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When I first cut dairy from my diet the thing I missed most was cheese. My cheeseless existance left me feeling left out; cheeseless pizza/pasta/jacket potato for one. My cheese cravings needing satisfying a.s.a.p.
I attempted to make my own cheese but many recipes I came across called for garlic and the resulting ‘cheese’ was crumbly in texture and overwhelmingly garlicy in taste and nothing like cheese, so the search for an alternative went on. Then I came across nutritional yeast. Game changer.
Nutritional yeast is inactive yeast with a distinct nutty and more importantly cheesey flavour. It is great for vegetarians as it provides a whole spectrum of B vitamins (especially if you get the one with added B12) and it’s high in biotin, folic acid and iron. If i’m honest, sometimes i’ll just sprinkle the yeast flakes on meals for instant cheese satisfaction.
This is my go to recipe for mozzarella style creamy cheese. I use it on pizza, in pasta dishes and even as a fondue dip.
¼ cup cashews (soaked for a few hours)*
Enough water to cover the cashews
1-2 tbsp milk (gives extra creaminess, I used almond milk)
1 tsp corn flour (optional, thickens the cheese)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (the more you add the cheesier it’ll taste)
Squeeze of lemon juice/apple cider vinegar
Pinch salt & pepper
*if, like me, you forget to pre soak the cashews, put them in a pan with some water and heat for 5-10 mins until softened
*you could easily experiment with flavours by adding herbs like chives or maybe spicing it up with cayenne pepper or adding some onion or garlic
Soak your cashews in enough water to cover the nuts. Leave for a few hours, or until they have softened.
Add the nuts, with the water they soaked in, and all the other ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Pre heat a small pan, then lower the temperature and add the mixture to the pan.
Stir the mixture frequently and keep a close eye it. It will go from thin and liquidy to bubbling and thick very quickly and you don’t want it to burn.
If the mixture is too thin for your liking, add a little more corn flour, if it’s too thick add a little more water/milk.
When it is cooked through (it will go from very pale white/yellow to a slightly darker hue) or reached the desired consistency, it is ready to be eaten.
Spoon over your pizza and then bake in the oven, mix into a pasta dish, use as a white sauce replacement in lasagne, pour over a baked sweet potato or any other way you wish to enjoy it. X[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]