Lately, I’ve been on the search for an easy, fast vegan cheese. A lot of recipes I’ve seen lately involve making a culture from sprouts grains (which takes days) or using gums, thickeners and a myriad of ingredients that all involve a special trip to the grocery store, which really, I’m usually just not in the mood for. Cheeseballs usually conjure up images of Chiristmas parties and office potlucks, but I found that this one just reminded me that vegan cheese can be a.) really delicious and b.) super easy, the perfect combination. I took the sriracha/lime flavor combination from a favorite popcorn seasoning recipe, which seems odd, I know, but it totally works. The spicy kick from the hot sauce and mellow flavor of the lime combine to make a perfect cheesy snack or spread. I squeezed this version out with a nut milk bag, just to give it a bit more firmness, but you can leave it as more of a soft spread mixture or add more liquid to give the cheese more of a cream cheese texture as well. I just made this over the weekend and it’s almost gone, and my finace is a fan too, which is really saying something, since he is far from vegan. This cheeseball is perfect for sandwiches, savory bagels, or on its own. Also, pair with wine, preferably a sweet one, and with lots of crackers!
- 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours)
- 3 tablespoons sriracha or hot sauce
- Juice and zest of half a lime
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of onion powder
- 1/2 cup walnuts (350 F for 10 minutes, toasted)
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients on low until combined. Turn up food processor to high, adding water as needed to continue to keep mixture moving. Scrape down sides of food processor bowl as needed. Keep processing cheese mixture until smooth. When cheese is smooth, transfer to a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze until firm.
- Roll cheese into a ball shape and roll in toasted walnuts. Wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 2-3 hours. Serve with crackers and pretzels.