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Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Raw Jalapeno Cashew Cheese

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Raw Vegan Jalapeno  Cashew Cheese - takes only 5 mins to make!

I recently wrote a post about cutting most dairy out of my diet. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it and I want to share my philosophy with you guys. I’m not an extremist (any more), I know from past experiences that the pendulum always swings both ways. Being too strict with your diet will ultimately cause us to go to the other extreme and binge or overeat. So to clarify, when I say I cut dairy out of my diet, I don’t mean I will NEVER EVER have it again (!!) it just means that I’m not going to be buying it or keeping it at the house anymore. If I’m eating out I might have some goat cheese on a salad every now and again but it’s not going to be a daily or weekly staple like it once was. I hope that makes sense!

Raw Vegan Jalapeno  Cashew Cheese - takes only 5 mins to make!

Being realistic allows me to enjoy something I like but in more moderation. Life is about balance and it’s also about enjoyment! You don’t have to cut everything out at once or forever, just go for the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you eat super clean and 20% is not as perfect. I feel best at about 95/5 but that’s after years and years of  following this lifestyle. If you are eating 50/50, then try to bump it up to 60/40 and so on. Slow and steady wins the race! Everyone wants the quick fix but if there is one thing I know, it’s that slow manageable changes are what lead to long lasting changes! There was a time in my life when I NEVER thought I would get there and now looking back I wonder how I ever could have been overweight with terrible skin and chronic fatigue…but more on that later. Back to the recipe!

In the spirit of staying dairy free, I thought I’d take a nod from my old raw food days and make this nut based cashew cheese. This has a similar texture to soft goat cheese. Full disclosure here: you’re not going to “trick” anyone into thinking this is real cheese but it tastes great and will make a lovely stand in for cheese and crackers. You could also use it as a yummy veggie dip, on pizzas, drizzled over roasted veggies like broccoli, veggie nachos, on sandwiches, etc. I added jalapeno and LOTS of black pepper to make it pop and it turned out great! 

Raw Vegan Jalapeno  Cashew Cheese - takes only 5 mins to make!

Raw Vegan Jalapeno  Cashew Cheese

You’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste, I used about a 1/2 tsp of each

Add all ingredients to your VitaMix and blend until smooth. Taste, and add more water and spice as needed.

You can also use a food processor and combine all ingredients until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. I sometimes use the Cuisinart Smart Stick mini food processor when making nut based spreads.

Use a spatula to transfer to a small plate or bowl. I used a small springform cake pan to mold it into a circle and then sprinkled it generously with fresh cracked pepper. I think it would have looked better with a coarser cracked pepper than I used or red pepper flakes would have been really pretty! Then refrigerate for an hour to set the shape. Keep in mind that it will be soft at room temp and firm when cold.

I spread my “cheese” over some delicious Mary’s Gone Crackers which are gluten free and delicious! You can find them at most health food stores 🙂

You could also add a bit more water and use this as an alfredo sauce alternative (simply omit the jalapeno if you don’t want it to be spicy) and if you’re feeling extra adventurous you could make a spicy mac and cheese using zucchini noodles!

Raw Vegan Jalapeno  Cashew Cheese - takes only 5 mins to make!

Raw Vegan Jalapeno Cashew Cheese
 
Prep time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser

Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ½ jalapeno
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste, I used about a ½ tsp of each

Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to your VitaMix and blend until smooth. Taste, and add more water and spice as needed.
  2. You can also use a food processor and combine all ingredients until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. I sometimes use the Cuisinart Smart Stick mini food processor when making nut based spreads.
  3. Use a spatula to transfer to a small plate or bowl. I used a small springform cake pan to mold it into a circle and then sprinkled it generously with fresh cracked pepper. I think it would have looked better with a coarser cracked pepper than I used or red pepper flakes would have been really pretty! Then refrigerate for an hour to set the shape. Keep in mind that it will be soft at room temp and firm when cold.
  4. You can also add a bit more water and use this as an alfredo sauce alternative (simply omit the jalapeno if you don’t want it to be spicy) and if you’re feeling extra adventurous you could make a spicy mac and cheese using zucchini noodles!

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Tags

appetizers dairy-free dips&dressings easy recipes gluten-free goat cheese kid friendly vegan vegetarian

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7 Responses to “Raw Jalapeno Cashew Cheese”

  1. sudha December 5, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    What is the name of the cracker please , your recipe sounds good

  2. Kelli December 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    When you say you were overweight, how much? How long did it take you to lose it? I have been fighting my weight my entire life, and losing. I’m always suspect when a person like you (nothing personal) makes statements like this. I’m always left wondering if this is a gimmick or truth. Just so tired of trying and getting nowhere.

    • Linda December 5, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

      Hi Kelli,

      I completely understand. I am about 5’5″ and was 30lbs overweight. That’s the equivalent of carrying a toddler around 24/7! I was also suffering with acne, fatigue, depression and mood swings. I know that it can sometimes seem like I’ve “got it all figured out” but that’s only because I am sharing my story with you 10 years after I was able to lose that weight and KEEP IT OFF. I’m going to be sharing some articles in the future talking about my journey. Hopefully you will be able to relate and find some piece of mind in that. It’s not easy but the rewards are SO GREAT. I look forward to keeping the dialogue open as I share my story with you!

  3. Molly December 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    I would like to make the cashew spread but don’t have nutritional yeast in the house. All I have are the little packets of yeast for baking. That is not the same thing, is it? What role does the nutritional yeast play in the recipe and what could I substitute for it so I don’t have to run to the store for one thing?

    Thanks!

    • Linda December 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      Hi Molly,
      Regular baking yeast is not a substitute so if you don’t have nutritional yeast then you can simply omit it and it will still taste great! You can read more about the benefits of nutritional yeast here https://lindawagner.net/blog/2012/01/raw-kale-salad-recipe I hope that helps!

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