Cheesy-tasting but no cheese? Yes! This versatile, non-dairy vegan cheese powder mimics the savory taste of Parmesan. Sort of a vegan Parmesan cheese sprinkle. It's wonderful for people who either choose not to or just can't eat dairy. It has that pleasant "umami" flavor, that magical fifth taste after sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Make some today. There are lots of ways to enjoy it.
Dairy Free Cheese Powder
While cooking for a dairy-sensitive client, I created a dairy-free, cheesy tasting Parmesan replacement powder with raw cashews, granulated garlic, sea salt, and nutritional yeast (also called nooch).
If you adopt a vegan lifestyle or discover you're better off without dairy in your life, the taste of cheese, especially the salty umami flavor of Parmesan, is often missed. Or if you love Parmesan but can't eat aged cheese because of Histamine Intolerance (see note at end).
The recipe makes 21 tablespoons and will last in the fridge for months...well, not really because you will use it faster once you try it. It's become a mainstay pantry item in my fridge.
How to Make a Dairy Free Cheese Powder
Just place all ingredients in a food processor and process until finely ground, a minute or two. Too simple.
Vegan Cheese Powder Ingredients
Be sure to buy raw cashews, not salted or roasted. For nutritional yeast, I prefer Sari Foods. It is non-GMO, organic, gluten-free and is not fortified with synthetic vitamins. You can read more about nutritional yeast on this post. Sari Food Nutritional Yeast is available on Amazon. Many people use Bragg nutritional yeast, as it's widely available.
There are other good brands, but be sure the are not GMO. I prefer unfortified (no synthetic vitamins added). Granulated garlic is salt free, pure garlic. It's available just about everywhere these days. You could sub garlic powder but the granular form gives it more texture.
What To Do With Dairy Free Cheese Powder
Make a batch in a minute, then use it to make other recipes or use on its own. You will find lots of ways to enjoy it.
- Use it on popcorn popped with coconut oil
- Mix it with fresh chopped parsley and finely chopped chives for a cheesy herb blend
- Sprinkle it over potatoes
- Use it in dressings and dips
- Sprinkle atop grilled, roasted or steamed vegetables
- Mix with mayonnaise or Vegenaise (organic style) as a dipping sauce
- Use wherever you might use Parmesan
- Sprinkle over salads
- Toss with rice or pasta and fresh chopped herbs
- Mix into polenta or grits for dairy free cheesy grits
- Toss with scrambled eggs for cheesy eggs
A Note on Dietary Cautions For Sensitive People
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast with many vitamins, nutrients and a good amount of fiber. It's generally fine for most people. If you have histamine intolerance, it does not contain histamine but only you know your triggers. Test with caution. The nice thing is it mimics the savory flavor of Parmesan, which is high risk for people with HITs as it's an aged cheese and aged cheese gather histamines.
Nutritional yeast contains a lot of niacin (1 T= 38 mg), which makes some people flush. Another thing, it contains tyramine and that can be problematic for migraine sufferers. Read here for more info.
Non-Dairy Cheese Powder
- 1 cup raw cashews 5 ½ ounces
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¾ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until finely ground. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. It lasts a month or more.