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 couldn't tell the difference...it tasted just like the ricotta I was accustomed to for many years. 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!Ingredients
Cashew Ricotta Cheese
- 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 1/2 cup water
- juice of 1 large lemon or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast*
- 1 garlic clove
- dash of onion powder
- himalayan sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
Soak the cashews for at least two hours in a bowl of water, covering the cashews about an inch of water as they will puff up a bit.
Drain cashews and place all remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor, blend scraping down sides as needed until creamy. 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 refrigerator in an air tight container for an hour or two, this will stiffen the mixture a bit. You can also just prepare your dish with it straight away without refrigeration if needed.
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.
Note: If you have trouble with the mixture blending on it's own try this, or add extra water...
I find that the mixture will go to the sides and not incorporate itself, maybe my blender is not that powerful. A trick I use while blending is to use a rubber spatula, with the lid off, I will scrap down ever so gently and tightly against the wall of the blender to help push the cashew mixture into itself so it keeps moving. It can be tricky, you don't want to put the spatula too far in or the blades will hit it...only scrap down enough to help keep the flow going, you don't have to go all the way down. I will do this around the wall of the blender until it either moves on it's own or it's to my desired consistency. Be patient when doing this so you don't lose your spatula in the blender.
Adapted from Hipster Food Make Your Own Cashew Cheese