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Say Cheese!

My Favorite Vegan Cheese

What is a Raw Vegan Cheese recipe doing in a skin care blog site? Ok, first let me say I am multi-dimensioned and I have loads of interests so you never know what you will find here. Second, good skin care starts with what you eat. Third stress causes the skin to age, and if you are like me, being cheeseless causes me stress. So here is a helpful treat to help relieve stress while you try to do the right thing and support Vegan for you and the environment. 

Cheese Is Hard To Let Go Of

True confession, one of my biggest addictions is cheese. During the time I was a Raw Vegan it was the hardest thing for me to let go of. Yes, harder than coffee. I’ve loved cheese all my life and it was the biggest treat for me, more than cookies or candy or cakes. While I never found a truly satisfying replacement for the melted molten cheesiness of dairy, I did find this Raw Vegan Cheese very satisfying. So give the cows a break and try this supper easy recipe.

Feel free to change it up and make it your own be creative. I find I often switch things around and change the spices or I’ll add things like spring onions or jalapenos or red bell pepper.Play with your food! 

Fast and Easy

Time to make: 5 minutes (including prep and clean up and photoshoot)

Here is what you will need for my basic recipe (I never measure anything when I make food, I go by feel and taste and smell. When I make skin care, I am tediously exact):

  • 1 cup Cashews (raw)**- only enough that you can eat it in the next 3 to 4 days You do not need to soak these soft nuts, unless soaking is a compulsion with you then you can soak for 30 minutes. **For a Low Fat option use white beans or yellow potatoes or for a low starch version try using roasted bell peppers
  • Nutritional Yeast – about 3 – 4 tablespoons.(optional if using cashews but a must with the low fat options)
  • dash Salt (For a salt free version use dried celery or your favorite salt substitute)
  • splash ACV
  • dash Paprika
  • dash Turmeric
  • Garlic to taste
  • Water – enough for the texture or consistency. So if you are making a sauce to drizzle on roasted veggies or a creamy blend to toss with pasta you will want to add more. If you are making a dip or thick spread, use less water. Start out with 1/4cp you can add more as you go but you can never subtract it.
  • A really good blender or a food processor. Whatever tool you use that can grind a soft nut. I’ve used a variety of tools and basically they all work since the cashew is a soft nut.

Let’s Create!

Toss it all in a blender and blend away!

Blend until you get a creamy texture so give it time to really pulverize the nuts. Bon appetit!

Bon appetit

OK so here are the very brief “whys” for each of the ingredients. It’s good to know what is so good about what is good for you right? So I like to know if it is good for my body and for my skin. Of course because I make skin care and the best skin care starts with what you eat (hair care too).

Cashews- The Cashew is really a seed not a nut that has a mild flavor and can be used for dishes from sweet (cashew cream) to savory (toasted roasted and tossed with any number of spices), making it very versatile protein source. The nut is a favorite and nutritionally, it’s actually pretty good for you with unsaturated and monounsaturated (heart healthy) fats, vitamins, fiber and rich minerals. 1/4 cp of raw cashews is about 170 calories. I always encourage folks to buy Raw Organic Fair trade cashews. **If you elected the low fat options then you are adding nutrient density while minimizing fat. So basically, a cheese sauce you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in.

Salt – I use pink Himalayan Sherpa salt or Celtic sea salt. Salts are mineral rich and  minerals act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function. The fact is, we all need salt to keep our bodies functioning properly.  So feel free to salt to taste!

Garlic – One of my personal favorites for cleansing and keeping a happy healthy balanced inside. Allicin is a form of sulfur and this is what gives garlic the medicinal benefits, fighting radicals, boosting the immune system, and lowering blood pressure. Topically? I have never heard of topical skin care but old wives tales say if you wear a garland of it you will ward off evil. There is about 5,000 years of recorded use of garlic and lots of tales to go with it.

ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) – I use Braggs. There are others but I like this one the best. Some say the “mother” strands (extra proteins, enzymes, and important bacteria),  in Braggs make it the “only” one to use for health benefits. There are so many uses and benefits to using ACV that I really don’t think I could do it justice in this little piece. Perhaps another time I’ll do a piece on skin care with ACV.

Paprika – Is a lovely blend of chili and bell peppers. While it can spike up your dish it also delivers antioxidants and nutrients. Vitamin A, E, B-6, Iron, and the treasured Capsaicin which can help lower blood pressure. I’ve never used it for skin care but there are some that tout the benefits of Paprika for a variety of treatments from skin lightening to acne treatment to hair growth.

Turmeric – This spice is well known for its anti-inflammatory aid and has been used for centuries in the East. But another notable use is in Cancer prevention. While I personally do not formulate skin care with this wonderful spice, I have seen others coming out with Turmeric. For now, I stick to using it for healthy skin care from the inside out!

Water – OK this is easy. By now we all should know the value of a glass of good ole plain water so no need to go into it here. If you need some tricks on how to drink more water, you can read my post Top 5 life hacks to get the water you need

Nutritional Yeast (optional unless using the low fat options) – The flavor is slightly nutty and a bit cheesy. I use about 3 – 4 tablespoons for this recipe. You can use more if you want or none at all if you don’t have it. Beyond flavor, I’m not sure what other benefits it would have since the yeast is not active. Do you know?