Prep time: 2 hours
Assembling time: 15 minutes
Makes about: 1 cup
- 1 generous cup raw cashews, that have been soaked for at least 2 hours (or overnight is ok) then drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves (adjust to your preference)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste if desired
- ¼ cup water (more as needed)
- Place the cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse repeatedly to break the cashews down, until they form a coarse, crumbly mixture.
- Turn the food processor back on. With the motor running, drizzle in the water and let the cashews process for about 10 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape sides of the bowl down to get all the cashews evenly processed. Continue processing for 1-2 minutes, or until the cashew cheese is smooth and thick, and looks a bit like hummus. Add a tablespoon of extra water if it seems too thick.
Enjoy on crackers, fresh bread, as a dip for vege sticks …
Cashew cheese will keep for up to 6 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
* You can eat the cheese as it is, or fancy it up by:
- adding chopped fresh herbs,
- adding roasted beetroot, capsicums or tomatoes during step 2,
- sprinkle it with dukkha … the options are endless!
Why eat nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a non-active (meaning it won’t bother your tum), cultured strain of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, aka Brewer’s yeast). It’s been a staple of vegan diets for years because it is a complete protein source – containing 18 amino acids, including 9 that are essential to us humans that we cannot produce ourselves.
Nutritional yeast also contains other goodies such as beta-1,3 glucan, trehalose, mannan and glutathione, which have been associated with enhanced immunity and reduced cholesterol levels. Its chock full of the B vitamins (including riboflavin, thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin) to help extract energy from your food and make red blood cells, and a source of the minerals: selenium, iron and zinc.
So why wouldn’t you eat it? The yeast gives this recipe its “cheesy” flavour – if you want to up the cheesy quota simply add another tablespoon of the yeast.