Introducing the darn good vegan cheese alternative. It’s gooey. It’s creamy. It’s textured, and you’ll be whipped from the very first bite of this Cashew Ricotta Cheese.
My love for a good cheddar or parmesan is legendary, as is my lactose intolerance. And let me tell you, I have been forced to live without the velvety and melting-in-mouth goodness of dairy-cheese on quite a number of occasions.
There are vegan cheese substitutes available in stores and I have tried several of them, but they are a splurge (at least in India). Plus, it is always a great idea to have something dairy-free at home.
So, I thought it was time to experiment with vegan cheese!
How to make cashew ricotta cheese?
Whats a great recipe? One that takes just a line to write. I kid you not. The ricotta cheese is really that easy to make.
You take pre-soaked cashews, add a bit of sea salt, a pinch of pepper, and some lemon juice. Blend all the ingredients ina food processor, and that's it!
You've got one of the most delicious things ever made by man. Undeniably. The creaminess of the cashews is fantastical, and the texture is bang on!
Extra touches to the cashew ricotta cheese:
The vegan cheese needs only four basic ingredients, but as ever, I couldn’t resist adding some extra touches. For this recipe, it was a clove of garlic, a hint of smoked paprika and organic thyme and oregano.
The garlic brings an incredibly versatile and satisfying taste. Paprika gives the cheese an imperceptibly smoked flavor without really adding heat. The thyme and oregano add a trace of herb-a-licious savory seasoning.
You can use dill, parsley, red chili flakes or even chop up some fresh green onions to it. Pick your preference. Everything works with this creamy vegan cheese, perfectly.
Some tips on making the cheese:
When you're blending the ingredients pour in a bit of water, it comes together much better. I fancy a textural and grainy cheese that looks exactly like homemade ricotta. But if you want an almost melting on the tongue cheese, blend it a tad more to give it a smoother consistency.
A lot of cashew ricotta cheese recipes use nutritional yeast as an ingredient, but I didn't have any at hand. Besides, it is available only in gourmet stores, and I wanted to create an alternative that anyone can make easily.
The delightfully dairy-free cheese turned out to be just great without the yeast, so go ahead and skip it. Like every fresh cheese, this is also good for five to seven days. Consume it within a week, which I am sure, you'll have no trouble with. The ricotta cheese is honestly that amazing.
Serving the insanely delicious (& nutritious) cheese
I binged on this velvety thick soft cheese with my breakfast toast. You can mix it into a pasta sauce ( or top the pasta with it), spoon it on baked vegetables, toss it in a rice dish to make it extra creamy and even smear it on crackers.
The cashew ricotta cheese is so darn wonderful that it mixes well with any dish. Once you have the first bite, your taste buds will be hooked. Trust me.
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Cashew Ricotta Cheese
- 1 cup Cashewnuts, soaked
- Juice of 1 lemon Approximately 2 tablespoons
- 3/4 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp Dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp Dried thyma
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup Water You may need more
- Sea salt and Black pepper to taste
- Soak the cashew nuts - You can soak them for 2-3 hours in room temperature water OR You can soak them in boiling hot water for 10-15 minutes
- Drain and rinse the soaked nuts.
- Combine all the ingredients in your food processor. Process until creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If it's too thick, add some more water or lemon juice.
- Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for 5-6 days. You can use it immediately in any dish you like or serve with crackers/toasts. Enjoy!