2 cups Organic walnuts
1 cup Organic Hemp seeds
1 cup Nutritional yeast
1-2 Fresh garlic clove
1 teaspoon Sea salt
Sounds somewhat oxymoronic, doesn’t it?
Anybody who has ever attempted to make cheese from plants instead of dairy products knows that it is no easy task. And I don’t know about you, but our family has ‘sampled’ countless vegan cheese products on a seemingly endless quest for cheese that wows our palates the way they were wowed in our former dairy-consuming days. Not only that, we pine for plant-based cheeses that meet our waxing standards of nutrition and ingredient quality. All too often our cheese dreams sadly melt away after reading the detrimental ingredients of a new plant-based or vegan cheese candidate.
So, what is a Cuisinaut to do but boldly ‘attempt’ to make a plant-based cheese facsimile of one’s own? I say facsimile because this cheese quest is a work-in-progress. Don’t tell me or my family this, but maybe it is oxymoronic to try and make cheese out of plants. Regardless, the Cuisinaut spirit in us refuses to give up the quest for a superb dream cheese despite how astronomical it may sound!
So here goes. This TFC ‘Vegan Parmesan Cheese’ recipe is by no means an exact replica of parmesan cheese. But I have to say it is a respectable substitute that adds great flavor and nutrition to a wide array of dishes. Needless to say, it has achieved ‘table-staple-status‘ at our home because we all love it so much, sprinkling it on soups, salads, sandwiches and more.
We have been experimenting with this recipe for some time using different nut combinations. Our favorite, decidedly, is a mixture of cashew or macadamia combined with pine nuts. However, this can become expensive (especially when you have two young gastronomes who will literally sit down and shovel the stuff straight into their mouths!). So the version that follows is a bit more budget-friendly, yet still super satisfying.
As some of you may already know, everything that now crosses our lips has the specific purpose of adding not merely flavor, but optimal nutritional value as well. Accordingly this recipe is packed with nutritional benefits! I actually appreciate the girls’ desire to eat this by the spoonful! It is reassuring to know their growing bodies are reaping the amazing benefits of prebiotics, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants instead of eating processed, preservative-laden dishes loaded with chemicals, hormones and endocrine disruptors. It feels good knowing that we are consuming plant-based nutrients that are perfectly designed to feed each and every cell in our bodies, instead of ingredients laced with suffering that are actually quite difficult for our bodies to digest and assimilate.
Do I miss the ooey-gooey melted magic of real cheese? Yes, sometimes. Hence the effort to uncover a plant-based substitute. But the comfort gained from the knowledge that we are consuming clean, beneficial, suffering-free foods surpasses the sacrifice of dairy cheese’s culinary allure.
So without further ado, I’m thrilled to share this quick and convenient plant-based cheese recipe, and as always I covet your feedback!
Gather all ingredients and measure out placing in food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse off and on until all ingredients are well-combined. If ingredients stick, gently scrape down sides then pulse, then scrape the sides, then pulse again until well-combined.
Serve immediately. Sprinkle over your favorite pasta, salad, pizza or whatever you desire. To store put in an airtight container and leave in a cool and dry location or refrigerate for up to two weeks.