Inside: Nuts for Cheese – the delicious ‘cheese’ alternative made with fermented cashews that doesn’t compromise on taste.
While we’re not vegans or vegetarians (in fact we don’t really adhere to any specific diet), we do love good food. And, we’re always on the search for the most delicious and innovative brands that are having a positive impact on our health and our planet.
Now, we can’t deny that traditional dairy cheese tastes amazing and we do include small amounts as part of our diet, but the truth is that many of us consume too much dairy (milk or yogurt for breakfast, cheese sticks to snack on, cheese over salad for lunch and over pasta for dinner). While a bit of dairy as part of a balanced diet is totally ok -if you don’t have issues, in excess (just like many foods) it can become problematic*. So, we could all use a plant-based alternative that is not only heart healthy, rich in vitamins and minerals but absolutely and incredibly delicious. *If you have uncontrollable cravings for dairy or other foods, check out the Food Cravings Healthy Swaps list here.
For our first feature in 2018, we have Nuts for Cheese, an artisan, handcrafted, and vegan cheese made from cultured, organic cashews, and it doesn’t compromise on any taste. We mean it, this ‘cheese’ is delicious. We’re so obviously excited about this shreddable, spreadable and meltable, cashew cheese!
Whether you are lactose free, vegan, testing a plant-based diet, or reducing your dairy consumption, this cheese is the PERFECT thing.
Today, we’re sitting down with the Founder, Margaret Coons to tell us a little bit more about how she got nuts for this cheese. Make sure you read till the end for a delicious dairy-free Mac ‘n Cheese sauce recipe.
“We’re nuts for vegan cheese, and you will be too”
1) Margaret, it’s such a pleasure to have you as our local feature this month. Could you tell us a little bit about your story and what inspired you to start making delicious cheese from cashews?
Thank you so much for featuring me and my company! Food preparation and production has been a longtime passion of mine. I’ve been vegetarian since the age of 12 and vegan since the age of 19, and creating delicious alternatives to more conventionally available food products was a hobby that turned into a career. About two years ago I decided to try my hand at a farmers’ market booth with the vegan cheeses I had been making for a couple of years. I worked as a chef at a vegan restaurant in London for five years prior to starting the business and my culinary experience was hugely informative in taking this leap. Just as we started with our booth at the farmers’ market we began to have retail requests and things just took off from there!
2) Our name says it all, at The Naughty Nutritionists we don’t like to place restrictions on eating, we rather focus on finding the healthiest version of the foods we love and creating balance in our lifestyles. And, that is why we enjoy desserts, chocolate and the occasional glass of wine without the guilt. At Nus for Cheese, what would you say your motto is?
Our mission is to provide customers with a great tasting, high quality, dairy-free cheese. We aim to produce a vegan cheese for cheese lovers without any compromise. We believe that our customers should not have to forgo eating delicious cheese in the name of compassion or dietary restriction and try our best to replace something that people “just can’t live without”.
3) We’re going to be honest here. We’ve tried many cashew cheeses; we’ve even made our own and while they did taste delicious as a dip, they never had that true creamy and cheesy taste. This stuff tastes like real cheese! What is your secret to get the true sharp cheese taste?
Wow! Thank you so much! The secret is twofold. All of our cheeses are cultured, fermented, and aged and during that process, lactic acid is produced creating a “cheesy” flavour. Also, the culinary background and experience behind the recipe creation is the source of all of the flavour combinations and ingredient pairings. We use only high quality, natural, and organic ingredients in our cheeses to create the best products possible!
4) What other ingredients do you use to create the texture and flavour? Also can you let us know about the available cheese varieties.
We currently retail five varieties of our vegan cheese including a Red Rind, a Super Blue, a Chipotle Cheddar, a Smoky Artichoke and Herb, and an Un-Brie-Lievable. All of our seasonings for the various varieties are made in our facility including the Chipotles in Adobo Sauce, and the Smoky Artichoke and Herb mix. We also create seasonal specials for our restaurant food service partners, farmer’s markets, and festivals that incorporate ingredients from local producers including beers from London’s numerous craft breweries, herbs, vegetables, and fruits from local farmers, and wines from the Niagara region.
5) Apart from being delicious on toast, what other ways can you eat the cheeses? Do you have any recipes that you can share with us?
The cheese can be used in the same ways that you might use a dairy based cheese! They are all amazing to cook with, melt into sauces and on top of dishes beautifully, and look great on a cheese board. They are all a little softer than most dairy cheeses so we recommend that if you want to shred them, try popping them in the freezer for about ten minutes first to firm them up.
Here is a recipe for our easiest ever dairy-free mac and cheese sauce:
- 1 wedge brie
- 1 wedge cheddar
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup soy milk (or almond milk)
- 1/3 cup noodle water
- Dash salt/pepper
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until nice and creamy.
6) What is next for Nuts for Cheese? Do you have any new creations coming up?
We are working on a few new products for retail that we hope to release in early 2018 but we are keeping those under wraps until we get all of our packaging finished for them! Stay tuned!
7) Where can our readers find your cheese?
Currently, our products are available in about 200 stores across Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. We are working on continuing to expand our reach into other provinces as well. The full list of retailers is on our website www.nutsforcheese.com. Request us at your favourite stores!