Hey guys! Say hello to this holiday inspired vegan cheese platter! Don’t you want to serve this at your next holiday gathering!? Cheese platters are a must during the holiday season because they always look so festive, fancy and enticing.
Being plant-based, however, often means that 50 per cent of the real estate in these platters are taken over by cheese! Such a drag. But I suppose they don’t call it a cheese platter for nothing. Fortunately, us plant-based foodies no longer have to miss out on the fun of cheese platters over the holidays, because now we can make them vegan!
Not only are store bought nut cheeses becoming more popular in the grocers, but they are many delicious recipes online to make them yourself. It seems us plant-based foodies have taken the classic cheese platter by storm with vegan versions! First it was burgers, now cheese, what’s next!?
This homemade vegan nut cheese is made using raw cashews. It’s creamy and soft like a goat cheese, and cheesy from the addition of nutritional yeast. I’ve also added some garlic, garlic powder and citrus to really make the flavours pop! Blended together and you’re looking at the creamiest, cheesiest, flavour rich, and softest nut cheese. It’s premium! Similar to a goat cheese or cream cheese, I am convinced you will love this homemade vegan cheese as much as I do.
I will tell you that cashew cheese does take a bit of time, and effort. Which is why I have given it the “chef approved” stamp. In full disclosure, it’s not as simple as mixing together chia and mylk for a chia pudding snack. However, I’ve taken the simplest approach possible to making this soft vegan cheese. It uses just a handful of ingredients, and the steps are pretty straight forward.
Sometimes a vegan nut cheese recipe can take days to prepare, and requires complicated ingredients, like buying a quality probiotic capsule, and pouring in the powder contents. Not this recipe however, it’s as simple and straightforwards as it gets. The goal it to inspire you to MAKE your own vegan cheese, not to scare you away.
Probably the most difficult thing about this recipe is time. Which in fact, I wouldn’t really categorize as difficult. More so, it requires you to be a little organized. For example, you’ll want to soak the cashews overnight before making the cheese. Then, after blending the ingredients together you’ll want to chill the cheese for 6-12 hours to allow the flavours to combine and the cheese to set.
So overall, this recipe is not going to work unless you’re organized! With that said, it doesn’t necessary take more effort. I mean, it really just needs time to sit in the fridge. During which you can go to work, see your friends, get a good nights sleep, catch up on Netflix and chill or whatever tickles your fancy. This cheese requires no babysitting.
Finally, I recommend using a cheesecloth when making this recipe. If you don’t have one, a thin towel would work, but I highly recommend picking up a cheese cloth. They are super versatile, and can also be used to make homemade almond milk. And they are dead cheap! I think I bought mine for three dollars. And it will make the entire cheesemaking process much more enjoyable.
After all this talk about the effort for making your own nut cheese you’re probably thinking, “why even bother.” And to that I say give this cheese a try and you’ll see. Finally there is a simple and delicious way for vegans to eat cheese again! Giving up cheese was one of the hardest parts about going plantbased during my transition. I just love the deep, tangy, and rich taste of a good cheese. So, to be able to bring that back to the table, and share a vegan cheese version that everyone can enjoy scores huge points. This cashew cheese is great for those who like soft and creamy cheese. And how cool is it to say that you made your own cheese? This certainly entitles you chef approved status.
And that’s all there really is to say about this tasty vegan cashew cheese! I’ve paired this cheese platter with chopped apples, persimmon, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, oranges, nuts and crackers. It’s a hell of a good platter. But of course, feel free to chop your favourite crudités for sharing. If you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
Holiday Vegan Cheese Platter
- 2 cups raw cashews , soaked overnight
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 lemon , juiced
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk (optional, to help with binding)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- black poppyseed (optional for sprinkling)
- Drain soaked cashews and add to food processor along with minced garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, psyllium husk, garlic powder and onion powder. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a large mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of cheesecloth (or a clean, fine, absorbent towel). Scoop cashew mix onto cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a "disc." Secure with a rubber band.
- Place cheese in refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours, preferably 12 hours or overnight, until there is no more excess moisture, and it holds its form when released from the cheesecloth. (I left mine in the fridge overnight)
- To serve, unwrap from cheesecloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Reform with hands as needed, then sprinkle with poppyseed to coat. (Handle gently as the cheese is soft). Enjoy with fresh cut vegetables, fruits, and crackers.