The Key To Perfectly Smooth Vegan Cashew Cheese Is The Soaking Time

Making cashew cheese is fairly simple but getting the texture of this vegan substitute right is a subtle science. If done incorrectly, you'll end up with a grainy consistency that doesn't exactly sell the cheese fantasy. When advising on making her vegan cashew cheese, recipe developer Susan Olayinka says it's integral that the 30-minute soaking time is adhered to if you want to get that smooth consistency.

When preparing your cashews to blend, they need to be soaked in enough hot (but not boiling) water to completely cover them. This ensures that the cashews have been thoroughly softened, meaning they will blend more easily. Allowing the nuts to blend when they're still dry and firm is what results in that grainy texture. It may seem like a time-consuming exercise for the sake of a cheese substitute but letting your cashews fully saturate is a key part of the preparation process.

What can you use cashew cheese for?

Once your cashews are ready, blend them with garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and the juice of half a lemon. According to Susan Olayinka, the result is closest to blue cheese in its salty, earthy flavoring. She recommends pairing your cashew cheese with a salad or simply spreading it across crackers or bread. That pairing can make for a lovely light lunch or a fancy snack.

However, because of its likeness to blue cheese, you can really branch out with your uses for this condiment. Since blue cheese works particularly well with burgers, try adding it as a topping to your vegan burger. Just because some meatless burger patties are made with beans doesn't mean they have to be bland! Blue cheese, particularly blue cheese sauce, also pairs really well with chicken, which has vegan counterparts that can be made from a variety of different ingredients. Regardless of how you enjoy it, Olayinka says that it's best to enjoy it right away although it can keep for up to three days with refrigeration.

Whether you're looking for a tasty vegan cracker dip, a salad dressing, or a topping for your bean burger, cashew cheese is a great choice. Thanks to Olayinka's recipe, you can make sure you get the texture right as well!