The following vegan Parmesan cheese recipe let’s you have your taste and your figure!
Parmesan cheese has a strong salty taste and a dense, chew-worthy texture, so it is not the kind of cheese you are eating in excess at any given moment. However, it adds so much to salads, cooked vegetables, lasagna, and eggplant Parmesan, that is it worth taking another look at to see where you can make healthy changes. Because, let’s face it, we all want to add more Parmesan cheese than appropriate.
If you assess regular Parmesan cheese, otherwise known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, you will see that it doesn’t offend your health too much, because it is often used in small quantities. But if you love cheese, what starts as a sprinkle soon turns into an avalanche.
In one ounce of Parmesan cheese, there are 122 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 433 mg of sodium and 25 mg of cholesterol. While the same serving does provide 11 grams of protein and 31 percent of the RDA of calcium, these facts are overshadowed by the fact that such nutrition comes from an animal source and is often compromised during processing.
In addition to being dairy-based, regular grated Parmesan cheese brands often include cellulose powder to prevent caking and potassium sorbate to protect flavor, making the cheese not as natural and “real” as its simplicity would argue.
To remedy this situation, given my love for grated Parmesan, I decided to make my own vegan version. The result is a divine vegan Parmesan cheese with lots of flavor, texture and bulk. The walnuts give great texture and the nutritional yeast provides that iconic cheesy taste. The olive oil marries the flavors together while the salt keeps the vegan Parmesan cheese savory. Enjoy!
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Makes about 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Dash of salt
In a food processor, blend the walnuts for a few second, or until grainy. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times until evenly combined but still textured. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until use.
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Photo Credit: THOR