5 easy tips for making nut-free vegan cheese at home

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For a nut-free vegan, navigating the burgeoning world of plant-based cheese can be frustrating. Everything seems to contain cashews! Whether you have a nut allergy, watch your fat intake, or simply find cashews too expensive, it would be really nice to find some amazing vegan recipes that don’t rely on cashews for smoothness. These recipes actually exist – and they stand up to the almighty cashew; you just need to know where to look.

What is vegan cheese?

Vegan cheese, unlike its traditional dairy-based counterpart, omits all animal products. Since conventional cheese is made by curdling milk, making vegan cheese takes a bit of creativity.

Most brands of vegan cheese on the market today rely on a mixture of nuts (usually cashews), oils, cultures, and spices. And while these options are sure to satisfy your cheese cravings, for people with nut allergies, finding a suitable vegan cheese can often be difficult.

If allergies or sensitivities keep you from enjoying a bowl of mac and cheese or gooey grilled cheese, finding a nut-free vegan cheese recipe may be the answer.

Nut Free Vegan Cheese Recipes

From luxuriously creamy cheese sauce to grated cheddar cheese for the perfect grilled cheese, these nut-free recipes are simple, dependable, and worthy of any cheese lover’s praise.

Zardyplants

1 Mix Tofu and Spices for a Versatile Cheese Sauce

To make an easy vegan cheese sauce that you can pour over pasta, simply mix together a brick of soft tofu (the shelf-stable type), a generous splash of non-dairy milk, and spices. Use a generous amount of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and experiment with spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, dried basil and salt.

Always start with a small amount and taste as you go. The beauty of this sauce is that it is customizable! Try new flavor profiles such as sour (lemon, vinegar), spicy (chipotle peppers, cayenne pepper) or umami (miso paste, soy sauce). For a soy-free option, use white beans, seeds, or coconut milk instead of tofu to create a flavorful sauce.
Get the recipe here

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2 Use tapioca starch to make a gooey, stretchy sauce perfect for grilled cheese

Create a stretchy sauce with a magic substance known as tapioca starch. Also known as tapioca flour, this powdered cassava root allows you to develop a stretchy, melty texture meant for cheesy comforts such as pizza and grilled cheese. Start with a homemade version of vegan mozzarella. All you need is tofu (or the alternatives mentioned above), non-dairy milk, garlic, onion, lemon, salt and tapioca starch and you’re in. the field of cheese making!
Get the recipe here

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3 Mastering soft cheeses with agar agar

Craving Camembert? Take out the agar agar (also known as agar powder). This seaweed-derived product is essential for creating that soft, spreadable texture of artisan cheeses without using cashews. Allow a little extra time to make this style of cheese, as agar agar requires an extended cooking and cooling process to activate and harden. Start your cheesemaking training with this scrumptious vegan brie recipe.
Get the recipe here

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4 Start shredding with kappa carrageenan

We’re getting a little more advanced here. For a nut-free vegan cheese that shreds, slices and melts, grab a pinch of kappa carrageenan. Although the name may trigger negative memories from market competitors, kappa carrageenan is safe to consume. It’s an algae that got a bad rap from a single study on poligeenan, a degraded form of carrageenan used in barium contrast solutions for diagnostic tests like X-rays and CT scans. Worries allayed, go ahead and try this melty vegan cheddar or crumbly plant-based feta.
Get the recipe here

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5 Making Table Parmesan with Hemp Seeds

If you were one of those people who made mini mounds of parmesan powder on pizza and pasta, you’re probably in desperate need of a nut-free vegan equivalent. All you need is a bag of hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and some spices and you can make vegan magic powder (aka shakeable vegan parm).

Similar to vegan cheese sauce, this mix is ​​customizable depending on the spices you choose. Nutritional yeast and salt are essential, but after that you can get creative and add garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley. Soon you’ll be sprinkling it on pizza, pasta, popcorn, vegetables, potatoes, salads, and just about anything you eat at home.
Get the recipe here

Liz Madsen is certified in plant-based nutrition and is the recipe designer and creative director of Zardyplants.

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