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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Easy to Make Vegan Cashew Cheese and Vegan Ricotta Cheese Recipes

Whether you are a vegan, lactose intolerant, or just someone looking to try something different, these two vegan cheese recipes will bring a smile to your face.  They are easy to follow, delicious and extremely healthy.

Cashew Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours or overnight
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup water (adjust as needed for desired consistency)
  • Optional: herbs or spices for flavor (such as dried basil, smoked paprika, or rosemary)

Instructions:

  1. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse them under cold water.
  1. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, onion powder, and water.
  1. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add more water if necessary to achieve your desired consistency.
  1. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If desired, mix in herbs or spices for additional flavor.
  1. Transfer the cashew cheese to a container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow it to firm up.
  1. Serve as a spread on crackers or bread, or use as a dip for vegetables.

Nutritional Value (per serving, approximately 2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 90 kcal
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Calcium: 10% DV
  • Iron: 6% DV

Why it’s a healthy alternative to dairy cheese:

  • Cashew cheese is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats from cashews, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • It’s also a good source of plant-based protein, making it a satisfying and nutritious option.
  • The addition of nutritional yeast provides a cheesy flavor and a boost of B vitamins, including B12, which is often lacking in vegan diets.
  • This cheese is free from cholesterol and lactose, making it suitable for those with dairy allergies or intolerances.

Tofu Ricotta

Ingredients:

  • 1 block (14-16 oz) firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: fresh basil or parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Crumble the tofu into a bowl using your hands or a fork.
  1. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and black pepper to the bowl with the crumbled tofu.
  1. Use a fork or potato masher to mash and mix the ingredients together until well combined and the mixture resembles the texture of ricotta cheese.
  1. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If desired, mix in fresh herbs for added flavor.
  1. Use immediately as a filling for lasagna, stuffed shells, or as a topping for pizza, or refrigerate for later use.

Nutritional Value (per serving, approximately 1/4 cup):

  • Calories: 70 kcal
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Calcium: 10% DV
  • Iron: 8% DV

Why it’s a healthy alternative to dairy cheese:

  • Tofu ricotta is low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free, making it heart-healthy.
  • It’s a good source of plant-based protein, which is important for muscle repair and growth.
  • Tofu is also rich in calcium and iron, essential minerals for bone health and oxygen transport in the body.
  • This cheese is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, providing a creamy texture and cheesy flavor without the use of dairy.

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