Cheese is one of the things many people miss the flavor of when they’re trying to reduce the amount of animal products in their diet. Cheese is usually high in salt and saturated fat, so it’s a sensible thing to limit. It’s so flavorful that a little can go a long way, so it’s easy to enjoy in small quantities, but if you’re looking for plant-based alternatives altogether, let me introduce you to cashews and nutritional yeast.
Cashews are perfect for forming a creamy base that can work as a sauce of varying thicknesses to replicate dairy products like cheese sauce, sour cream, or even coffee creamer. Soak them overnight in water, drain the water off, and puree them in your blender or food processor, adding enough water to reach your desired texture. Once you’ve got the texture right, you just need a little flavor, which is why we turn to…
Nutritional yeast, called “nooch” by those in the know, is a fungi related to bread-making yeast that’s grown on molasses and killed to prevent it from leavening whatever you add it to. You might have a hard time believing that it can hit the cheese note you’re craving in a dish, but trust me: it really can. Most grocery stores sell it in the spice section.
Cashew Cheese Sauce
Feeling peckish? Snack on veggies or whole-grain tortilla chips with this cheese-like, nut-based sauce for a filling nibble.View recipe »
Vegan “Cheesy” Chips
Cashews and nooch turn kale into a decadent snack food.View recipe »
Vegan Sour Cream
It's not identical to sour cream, but it's a darn tasty potato topping all the same.View recipe »
Nooch as a popcorn topping is reminiscent of your favorite storebought cheese popcorn.View recipe »
Last week’s tip: Full Vegan
Next week’s tip: Lentilicious