Vegan Cheese Recipe by April Norris

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Before I found out I was highly sensitive to all types of dairy, parmesan cheese was my old go-to. I'd use it on everything: salads, soups, dips, popcorn, steamed veggies... You can imagine my disappointment when I realized this delectable topping was contributing to my tummy troubles.

Over the past few years, I've tried to find a good cheese alternative, but there aren't many out there. A lot of the store bought almond or rice cheeses contain casein, a milk protein which can irritate the intestinal lining and cause mood disturbances. Casein is what makes the non-dairy cheeses melt and give it that ooey-gooey-goodness like real cheese. (FYI - "lactose free" is NOT the same as "casein free"!)

So, for us dairy-sensitive people, I've created a fun vegan cheese shake. For different tastes, you can vary the nuts and herbs in this recipe. Try walnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, cashews or macadamia nuts. Change it up with rosemary, basil, garlic, dried onion, paprika, jalapeño peppers, black pepper, sage, turmeric or cumin. A dairy free life doesn't have to be boring, so "shake" it up!

Vegan Herb Cheese Shake

Prep:

The day before, soak nuts 6-8 hours in filtered water to improve digestibility and proper nutrient assimilation.

Make sure nuts are mostly dry before using in this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 small lemon, zested

2-3 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1.5 cups nutritional yeast

1.5 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

1. Combine almonds and nutritional yeast in the food processor until it makes a fine powder.

2. Add lemon zest, oregano, garlic powder and salt.

3. Pulse until ingredients are fully incorporated and mixed well.

4. Shake on everything your heart desires!

Store in your favorite mason jar in the fridge. Will keep for about 3-4 weeks.

For more information on our guest blogger April Norris check out her website www.optimalvitalitywellness.com