Many weight loss diets will recommend that you avoid cheese because it is high in fat, and even many vegan cheeses sold in stores are processed and filled with ingredients that add more calories than nutritional value. That does not mean that cheese has no place in a weight loss diet, in fact, I would like to know who says vegans have to cut the cheese?
Some homemade vegan cheeses can actually be a great addition to your weight loss plan if you know how to create and integrate them into your meals!
I personally love this recipe for homemade almond cheese. The recipe says it is meant to imitate feta cheese; however, I use this recipe as a beginning point for my own creations. I always add four to five tablespoons of nutritional yeast (one of my favorite ingredients to work with, otherwise known as “nooch” and not to be confused with brewer’s yeast), a dash of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and I swap out the lemon juice it calls for with a bit of apple cider vinegar to taste.
Some amazing renditions I have come up with include:
- Sundried tomato and basil (fresh basil is best for this!)
- Garlic and bruschetta
- Hot peppered: for this one, I use amazing fresh locally grown extra hot peppers from my neighborhood farmer’s market
The hardest part of this recipe is just blending the ingredients to the right consistency. I use a high power Ninja blender and it still takes time, patience and practice. Do not let the many other almond cheese recipes online fool you, you do not necessarily have to blanch your almonds or soak them overnight. If you would like a more smooth consistency it is ideal, but I never do and I have had no complaints!
This cheese is great for facilitating weight loss if you do not go overboard with it. Try making it the star of your snack or where most of your protein comes from in your meal. With it being loaded with protein from the almonds, healthy fats occurring in the olive oil and nuts, probiotics from the apple cider vinegar and packed with nutrition from the “nooch,” this cheese will not waste your calories! A little bit will definitely go a long way!
If you in the mood for a more nacho-style cheese try this recipe I created myself:
In your high-power blender blend together:
- 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup veggie broth
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 tablespoons “nooch”
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard (dijon would work too)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt (less in you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream (optional)
- 1 small gold onion
- 3 cloves of garlic (to taste)
- A few shakes of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
This recipe works great in Mexican dishes, as a dip for fresh veggies or multigrain chips or anything else you can think of! This cheese can still help you along the way to losing weight because it is loaded with protein from the beans! And, as always, moderation is key!