Does ‘cashew cheese’ really taste as good as real cheese?

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Cashew milk is one thing, but “cashew cheese” is something else entirely.

Lately, TikTok has been full of ideas, gadgets and recipes designed to make it easier to be vegan. There are hacks for making salmon out of carrots, making steak out of sunflowers and even turning bananas into bacon.

That said, cheese has long felt like one of the ultimate challenges of vegan cooking: It’s easy to try, but hard to perfect. Still, there are some extremely popular vegan cheese recipes out there — many of which rely on cashews and a high-tech blender.

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How can this Ninja blender and a bunch of raw cashews make cheese? After seeing dozens of recipes online, we had to try for ourselves.

To find out what happened, watch the video above or keep reading below.

How to make cashew cheese

For our cashew cheese recipe, we roughly followed this guide from the vegan food blog, Nora Cooks. Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour)

First, you have to soak your raw cashews. To do that, boil 2 cups of water and pour it over the nuts, letting them sit for at least 15 minutes. Next, drain the cashews and toss them into your blender.

After that, add all of the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Next, fire up the stove.

Dump your mixture into a small skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. The cashew mixture will start to get very, very sticky — eventually, it will look close to mozzarella. When it’s reached that point, take it off the stove and serve immediately if possible.

Is cashew cheese the best vegan cheese alternative?

To properly grade this recipe, we decided to rate it on three main factors.

Price: Fine cheese can be expensive, but this recipe is pricier. The ingredients, in total, cost close to $20, so we gave our cashew cheese a 2/5 for price.

Appearance: Here, our vegan cheese really shined. This stuff is gooey and sticky — honestly, it looks a lot like melted mozzarella. 5/5.

Taste: When it came to taste, things weren’t so simple. The cheese tasted OK, but it lacked the complex, savory flavor of good mozzarella. There wasn’t much flavor at all, to be honest. 2/5.

So there you have it. This hack is a little pricey, and while the end product looks good, it doesn’t taste as convincing. There are probably better vegan cheese options out there.

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