As vegans and those eating a plant based diet, you will be glad to have this cashew ricotta cheese in your culinary library. This is so easy to put together and tastes fantastic! I made a Simple Lasagna, and recently The Ultimate Vegetable Lasagna, and couldn’t tell the difference…it tasted just like the ricotta I was accustomed to for many years before becoming vegan. This is soy free for those limiting their soy intake. It’s a simple recipe with lots of possibilities. Add your own tastes to this basic cheese by adding herbs and spices if you like. Try adding in some sun-dried tomatoes for a sweet tomato cheese. Use this ricotta in lasagna, stuffed pasta shells, as a topper for crackers or as a spread for sandwiches. I’ve even used it in a Persimmon Ricotta Scone recipe that came out wonderful (I omitted the pepper, onion powder and garlic for the recipe). You can use this with a few adjustments for any recipe that calls for ricotta. The ingredients are very common making this a great basic recipe for anyone starting out experimenting with nut cheeses. Make yourself some fresh cashew cheese…taste and feel the difference compared to processed cheese products. You will not be disappointed!
First, it’s best to soak your cashews for 2 – 3 hours before processing. This will help soften the cashews by plumping them up with water. It’s also said to be beneficial for digestion and mineral & vitamin absorption. If you’re in a hurry, you can still make this cashew ricotta cheese successfully without soaking. You just may need to add a bit more water while blending.
Once cashews are done soaking, simply place everything in a food processor/blender and blend until creamy.
And that’s it! So easy and delicious. You may find yourself eating it right out to the bowl. Enjoy everywhere you would use ricotta cheese!
CASHEW RICOTTA CHEESE
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked
- 1/2 cup water
- juice of 1 large lemon or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
- 1 garlic clove
- dash of onion powder
- himalayan sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours in a bowl of water, covering the cashews about 2 – 3 inches of water as they will swell up.
Drain cashews and place all remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor, process until creamy stopping to scrape down the sides every few minutes. Taste for flavors adding any additional ingredients. Some like a salty ricotta so feel free to add as much salt as you want.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for an hour or two, this will stiffen the mixture a bit. You can also prepare your dish straight away without refrigeration if needed. Refrigeration will thicken the mixture a bit. If it becomes too thick, add a tad of water and mix well.
Makes approx. 2 cups. Stores in refrigerator for up to a week.
You could do just as well without the nutritional yeast if you don’t have it. I only added a small amount, probably pretty unnoticeable. I will be trying more next time to play around with it a bit. If you do add it, it will add a bit more cheesy flavor and some good nutritional value.
If you have trouble with the mixture blending on it’s own try this because it’s too thick, add a little extra water.