August 21, 2012

Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe


I have been looking for a vegan parmesan cheese alternative for a while now and I have not been able to find one to purchase. So here is a quick, healthier alternative! Ok, so you are vegan and you miss cheese? Well worry no more! This is an AMAZING alternative. I just have to say that this is so so so so so delicious. Strangely enough, the more you eat it the more you love it and crave it even more! It is such a yummy alternative to parmesan and still gives your pasta a salty, creamy and cheesy hit! I highly recommend that you try this. :) See the video tutorial and amazing nutrition information at the bottom of the page!

Update: 18/11/2012 - I just had to write another comment on here to tell you that this has become the ULTIMATE staple in my house. I eat it on risotto, pasta, pasta bakes, soups, popcorn and anything else! It is seriously amazing. The more I eat it, the more I crave it!


makes about 1 cup


   1/4 cup nutritional yeast (what is this?)
   1 cup raw unsalted cashews
   1 teaspoon salt


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor.
  2. Process until a smooth powder has formed.
  3. Store in the fridge in an air-tight jar.
  4. Serve on lasagnes, pastas or whatever your heart desires! :)


  • If you store it in an airtight jar, it should last a long time in the fridge! (a few weeks or so)
  • Watch our video tutorial below.




The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline. 1 teaspoon of our delicious vegan parmesan cheese is very high in magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin and thiamin! How amazing!

113 comments :

  1. I think it's really great to have an alternative to parmesan.

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    1. Gonna try this one today, heard about this from a friend and she says the vegan parmesan is awesome. Certainly looks fantastic.

      Keep us posted with your cool recipes!

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  2. Just came across your blog tonight!I really enjoy reading your recipes. You have some great talent as a vegan cook and I am looking forward to coming here for advice and great meal ideas. I am currently vegeterian and thinking about making a gradual change to the vegan lifestyle. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Hello! Thanks so much for your comment. You made me smile :) I would love you to come back for recipes. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I would be happy to help!

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  3. Thanks so much for this recipe. We currently buy a vegan parmesan but I just love that clever people like you are showing us how we can make our own. :)

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    1. Oh thank you so much. What nice words hehe. It can become so expensive to buy it from the shops.

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    2. Yeah because the stuff in the store is expensive

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  4. What a great alternative idea! Thank you for sharing your recipe. :)

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  5. You are so creative! i love this nutriotionel yeast & cashew recipe!

    MMMMM,..;I I can't wait to make this! :)

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  6. I usually make mine with walnuts, I will have to try it with cashews!

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    1. Hi Shae! I love mine with cashews. It is great to have a Parmesan cheese alternative :) thanks for your comment.

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  7. Yum! This looks so good! I love nutritional yeast on...everything!

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    1. Hi Vicky. Me too! I love this Parmesan substitute so much as well. :)

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  8. I have made it with blanched almonds, which is an extra step with the blanching (though not difficult). I have had cashews in my fridge forever waiting to make something with them but I can't remember what I was going to make! I think it was a cheese of some sort so I am looking forward to trying your recipe. Having non-vegan friends over for dinner tomorrow and am making Happy Herbivore's Lasagna Rolls which calls for Parm Cheese. Thank you!

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    1. My pleasure :) I hope you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for your comment.

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  9. Hi Madison,
    I just discovered your blog and am loving the design and your great recipes!
    Sorry if you've answered this question elsewhere on the blog but I'd love to know where you buy your nutritional yeast?
    Thanks so much!
    Alexa

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    1. Hi Alexa! Thank you :)
      I live in Australia and I purchase my nutritional yeast from any health food shops. Normally "Go Vita" or "Mrs Flannery's" will stock it :) If you are in doubt, just ask the sales assistant. The product is also known as "Nooch", "Savoury yeast flakes" and "nutritional yeast". I hope this helps!

