Many years ago I used to be completely addicted to dairy. I loved cheese, ice cream, milk chocolate, yogurt, cream cheese, a cold glass of milk, and did I mention cheese?
However, when I gave up dairy many years back I noticed a variety of health benefits: less stomach aches, less bloating, clearer skin, and less headaches. As a child growing up with the USDA food pyramid, I always thought that dairy was a necessity. I mean, where else would we get our calcium? (Note: there are plenty of amazing ways to get calcium without dairy, such as from dark leafy greens and sea vegetables.)
I think there are a lot of health concerns surrounding dairy, although I’ve seen a lot of evidence that raw milk might be a whole other story. I’m definitely not here to convince you one way or another, but if you struggle with digestive issues (such as bloating, constipation or IBS), acne, blocked sinuses, headaches, or ear infections and you consume dairy, this might be something to try removing from your diet and see how it impacts your body.
The struggle with this, of course, is that pretty much everyone loves cheese. And here’s why:
1. Our taste buds naturally like the taste of the fat and salt.
2. Dairy can be really addictive so once we eat it, we crave more. (Although this definitely lessens over time if you don’t eat it for awhile.)
I don’t typically crave dairy products on a regular basis, but there are definitely times when I miss the comfort of cheese. And that’s where this amazing cheese made from nuts comes in handy. It’s so easy to make and it only takes a few minutes to prepare! Let me show you how!
We start with three simple ingredients: raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and sea salt.
Cashews add the needed fat for our cheese while the nutritional yeast adds a wonderful savory quality with a cheese-like flavor.
To make the cashews easier to puree, the cashews will be covered in water and soaked for several hours or overnight to help soften. When ready, drain the soaking water and add the cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt to a food processor. Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the cashew cheese is a smooth, creamy consistency. And that’s it!
This cashew cheese can be used in any recipe where you would use melted cheese. My favorites include using it on soups and as a dip for crackers or veggies.
What are you favorite uses for creamy cashew cheese?
- 1 cup raw (unsalted) cashews, soaked for 30 minutes (or up to a few hours), then drained
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
- ⅓ cup water (or more as necessary)
- Add soaked (and drained) cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and ⅓ cup water to a food processor.
- Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the cashew cheese is a smooth, creamy consistency. Depending on desired consistency and the length of soaking time, additional water can be added as needed.