This vegan smoked almond cheddar from This Cheese is Nuts! by Julie Piatt leans on incredibly simply methods (i.e., soak, blend, serve) and just five total ingredients. It's smoky, tangy, and packed with zesty cheddar flavor. Slather this almond cheddar cheese over crackers or baguette slices, dip sweet pear slices into it, or layer it with crisp veggies in a flavor-packed vegan sandwich.
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If you know me, then you know how true the following statement is: Just a few years ago, I was convinced I could NEVER go vegan because of my undying love for cheese. I simply couldn't imagine life without stretchy, melty dairy cheese.
No pizza? No epic cheese platters? No eggplant parmigiana? No mozzarella?
Just the thought of parting ways with the gooey stuff was enough to give me the jitters. That was until the day I realized that cheese wasn't doing me, my body, the planet, or the animals any favors.
Since bidding dairy cheese adieu, I've come to learn that the 'dairy' part was really all I was saying goodbye to. The stretchy, melty, gooey, spreadable, sliceable deliciousness? Well, those latter bits were all still completely and totally possible thanks to some tasty store-bought alternatives.
And while store-bought alternatives are wonderful and wildly convenient, I've longed for the day when some patient and brilliant recipe-creating soul would launch something like this into the universe...
Something that says, Vegans and cheese-lovers, unite! You can have your cheese in any shape, color, ripeness, and size. And you know what? You can feel good, too.
Well, today's the day when vegans can thank their lucky stars and bust out all those lavish cheese knives and serving boards they've been hoarding since their wedding showers, because Julie Piatt's latest book, This Cheese is Nuts! is brimming with recipes for allll the vegan cheeses under the sun.
I'm telling you, if you can name a cheese, Julie's probably got a plant-powered alternative for it in this book. As I've spent time flipping through the pages these last few weeks, I've been in awe of her creative brilliance.
Whether you're looking for a collection of recipes that runs the full gamut of vegan cheese possibilities—from blend-and-ready spreads to finely aged fancy cheeses—or you're just starting out on your nutty cheese-making journey, this book has your back.
Here are just a few (okay, a heaping handful) of the recipes—some cheese and some dishes—I've jotted down on my must-make list:
Smoked Almond Cheddar
Warm Queso Fresco
Mozzarella Balls in Brine
Eye of Ra Mascarpone
Aged Cashew Truffle Cheese, 3 Ways
Macadamia Nut Herbed Goat Cheese
Classic Gorgonzola Blue Cheese
Burrata (about fell over when I saw this one—thought I'd NEVER enjoy burrata again!)
Smoky Butternut Cheddar Sauce with Blackened Broccoli
Gorgonzola Dolce Kale Ancient Grain Pasta
N'Eggs Bennie with Hollandaise Sauce and Coconut Bacon
If that list doesn't have you both drooling and convinced that this book is a must-have vegan staple, I'm not sure anything will. Except for maybe the full recipe for Julie's Smoked Almond Cheddar...
This is hands down the easiest vegan cheese to make.
To make it, you'll simply soak 2 cups of raw almonds in water overnight.
Then, drain the almonds and add them to a food processor along with pimientos (i.e., peeled roasted red peppers), nutritional yeast, smoke salt, and garlic powder. Blend until desired texture is reached, and serve. That's it. Doesn't get any easier, does it?
Scroll down for the full recipe and enter for a chance to win a copy of This Cheese is Nuts!
And if you simply can't wait or take any chances on a giveaway, then grab your very own copy here.
Vegan Smoked Almond Cheddar Spread
- 2 cups raw almonds
- ½ to ¾ cup pimientos from a jar, plus ½ to ¾ cup packing liquid*
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 ¾ teaspoons smoked sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Rinse the almonds well. Place them in water in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- For the Smoked Almond Cheddar
- Drain the almonds. In the bowl of a food processor, place the almonds, pimientos, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and ¼ cup pimiento liquid. Process until the mixture is well incorporated.
- Remove the lid and test the cheese for texture and salt content. If you want a smoother spread, add pimiento liquid in small increments and process again. Add more salt if needed.
- Serve this with crackers and fresh pears.
This Cheese is Nuts! Giveaway
One winner will receive a copy of This Cheese is Nuts! by Julie Piatt. For a chance to win, simply enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below and comment on this post between June 19th and July 3rd. Please note: this giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada.