Cashew Ricotta Cheese

As vegans and those eating a plant based diet, you will be glad to have this cashew ricotta cheese in your culinary library. This super simple recipe by The Simple Veganista not only tastes fantastic but offers lots of possibilities for any recipe that calls for ricotta. Add your own tastes to this basic cheese with a splash of herbs and spices, or try 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. Taste and feel the difference compared to processed cheese products – you won’t be disappointed!

Cashew Ricotta Cheese
Cashew Ricotta Cheese; Photo: The Simple Veganista

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stores in refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes:

You could do just as well without the nutritional yeast if you don’t have it. If you do add it, it will add a bit more cheesy flavor and some good nutritional value.

Soaking your cashews for 2 – 3 hours 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.

Prep: 2-3 hours (if soaking cashews) | Makes: approx. 2 cups.

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