Cashews actually make for a great substitute when making dairy-free “cheeses.” They have a very cheesy flavor to begin with and are also fatty and buttery in texture. So I think you really will enjoy this recipe!
Why cashew ricotta? Well this eliminates the dairy. Some people are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, so this recipe would be great for them. Some other people eliminate dairy for health reasons. And some eliminate dairy for ethical reasons. What ever the case may be, the good news is that cashew ricotta is delicious and I love it on top of my arugula pesto pasta, on pizza, or on roasted veggies. Lots of possibilities!
To make the cashew ricotta, it is very important to pre-soak the cashews. There are two ways of doing so. The first is to cover them with water and let them sit at room temperature overnight or all day, about 6-8 hours. The other way is to boil water and pour over the cashews, then soak for about 10-20 minutes. Both ways work. One disadvantage to the boiled water method is that the cashews will no longer be raw, technically. But if you are in a time crunch, it’s the way to go. It’s essential to soak the cashews or else the texture of the ricotta will not be correct.
Once your cashews are soaked, add all of the ingredients to the blender and combine well. Don’t over blend to make it too smooth. You can eat it right away or refrigerate it for a few hours, in which time it will set up and become more firm.
Cashew Ricotta Cheese
Makes about 1 cup
A dairy-free alternative to ricotta cheese
Author: Leah Romay
- 1 1/2 cup cashew pieces, soaked for at least 10 min in hot water, or for 6-8 hours in room temp water
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 T nutritional yeast
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 cup water
High Speed Blender or Food Processor
- Soak the cashew pieces with either the quick soak method in hot water for 10-30 minutes, or soak in room temperature water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water off and discard.
- Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend on medium speed for about 30seconds to 1 minute, or until everything is combined and the texture is smooth, but still has a few lumps (to resemble ricotta texture).
- Refrigeration will cause the cashew ricotta to become more firm.