Vegan Parm. Or, vegan parmesan.
We love this stuff!
At first, I was a little skeptical of the combination of raw cashews and nutritional yeast. Actually, the first recipe I used raw ground cashews was on my Pasta Primavera. The recipe I adapted it from used the raw cashews as a replacement for grated parmesan cheese. I actually really enjoyed it and I first made that recipe prior to my complete transition to a plant-based diet.
The biggest difference between using the raw ground cashews in this Vegan Parm is the addition of nutritional yeast, or sometimes referred to as “nooch”.
When I first went plant-based, I didn’t really care for the flavor of nutritional yeast. Unfortunately, I based this off one recipe and as it turned out, it wasn’t the nutritional yeast that I didn’t like--it was another ingredient.
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast related to brewer’s yeast, both which are made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae--a one-celled fungus. It is therefore not the same as the yeast you add when making a delicious loaf of bread. It often provides a nutty, cheesy, and/or creamy flavor to foods. It is a very common ingredient in vegetarian and plant-based recipes.
Brewer’s Yeast = Activated Yeast
Nutritional Yeast = Deactivated Yeast
It is called “nutritional” yeast as it provides a good source of several B-vitamins, including vitamin B-12 which is unfortunately lacking in a completely plant-based diet related to current farming methods. In addition to B-vitamins,
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains:
- 2 grams protein
- 1 gram fiber
- Minimal sodium (10 mg)
- 0 grams fat
Now that you know a little something about nutritional yeast, you have to make this EASY and QUICK recipe! It will literally take you less than 5 minutes to make and keeps for an extended period of time (although, you won’t have it in the house very long!).
We keep Vegan Parm in the refrigerator pretty much at all times. Our favorite things to add it to are salad and pasta--but the opportunities to add it to food are endless! We add it the most to my One-Pot Tomato Basil Lentil Pasta, Bean Ball Sandwiches, and of course the Pasta Primavera!
Whether you’re plant-based or not, I promise you’ll enjoy this healthier alternative to grated parmesan.
Makes, ~ 1 cup
Add the raw cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt to a food process.
(I told you it was easy!)
2/3 cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon salt