Ricotta Cashew Cheese - Vegan Style!
Italian vegans rejoice! Being Italian and loving cheese is not easy when trying to limit dairy intake. Most will wonder why one would limit or give up dairy if not allergic. On my continuing journey to power myself with the ever-changing world of health, I have found many reports where limiting dairy is not such a bad thing. Most forms can be high in fat and calories, upset your stomach GI track plus there is no scientific evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis and has been linked to colon cancer. (founded by Dr. Hyman)
This is not to say that I don't indulge in cheese, yogurt or gelato at times, I just choose to limit my overall consumption. So when I kept seeing options for a vegan ricotta cheese I had to further investigate. Fresh ricotta cheese is one of my all-time favorite cheeses! When we were in Italy it was served fresh every morning with toast, honey and fresh fruit - delish! If you are vegan or limiting dairy you may have heard of cashews taking over the spotlight when it comes to a cheese or a creamy dressing option. That is what is going on here with this recipe - cashews!!
First, you soak your cashews overnight to get them ready to blend into a creamy 'cheese'. Add salt & pepper to taste, a smidge of lemon juice and almond milk to thin it out to your liking. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the blender to get all the cashews blended together - you don't want any chunks if you are looking for that creamy consistency. Just look at the yumminess below!
Now the hard part...what NOT to put this on!! You could literally just eat it with a spoon - but let's savor it to pair it with some main dishes. Of course, it will go well with eggplant parm, stuffed shells or lasagna or any dish that calls for ricotta cheese, really! I actually added it to my vegetable soup this week as a topping and it blended right in for a salty taste. Try it for a breakfast treat spread over toast with honey and fruit like us Italians! So many ways to enjoy it! Would love to hear from you and how you used it! Make sure to tag me on IG!
1 cup chopped cashews (soaked overnight)
2 tbs unsweetened almond milk
2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. After soaking cashews, rinse and drain them.
2. Add to food processor or high-speed blender
3. Add garlic, lemon juice, and salt/pepper
4. Blend cashews until creamy consistency - scraping sides as needed.
5. Add in almond milk slowly until smooth - if need to add more.
6. Sprinkle fresh basil (optional)