Love it or hate it, ‘nooch (short for nutritional yeast, for all you noobs (short for newbie)) is a common staple in the vegan pantry. And it’s no surprise, as nutritional yeast is known for its nutty yet savory funk that many vegans liken to cheese. And although nutritional yeast can be off putting because of its… um, strong aroma, it’s full of vitamin B12 which is an essential nutrient found in animal products and generally hard to find in a plant based diet.
But more importantly, it’s delicious! Once you get passed the smell, nutritional yeast is amazing on top of popcorn, over tofu scramble, and even tossed on to a salad. Nutritional yeast also gives the cheesy-ness to vegan mac and cheese, nacho cheese, and this very parmesan recipe.
And who doesn’t love parmesan? Now you can top all of your favorite pasta dishes with this quick and easy parmesan which is made of raw cashews, spices, and nooch!
Of course, there are plenty of versions of this quick and easy preparation, but I like to kick up the flavors with garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley flakes, which I think comes together to beautifully mimic the complex and peculiar twang that gives traditional parmesan its bite. I’ve used cashews in this preparation because it has a subtle taste and crumbles to just the right texture, but feel free to mix in almonds or even sunflower seeds to attain different levels of sweetness and mouthfeel.
But first, some quick tips about blending. Use a food processor, not a blender because we want to gently pulse the mixture as we go (the goal is not to make parmesan butter here – tempting, I know). Also, make sure your food processor and all of your utensils and jars are clean and dry, to prevent mold or contamination.
Finally, once you’ve got your parmesan to the desired consistency, place it into a clean air-tight jar, and place it in your refrigerator. This should let the ‘cheese’ last for about 6 weeks, although I wouldn’t know because it never lasts that long in my house ;).
Finally, enjoy your parmesan on all of your favorite dishes, or just eat it with a spoon – there’s no judgement here. Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. dried parsley flakes
- Place all of your ingredients into a dry food processor, and pulse until the texture is fine and crumbly (make sure to go slow and low, because we don't want to turn this into cashew butter).
- Place your finished parmesan into a clean, dry, air-tight container, refrigerate, and enjoy!