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The Ultimate Guide to Cashew Cheese: What It Is and How to Make It

What is cashew cheese and how is it made?

With the growing popularity of non-dairy alternatives, cashew cheese has emerged as a delicious and nutritious option for those seeking a dairy-free alternative. Made from a blend of cashews and flavorings, cashew cheese offers a cheesy flavor and texture that can rival traditional dairy cheeses. In this article, we will explore what cashew cheese is and how to make it at home.

The Rise of Non-Dairy Alternatives

Over the past decade, the demand for non-dairy alternatives has skyrocketed. Allergies, lactose intolerance, and the adoption of vegan or plant-based diets have contributed to this trend. According to a study published by the University of Virginia Health System, global sales of non-dairy milk alternatives doubled between 2009 and 2015, reaching a staggering $21 billion.

What is cashew cheese?

Cashew cheese is a nut-based alternative to traditional dairy cheese. It is made by blending cashews with flavorings and often contains nutritional yeast or active live cultures to give it a cheesy flavor and texture. Similar to dairy cheese, cashew cheese can be seasoned to create a variety of flavors, including hard, tangy, savory, soft, or ashy. In addition to being a tasty substitute, cashew cheese offers numerous nutritional benefits.

The nutritional benefits of cashews

Cashews, the main ingredient in cashew cheese, are packed with essential nutrients. According to Healthline, cashews contain zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and good fats. Incorporating cashews into your diet not only provides a cheesy goodness, but also ensures you get a wide range of nutrients. Plus, with only 60 calories per cup, no saturated fat, and no cholesterol, unsweetened cashew milk is a healthy choice.

How to make cashew cheese

Making cashew cheese at home is relatively easy and requires only a few key ingredients. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

  1. Soak two cups of cashews in cool water for 12 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  3. Place the cashews in a blender with the garlic cloves, lemon juice and zest, nutritional yeast, olive oil, water and salt.
  4. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for six to 12 hours to allow flavors to develop.

If you have cheesecloth, you can strain the mixture before chilling for a firmer texture. The result is a delicious, savory non-dairy cheese that can be used in a variety of recipes or enjoyed on its own.

Cultured Cashew Cheese

In addition to the quick and easy recipe above, there is a more complex method for making cultured cashew cheese. Cultured cashew cheese involves fermenting the cashew base with live bacterial cultures, similar to the process of making dairy cheese. This method requires more time and patience, but results in a cheese with added depth of flavor and the benefits of healthy probiotics.

Final Thoughts

Cashew cheese is a fantastic non-dairy alternative for cheese lovers on vegan, plant-based, or lactose-free diets. With its creamy texture, variety of flavors, and nutritional benefits, it’s no wonder cashew cheese has become so popular. Whether you choose to make a quick and easy version or venture into the realm of cultured cashew cheese, experimenting with this delicious alternative can open up a world of culinary possibilities.


What is cashew cheese?

Cashew cheese is a nut-based alternative to traditional dairy cheese. It is made by blending cashews with flavorings and often contains nutritional yeast or live active cultures to give it a cheesy taste and texture.

Is cashew cheese healthy?

Yes, cashew cheese can be a healthy choice. Cashews are a good source of nutrients such as zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and healthy fats. Cashew cheese is also free of lactose and cholesterol, making it a good choice for those with dietary restrictions.

Can I make cashew cheese at home?

Absolutely you can! Cashew cheese is relatively easy to make at home. All you need is a blender or food processor, cashews, flavorings like nutritional yeast, and any additional spices you like. In just a few simple steps, you can make your own delicious cashew cheese.

Can I use Cashew Cheese as a substitute in recipes?

Yes, cashew cheese can be used as a substitute for dairy cheese in many recipes. It can be spread on crackers, used as a pizza topping, melted into sauces, or incorporated into dishes like lasagna or macaroni and cheese. Feel free to experiment and get creative with how you use Cashew Cheese in your favorite recipes!

How long does Cashew Cheese keep?

When properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, Cashew Cheese will keep for about 5-7 days. Flavors may develop over time. It’s important to check for any signs of spoilage, such as an off odor or mold, before consuming.

Can I freeze Cashew Cheese?

Yes, Cashew Cheese can be frozen for extended storage. It’s best to portion it into smaller containers or wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before eating. Note that the texture may change slightly after freezing and thawing.

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