Ever thought you wanted to cut back on cheese? Not because you dislike it, but because eating it always seems to be followed by a bit of congestion? Cow cheeses effects many adults and children this way. Cheese and dairy products alike are becoming more of an issue for some folks whether it’s a lactose intolerance or a simple aversion to the way dairy makes them feel. Good news! If you love cheese but hate the aftermath of eating it, why not try a quick and simple cashew-based cheese that is also great for your health?
In this era of more and more vegans and people claiming various dietary preferences and restrictions the world is being blessed with numerous ‘alternative’ recipes that can really rock the palate – in a good way! Thanks to those who have ‘had’ to give it up for their health, new creations are benefiting everybody in the way of what to eat ‘instead of.’ In this case, cashews take the scene to step in for traditional cow cheese, especially ricotta-style cheeses.
All you need to make a great cheese replacement for use as a dip, in ravioli or on a bagel is:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked in water 2-3 hours)
- 1 lemon
- 2-3 T. Nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- herbs of choice
After soaking the cashews for several hours (or overnight) to soften them, drain the water off and add to a food-processor with several tablespoons of juice from the lemon. Pulse together, scraping away from the sides occasionally. Add in the yeast, salt and any herbs you would like to add. Presto! Cashew cheese.
Oleic acid, the same fat found in olive oil, is very high in cashew nuts. Oleic acid promotes a healthy cardiovascular system by lowering triglyceride levels – thereby reducing the risk of heart dis-ease. Cholesterol free and lower in fat than any other nut, cashews make your heart happy. It’s recommended to eat a handful of nuts, especially cashews at least four times a week for a healthy heart.
Cashews are a great source of muscle relaxing magnesium as well as copper, essential in making the enzymes which protect elasticity of the joints by combining collagen with elastin. Magnesium is important for proper assimilation of calcium, which can be prevented by the presence of too much protein, as in dairy cheeses. Magnesium keeps the nervous system in relaxed working order so the body’s signals can be carried out efficiently and without stress. With too little magnesium, excessive calcium rushes into the nerves, contracting them, resulting in bodily tension.
Eating around an ounce of cashews per week greatly reduces the possibility of gallstones and because they are dense in energy and high in fiber, cashews make a great weight loss aid.
Cashew cheese makes a great dairy alternative, is easy to make and particularly great for health, so why not give it a try? On a bagel, stuffed in ravioli or manicotti shells and covered with your favorite tomatoe sauce, cashews put on a new hat as a cholesterol free delicious cheese this summer.
Written by: Stasia Bliss