Vegan cooking has graduated from EASY101 to a more sophisticated method of cooking. Ever since I started my vegan cooking journey in 2004, I am thrilled, and sometimes shocked, at how much the industry has changed. Back in college, at Bowling Green State University, I worked at a small vegan cafe and health food called "Squeakers." During this time, veggie burgers were innovative and every product contained soy.
Products like cashew milk and coconut yogurt didn't exist - until now. However, sophisticated cooking doesn't have to be difficult. I preach simple living and though I cook nearly everyday, I don't have endless minutes to spend in the kitchen.
Making a nut cheese spread is easier than one thinks. All you do is soak the nuts, blend the ingredients and wah lah - cheese spread. Use this on baked goods like crostatas or galletes, or use as a savory spread on top of bagels. The choice is yours.
This savory recipe uses blanched almonds, but you can replace this with cashews or macadamia nuts.
How to Make a Nut Cheese Spread
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
1 cup blanched almonds
1 garlic clove
1.5 tbsp. lemon juice
1.25 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. nutritional yeast
2-3 tbsp water
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor, except for the water and blend. While blending, gradually add the water one tablespoon at a time. Scrap the sides of the food processor and blend until your desired texture. Adjust any flavors and serve.
From here, you can also bake the cheese. Form the cheese into a wheel and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Stay tuned next week for my squash blossom crostata using this nut cheese spread.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com