Something I hear a lot from friends considering a plant-based diet is “but, what about CHEESE?? I could never give that up!”
I feel you. Cheese is delicious.
If you are trying to give up dairy products it’s important to have great alternatives that are easy to make, whether it’s melty pepper jack, cashew ricotta, or a great cheesy pasta sauce.
Vegan Cheese to the Rescue!
Fortunately for us all, there is no reason to feel like you’ll be missing out on a plant-based diet! This week, I have a super easy macadamia “goat cheese.” Macadamia nuts make a great vegan cheese-they are creamy and white, and not gritty when puréed. Other nuts that make a great cheese substitute are cashew, blanched almonds, and brazil nuts. You can even make a seed cheese out of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds by swapping out the nuts for seeds. (Usually I have to season a seed cheese a little more heavily with salt and pepper as seeds tend to be a little…earthier??)
Try this quick “goat cheese” with toasted baguette, sliced celery, carrot and cucumber, or your favorite cracker. Garnish your cheese board with olives, pickles and fresh fruit like tangerines, apples and grapes. By the way this cheese is RAW, so if you are into raw food, this is a must try!
Macadamia nuts are a great addition to a vegan diet!
- Macadamias contain healthy fats that support heart health, and have been shown to lower triglycerides.
- Their fat content and beneficial fiber content have been shown to help aid in weight loss by aiding satiety. A handful as a snack is a super healthy snack!
- Macadamias are in manganese, phosophorus and magnesium, which strengthen bones and aid in nutrient and mineral absorbtion.
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked overnight and rinsed before processing
- zest + juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- water as needed (1-2 Tablespoons max)
- 1-2 Tablespoons edible flowers (optional)
- Soak the macadamias overnight. Drain and rinse with fresh water. Discard the soaking water.
- Add the nuts to a food processor, along with the lemon zest and juice, salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast. Process until smooth, adding water little by little as needed. Go slowly with the water, because the cheese will be too runny if you add too much.
- After the cheese is smooth as possible, refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight. before serving, remove from the frig and form into balls or into a cylinder. Decorate with flower petals if desired.