12/04/2012 12:19 EST | Updated 02/03/2013 05:12 EST

[RECIPE] Vegan Cheese You'll Actually Want to Eat

Flickr: Tavallai


This is one of the very first recipes I attempted when I decided to eliminate dairy and animal products from my diet. The one food that I knew I was going to miss in this plant-based world, was cheese. Up until that time, I was a self-confessed cheeseaholic. No joke. I used to host annual holiday wine and cheese parties with spreads beyond your wildest pressed curd dreams, and almost every day of the week goat cheese made an appearance on my plate in some indulgent capacity.

I have since developed a few good fermented nut-cheeses that I am convinced would fool more than a few dairy lovers, if not convert even the fake-cheese-hatiest vegan out there into reconsidering their stance. I have, after all, served my "cheesecakes" to many dairy lovin' carnivores with great success. And this following ditty is a sure-fire winner no matter what your choice of meal-plan poison: It's just that good.

Cashew Pimiento Nut-cho Cheese Dip

1 cup soaked raw cashews

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons onion powder (or ¼ cup fresh, grated)

1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove fresh, grated)

2 teaspoons cumin

4 oz jar of chopped (or 1 large whole roasted pimento)

1 teaspoon of salt

2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast

1 Tbsp. Hemp Seeds

1/2 cup water**

Whiz above ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve with fresh veggies, nacho chips or crackers.

**You can also add more water to this mix to reach a saucier consistency, which is super as a sauce for raw zucchini noodles!