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  10. Hello Madison!
    Me and my partner have really been getting into vegan food recently but I've been stuck in the same tracks, and without naming names let me just say that this is THE best vegan recipe site that I have come across!
    I am completely clueless as to why this isn't the biggest one out there, doubtless the most yum, creative and informative.
    Thank you so much for sharing and being so sweet, kind, lovely and lively while doing so, don't ever change your graceful attitude!
    And thank Jerome for his major contributions what with camera work and hunger that keep you inspired lol. Much love from Stockholm, Sweden.

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    1. Hello! Thanks so much for your comment. You really made me smile :) It is feedback like yours that keeps me going hehe. I am glad that you like Veggieful because I always aim to help others. Thank you for your kind words!!

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  11. I'm so glad I found you!... I'm new to the wholefood/plant-based diet and the thing I miss the most is CHEESE! So I'm anxious to try your parmesan recipe.

    QUESTION: how long will this keep in the fridge?

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    1. Hi Susan! Oh I am so glad that you are trying a plant-based diet and that you are enjoying Veggieful. Our parmesan can stay in the fridge for a couple of weeks! I normally make a massive batch and I never time it... sometimes it is probably even more like 3-4 weeks. The great thing is that it is just raw cashews and nutritional yeast that already have an amazing shelf-life so you do not need to worry. This has become my ULTIMATE staple in my house. I eat it on EVERYTHING! Hehe :)

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  12. Thank you sooo much! My 5 yr old granddaughter was recently diagnosed severe ADHD (they originally thought aspergers) and the dr wanted to put her on medication, but my daughter insisted that that she wanted to try natural treatment first. The diet is very restrictive for a 5 yr old who has never had any food intolerances. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Cane Sugar Free, No artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. That basically rules out anything premade. My daughter was concerned that because she is no longer allowed to eat any of those things, when it came to friends birthday parties she either had to say no to going or go with her and make sure she didn't eat anything she shouldn't! Either way to a 5 yr old that would feel like she was being punished without knowing what she did wrong! So we have been working to make little treats that look and taste as good as the bad stuff she no longer can have for when she goes to birthday parties (at home everyone eats what she does so she never misses most of it). The one big thing she wants though is dairy products. The change over to soy milk she took with no problem, but trying to find non-dairy cheeses that also conform to the rest of her diet??? I mastered soy yogurt but I have been looking for how to make cheese replacements for her! This parmesan is just right! She is a big pasta fan even of the GF pasta but she missed her parmesan sprinkle! I even used it to make basil and sundried tomato pesto and you can't taste the difference! Sorry to ramble! Thank you from a doting grandmother!

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    1. Hello! My pleasure... I loved reading your comment and I am so glad that Veggieful is helping you out :) I think that is a great idea to try natural treatments... I really hope this technique works out for your granddaughter. That is so good that she has taken to soy milk or soy yoghurt... and I completely understand how she misses dairy products but like us all, I am sure that she will get used to not consuming it any more. I am so so so glad that she enjoys our vegan parmsean "cheese" recipe as it is a staple in my house and I am so addicted to it hehe. If you have anything you would like me to put on Veggieful or recipes that you need to be made dairy-free or vegan please don't hesitate to ask me :) Thanks so much for your comment.

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  13. This recipe is so easy & GOOD! Thanks for blogging about it. I'm enjoying your site & following you on Pinterest!
    Thank you from northern California!

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    1. Thanks so much... I am so glad that you enjoy it :D

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  14. I've been trying to duplicate vegan "parmesan" sprinkled kale chips which I spend a gazillion dollars on for a small boxful that I just about finish eating in the car before I even get home.

    I can't wait to try this. I've made the crispy kale chips part, but I've been using sprinkles of coarse kosher salt and would love to get that parmesan taste. I think this is what I've been looking for.

    Thank you, thank you.

