Basic Cashew Cheese

Cheese. It's everywhere and on everything. Sandwiches, pasta, and salads! You name it and someone somewhere has probably added cheese to it. One of the hardest things for me to give up was cheese. I never craved meat. Not once. But cheese was harder to resist until I started to discover the wonder that is homemade vegan cheese. Now Daiya and other prepackaged vegans cheeses are great don't get me wrong! They are convenient and a perfect for someone on the go or someone who is just starting to explore a vegan lifestyle. They perfectly fill the gap left by Kraft cheese and the like, but in my opinion they fail to live up to the grandeur and elegance of aged smoky mozzarella or a wheel of cheese rolled in fine espresso grounds.

Yet do not despair! There is hope for you recovering artisan cheese fans out there! There are fantastic simple and easy vegan cheeses you can make right at home. I particularly love making this cheese because it is just firm enough to hold a shape but spreads smoothly and easily across fresh bread or crackers. It is the perfect edition to your grilled paninis or can be eaten in wedges all by itself. Additionally, this recipe has ingredients that should be relatively easy to find at your local supermarket. Even some Walmarts are now carrying nondairy milk! I have been able to find nutritional yeast in the larger "health" food bins at HEB and in prepackaged containers at Kroger. This recipe is very simple but you can easily jazz this cheese up by adding in some fresh rosemary, dill or other herbs of your preference.

The original recipe by the incredibly talented Eipcurean Vegan can be found here 

2/3 cup raw cashews (do NOT soak them beforehand)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt or to taste
2 cups of 30 calories almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)
1 cup of cornstarch
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice


  • In a food processor blend cashews until fine but do NOT let it start to turn into a paste (cashew butter)
  • Add in onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and salt and blend just enough to combine them. 
  • In a medium saucepan whisk in almond milk, oil, nutritional yeast, corn starch and lemon juice. 
  • Bring mixture to a boil while constantly whisking. It could thicken and boil rather quickly. The mixture should be a consistency of a thick sauce before adding it to the food processor. If you feel like the sauce has become more of a solid you can whisk in a little almond milk (about 1/4 cup at a time) until it has thinned out just enough for the mixture to be poured.
  • Pour the liquid into the food processor and blend well. 
  • Grease a 4 in springform pan with Earthbalance or oil. 
  • Pour cheese liquid into the top of the spring foam. Note: you may have a little extra that you can add to a second pan although it will not fill it all the way up. 
  • Refrigerate the cheese for a minimum of 6 hours (if not overnight) or until the bottom of the cheese has hardened. 
  • After the cheese has hardened you should be able to slice it into wedges or chunks without it falling apart. 


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