut cheeses and nothing seems to match the taste and creaminess of cashew cheese. I normally like to ferment my cheese so when I’m eating gob-fulls of it, I can soothe my conscience by saying I’m eating all that cheese for the beneficial lactobacilli. :oP

    But yeah, instant cheese totally rocks too!!!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I have yet to try fermented cheese. Do you have to use probiotics and/or rejuvelac? That stuff intimidates me big time for some reason, but I’ve seen some amazing cheeses made with them.

      Reply
      1. Susmitha - Veganosaurus

        I do make rejuvelac at home sometimes and make nut cheeses with it, but as you said that takes a few days for the complete process. But rejuvelac is required only for the first batch. After that you just save cheese from one batch as the starter and blend it into the next and let it ferment overnight in a loosely covered glass jar in a warm place. It will rise beautifully

        As long as you keep the starter generations going your work is easy and the cheese tastes better and better. 🙂

        With cashew cheese there’s an awesome quicker way. You start with cashews that have been soaked overnight (at least 6 hours) and rinse then. Then blend them into a creamy paste the same way as above, except you throw in one or two cloves of garlic while blending. Now loosely cover and keep overnight. You’ll have a beautifully fermented and risen garlic cashew cheese. 🙂

        If you are not a fan of garlic or would prefer other flavours, you could just make a tiny bit the garlic cheese as the starter and keep going from one batch to the next the sane way.

        Reply
        1. luminousvegans Post author

          Oh wow, I didn’t realize that just letting them sit overnight qualified as fermenting! In that case, I did do that once when I made “goat cheese” logs. It was pretty good! Thanks for the information on rejuvelac. One day, I will try it out because I’ve seen some pretty amazing cheese made with that stuff.

          Reply
          1. Susmitha - Veganosaurus

            Oh yea, just overnight (or at the most a whole day and night) is usually enough. When the cheese had soured and expanded in volume, you’ll know it’s ready. 🙂

            You get that nice umami flavour without the requirement to use any nooch. 🙂

            Reply
  11. veganadian

    Ah, bless your heart!!!!!! I am going to make this, this week! I am slowly turning away from vegan cheese alternatives. I am getting more into a “whole food” cooking. I think the sugar cleanse I had a few weeks ago did it, hehe. I feel lovely. I won’t give up my pizza but I can’t wait to try and see what cashew cheese will bring to the table. Great photography! You rock, lady!
    oxo,
    Holly

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Sugar cleanse? Noooo, you’ve ventured into the healthy side. Just kidding. I’ve been feeling a little bit more like I should be eating better too. It’s good to find a balance. Thanks so much for the compliments Holly!

      Reply
  12. Caitlin

    Yum! I love cashew cheese! One ‘trick’ I’ve worked out is that if you have a coffee grinder, you can sometimes skip the soaking step, and grind the cashews to a fine dust-like consistency and then chuck them in a blender with the other ingredients and whizz it all up.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      That is such a great tip! I’m going to have to remember to reference you on that in the future. I usually use my vitamix which can handle cashews that haven’t been soaked at all which is great for a forgetful bum like myself. But I know a lot of people don’t have one so this is a great tip!

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I know! She’s like a cooking machine!! Holly mentioned that she had to alter it a bit because it wouldn’t blend in her blender. It is a large solid to liquid ratio so it tends to work best in a high speed blender if you have one.

      Though a reader mentioned that grinding dry raw cashews in a coffee grinder lets you blend it up without soaking and with ease. I’ve never tried this before but just some food for thought if you don’t have a high speed blender.

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thank you Tricia! I hope you enjoy it. I eat that stuff with everything. I even like to dip carrots and apples into it. I usually make a batch and eat it throughout the week.

      Reply
  13. Pingback: Smoky Cashew Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms | feast your eyes on my veg

  14. john

    Been playing with Cashew cheese for a while… using rejuvalac brings a nice tang, but what’s been working for me well is adding truffle oil, and chopped oil soaked sun dried tomatoes…or chopped oil cured olives… and either chopped basil, or cilantro leaves, and/or chives. amazing stuff. a drop or two of liquid smoke can really blast the flavor too. Oh, and I found that if I blended it less, meaning not silky smooth, the texture is firmer and closer to the store bought nut cheeses.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Hi John! Thanks for reading and commenting! Sorry it has taken me a while to respond but we’ve been dealing with moving/traveling shenanigans.

      Oh my goodness, your cashew cheese sounds AMAZING!!!I love the idea adding liquid smoke. I’ve never had truffle oil but I’ve heard about how amazing it is so I may have to splurge on a bottle (is it expensive?). I just got Miyoko’s book, Artisan Vegan Cheeses, for the holidays so I’m excited to experiment more with vegan cheese. I will definitely keep your yummy tips in mind!

      Reply
  15. Kristin

    Great recipe, I’ve wondered for a while about this vegan cheese-like thing and finally tried it yesterday 🙂 I was a bit dubious at first, I won’t lie, but leaving it to stand for a couple of hours brought the flavour together. Added a bit of toasted+ground cumin to today’s batch (it disappeared quickly!) and it brings the flavour down to the ground a bit.

    Anyway, thanks for the recipe, it’s really exciting food!! All the best.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Awesome! I’m glad you gave it a shot. The flavors do get better with time as everything melds together. Adding ground cumin sounds wonderful! I will have to try that next time.

      Thanks so much for trying it and letting me know! If you try other interesting combinations with it, I’d love to hear about it.

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I didn’t know that about “tahina”. I checked my jar, but the ingredients indicate only sesame seeds. Perhaps they wanted to save money on labels and used the “tahina” labels for both versions: the ones that have sesame seeds only and the ones that have bot the seeds and chickpeas. In any case, chickpeas rule too so I’m okay with that. 🙂

      Reply
  16. Amanda Verdery Young

    This stuff is amazing! Thanks for sharing! We especially love it on taco night… sour cream never need enter my fridge again!! I do use quite a bit more almond milk to get the creaminess we like… but that may be because I don’t have a Vitamix (yet!!), just a food processor. Also, I love it with or without onion powder. It’s amazingly tasty without too. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks for trying it out! I think having it on tacos sounds like an amazing idea! I’ll have to try that out next time we have tacos. I’m glad that you’ve found a way to make the texture to your liking even without a vitamix. Even though I love my vitamix, it definitely isn’t necessary to enjoy yummy vegan foods.

      Reply

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