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    1. Hello!!! Ohh I love parmesan kale chips yum yum yum :D

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  15. Hallo,
    ich habe gerade ihren tollen Bog gefunden, oh, ich kenne dieses Rezept schon sooo viele Jahre und ich kann gar nicht mehr ohne.
    Sie sollten es mal mit Sesamsamen versuchen, dass ist auch richtig toll.
    Wenn man nicht roh lebt, wie ich, kann man den Sesam auch vorher anrösten.
    Viele Grüße
    wünsch Jesse aus Berlin

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    1. Hi Jesse!! Yes, I have tried it with sesame seeds but I really prefer to the cheddar-ish taste of the cashews :) Thanks!

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    2. I am happy to hear this might work with sesame seeds. I avoid cashews in my house due to my son's severe allergy. Sometimes it kills me that I can't try all the tempting vegan cheese recipes out there made with cashews. Can you make a guess on the amount of sesame seeds to use? Would it be a full cup or maybe less? Thanks!

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    3. Hi Julie! I would probably use a little bit less than a cup of sesame seeds first, blend it and then see how it tastes. From there, add more and more sesame seeds to taste. You could always toast the sesame seeds first too... for a different taste. I will try a recipe for this at some point and publish it on Veggieful :)

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    4. I've made this with store-bought almond meal if your son can eat almonds :)

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  16. May I ask why raw unsalted cashews? I've got a couple of large jars of roasted cashews and would love to use those intsead of going out to the market today.

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    1. Hello! I just use raw unstalted cashews because it is healthier for you and you can control the saltiness. But that is just to my taste. Feel free to use roasted cashews. I would love to know how it goes with roasted cashews!!

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  17. can you make this with peanuts? i have a giant bag of them and need a cheese fix ASAP!

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    1. Hi Reese,
      I have never tried it with peanuts but I don't see why not? Tell me how it goes! :)

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  18. Hey there'd Madison, I have recently come across your website and love it so much. I live in Australia as well and my boyfriend and I are trying to eat as healthy as possible. We got back from the bulk foods shop and realised we rally need some airtight jars! Any chance you can point us in the direction of some affordable ones like the ones you use?

    It would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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    1. Hello, Thanks so much! I normally buy glass jars for about $2 or so from The Warehouse or the Reject Shop... any $2 shops should have them in a range of sizes :)

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    2. After your comment I went and made an Instagram account! Here:
      http://instagram.com/veggieful

      :)

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  19. Great! I'm following you on it now :) I will have to check out some $2 shops. Although living near Byron bay nothing is only $2 haha.

    Thanks for that!

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    1. My pleasure... hope you find something :)

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  20. Hi! I just looked up this recipe for vegan parmeszn cheese & came across your web page/blog. Wow! I sometimes feel very isolated by my vegan diet & am so 'warmed & happy by finding your great site. I live out in the country where hunting & meat eating is the norm. Especially living with a husband who doesnt understand why i just wont eat like "everybody" else. Needless to say, dinner time is hard for us to choose together when we cook at home. It usually involves two different meals made together, which is time consuming. I just wanted u to know that after reading through your blog, & ur gracefull comments back to others, I dont feel so alone & am super inspired! Keep up the great job u r doing. You are such a blessing to me. Thank you again!

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    1. Hello! Thanks so much for your beautiful comment. It really made me smile and I just read it out to Jerome who really loved it too! I am so happy that Veggieful is assisting you with your vegan lifestyle. We made Veggieful in the hope to help people like you so it is really nice to hear that we are making little differences to others lives :) If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me. Also, I receive lots of emails from vegans and vegetarians who also feel alone and isolated due to their lifestyle choice. Have you thought about joining our forum? We just started it so it doesn't have too many members yet but it should take off at some point. There you will find others to talk to and hopefully it will make you feel happy and less alone :) http://forum.veggieful.com/ Thanks again!!!

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  21. This sounds awesome! I don't have cashews in the house now but definitely getting some on Monday and trying this. Parmesan cheese is one of things I really miss so it will be great to have an alternative that seems tasty :)

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    1. Hello! I hope that you enjoy it. I think it is amazing. I put it on everything now :D

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  22. You are a clever girl, indeed. I love the taste and texture. The yeast gives it that sharp 'socks' flavour and smell that you just gotta have!

