Springtime is a wonderful time to lay off the dairy. I know, there are creamy sauces and ice cream and cheese and milk on your cereal, etc. Well, I’ll tell ya – dairy makes ya snotty. Not bratty (although it might do that to some people), snotty. And who needs extra mucus in their life with all the pollen that’s gloriously drifting about allowing the abundance of flowers, trees and fruits that we love? Not me.
Plus, Mr. Bigg Sis is not supposed to be eat dairy because it is inflammatory in nature, so we have discovered many other things to enjoy in it’s place but are always open to something that can go on a cracker, bread or sandwich that tastes or feels a bit like cheese. This one comes from our good friend Somer at VedgedOut.com She has an amazing array of tasty recipes if you would like to eat less animal products and she is the Queen of Vegan Cheese. I changed this recipe just a little and my husband and I have been enjoying the results. Little Sis has also made this (maybe following the recipe exactly – break for laughter here, Little Sis does not ever follow recipes exactly) and they enjoy it very much as well.
Follow the link for Somer’s original version:
and here’s mine : Cheddar Cheese Spread:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4-6 hours
2 packed tablespoons dry pack sun dried tomatoes, snipped into small pieces with kitchen scissors then soaked along with the water with the cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional – I used 1 Tbsp of Cabernet that I had on hand)
1 heaped tablespoon mellow white miso (I used 1.5 Tbsp of red rice miso – again what I had and I overscooped and just dumped it in anyway)
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon onion powder (I used a heaping tsp.)
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (I used 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil (I used 1/4 cup and will explain why below so you can decide what you’d like to do)
Rinse the soaked cashews and sun-dried tomatoes and drain well.
Process the cashews and the tomatoes in a food processor (Somer states you can also use high powered blender but I did not) to form a paste – scrape down sides to incorporate all
Add seasonings and pulse until combined
Add the coconut oil. I chose to use half the coconut oil because it is the coconut oil that will make this firm up more to make a cheese ball, and I was looking for something that would also serve as a spread. I was also concerned that it not taste too coconut-ty.
Process well until the mixture is completely smooth, scraping down to mix it all. This process can take up to 10 minutes in a food processor and a few minutes in a power blender.
I then split my cheese into 2 containers and refrigerated – make sure you cover it as it will darken if you don’t.
It firmed up nicely – and it holds it’s shape pretty well if it is cool in the house. It softens mightily if you take it out on the deck when it is 75 degrees outside!
I used half to make a cheese ball by forming a ball once it was firm (about 4-6 hours) and rolling it in chopped pecans and dried, powdered sage.
The other half I just left alone to be more of a spread.
Somer’s original version uses slivered almonds which would also be delicious!
If you are interested in other non-dairy cheesy like items, check out these other posts!
Cheese Free Italian – AWESOME recipe Little Sis had at a restaurant and reproduced
Dairy Free Pasta Toppers
Spaghetti Squash with Sunflower Lemon Pesto
Dilly Sunflower Cheese Spread
Zucheesy Noodles with Crunchy Bits
If you’re having a snotty spring, try laying off the dairy – you might be amazed at what a difference you notice after a week. And if you’re not snotty…. well excuuuse me. Then you can give these a try anyhow ;-0 – Just because I said so (I told you I was snotty).