Cashew Parmesan

by lauren atkinson

I love my cheeses but more recently I've been attempting to cut them out of my diet little by little. This is a personal choice simply on the way cheese makes me feel after. I love the way it tastes, don't get me wrong, but after eating most dairy I begin to feel tired and weighed down.

In my attempts to cut-down on my dairy intake, I've been experimenting quite a bit with cheese substitutes. Sure, there are plenty of store-bought options, however a lot of those contain many preservatives. One great substitute has been nuts. Especially cashews. Nuts give the heartiness of cheese and in many cases can be more flavorful—adapting with the foods that they are combined.

I use this in a lot of my recipes. It's fairly simple to make and lasts quite a while stored in an air-tight container. 

1 cup raw cashews
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp salt

Spread cashews on a large baking sheet so they are not overlapping. Bake the cashews in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, stirring and turning halfway through the timing. 

Immediately move cashews to a bowl and allow to cool. Once they are cool enough to the touch toss the cashews in a coarse salt until well-coated. In a food processor, combine nutritional yeast and cashews, pulsing until crumbled.

Enjoy your cashew parmesan as a topping on pastas and salads, or even use it in a pesto sauce!