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    1. Oh thank you. I am so glad that you enjoyed it :)

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  23. If I used oven-roasted cashews instead of raw, would this alter the taste?

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    1. Hello! I am not sure... I just use raw cashews because they are better for you. You could always try it? I don't think it would be too much difference :)

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  24. looks great-- any ideas subbing the nut part-- we have a peanut/nut allergy here..been dying to have a good dairy free sprinkle cheese...thanks for posting...

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    1. Hi Peggy, Thanks! I was wondering, are you allergic to sesame seeds too? I know that sesame seeds are not tree nuts and sometimes people can tolerate them even with a nut allergy. So, you could always try toasting some sesame seeds and using them in replacement of the cashews. Although, I am not sure on the proportions, you would need to just do it to taste. Thanks!

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    2. I think you should use raw unroasted sunfowerseeds to replace the pranut.

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  25. I just made this and it was excellent, thank you! I can't wait to sprinkle it on my pasta!

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    1. Hello! Oh yay, I am so glad that you enjoyed. I seriously put this on EVERYTHING! I don't know what I would do without it. Makes everything that little bit more delicious :)

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  26. Uhm, THANK YOU! :P
    Parmesan is - or used to be - one of my all-time favourite things to put on any pasta dish, or wherever it was needed. Recently I've felt some foods like pesto and spinach and bolegnese are missing that extra zing without some Parmesan, but I still refuse to use it. Although my mum often finds my nay-saying annoying, finally she's happy because she barley needs to buy Parmesan any more :P
    However, I still do miss it, and as well as that extra taste, I really do miss the warm melting-ness of it as well... so, does this by any chance melt? :P

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    1. I just have to say that this is my favourite recipe OF ALL TIME! I use it everyday on everything. I couldn't live without it. It doesn't melt sorry... it is in powder form. But still so delicious!

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  27. What is a 1/4 cup of flakes in grams?

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    1. Hi! I just weighed 1/4 cup with my scales and it said exactly 20g :)

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  28. Thanks Madi, ive just bought the ingredients and about to make it right now!

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  29. Just whipped some together with salted roasted cashews (all the local shop had)... Pretty tasty, can't wait for it to go on my barley risotto.

    Forest.
    http://EverydayNomad.com

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    1. Hello! Oh I am so glad... trust me, you will become addicted to it!!!

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  30. THIS WAS AMAZING. OMG I AM SO HAPPY THAT I FOUND YOU VEGGIEFUL

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  31. I absolutely LOVED this. I even linked this recipe on my own blog to rave about how much I loved it. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

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    1. Hi Lindsey! Thank you. I am happy that you enjoy it. I eat this every day!!!

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  32. I made this recipe with raw almonds and a little bit more nutritional yeast and used it half and half with bread crumbs to make tofu schnitzels... SO GOOD!!!

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  33. This is amazing!! I made it and it was absolutely delicious. I was apprehensive at first considering I didn't like parmesan at all before, but clearly this showed me that vegan versions of food are simply tastier! Thank you so much Madi! :)

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    1. Hello Avanthi! I am completely obsessed with this recipe. I eat it on EVERYTHING!!! It is so yummy. Thanks for the comment. I am glad that you like it :D

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  34. This is yum some! I just shared your recipe on my blog!
    Here is the link: http://thenomadiczest.com/2013/06/11/how-to-make-vegan-parmesan-cheese/

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    1. Hi Jade! I am happy that you enjoyed it. Thanks :)

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  35. Oh, this sounds wonderful. Going to make this today.

    I was wondering if you have a tasty recipe for Mac and Cheese? I miss having that since going vegan. Would appreciate any help with that.

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    1. Hello! Oh I was actually thinking about making mac and cheese today ha. I will work on it :)

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  36. Thank you for your wonderful vegan recipes. Am aware here in the U.S.A. we are warned about washing raw cashews first before using. So believe I will carefully wash them and dry out in my toaster oven, or perhaps my dehydrator first before combining with the nutritional yeast. Have made my own before with walnuts, BUT think this recipes made with cashews will be even better. Thanks again.

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    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. I haven't heard about the rinsing of cashews here in Australia. Do whatever you think is best :)

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  37. THIS IS AMAZING! Seriously though. Ever since I found your recipe for vegan parmesan, it's been rocking my world! THANK YOU Madison! You're the best ever : )

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    1. Thanks Brittany. I know what you mean... it is CRAZILY DELICIOUS! hehe

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  38. This is easily the best "alternative" recipe I have tried so far. Just amazing. I prefer it over regular parmesan with my spaghetti. Thank you so much.

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    1. Thank you! I am really glad that you enjoy it. We love it. I put it on EVERYTHING!

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  39. Madison,
    Thanks for the recipe! Parmesan cheese was one of the things I had a hard time giving up. This is delicious! Keep going with your great site.
    Bill

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    1. Our pleasure Bill! Thanks for the comment. I am so glad that you enjoyed it :)

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  40. I've made this recipe with store-bought almond meal for those who might be short of time or a food processor :)

    Just mix the almond meal, nutritional yeast and salt, adjust to taste, store in jar in fridge. No blending needed :)

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  41. Hi! Madison, I have tried your Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe. It really taste like Parmesan cheese, Yum.

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    1. Hehe thank you! It really is delicious :D

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  42. Thank you SO much for this recipe - it is amazing!

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  43. Hi Madison,
    I have just turned vegan after being a vegetarian for 12 years. I have really been missing that indulgent sprinkling of parmesan on rocket leaves with olive oil, pepitas and sunflower seeds. I just whipped this up and it is PERFECT. My beloved salad is back, kinder and healthier than ever! Thank you so much. :)

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    1. I am so glad that you enjoy it. I know... it is amazing!!!

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  44. Love the recipe! Does it freeze well?

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    1. Hi there! So glad. I am unsure as I keep it in the fridge as it lasts for ages!

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  45. Hi, somehow it's the third time I'm trying to leave a comment, as it keeps disappearing for some reason...

    Anyway, have you tested any of the other alternatives such as sesame seeds or any other nuts?

    I can't have cashew nuts, but some other nuts are ok.

    Also, what's nutritional yeast?

    Many thanks!

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    1. Hello! I have tried sesame seeds although I enjoy the taste of cashews a lot more :)

      Nutritional yeast: http://www.veggieful.com/2012/10/what-is-nutritional-yeast.html

      Thanks!

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  46. Made this last night. So easy, so delicious. One thing I will be careful of next time....not to over grind in the Vitamix. It started to heat it up. :)

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    1. Haha I know! It does heat up... it can start to turn into a paste if you're not careful :) Thanks so much!

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  47. Tonight I made a vegan version of Eggplant Parmesan for my girlfriend. I'd bought Daiya brand cheese to replace the Mozzarella, but was at a loss as to what to do for the Parmesan, until I found this. Thank you so much. I managed to find the Nutritional Yeast at Whole Foods, which of course also sold the raw cashews. Mixed them up in the food processor, and it came out great. :-)

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    1. Hehe yay! I am so glad. Thanks for telling us Paul :)

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  48. Hi - I just came across your blog and love it! I became vegan about a month ago and I really miss parmesan cheese. I was so excited to see your recipe. I just tried making it and I think I must have done something wrong. It started to look like a powder but I continued to process it because not all of the cashews were ground. It ended up the consistency of a paste rather than a powder. Did I overdo it with the Nutribullet? :)

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    1. Hello! Congratulations on your new vegan journey! How exciting. Yes, unfortunately it was overprocessed... it just needs to be powder and if processed for too long will turn into a paste. Also, just make sure there isn't any water or moisture in your processor or blender. Thanks!

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  49. Hey there. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! It's terrific! Being vegan is so wonderful. :)

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    1. Thanks so much John! I know... it really is :)

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  50. Thank you for this recipe. I have tried several others with pine nuts, walnuts, and sesame seeds. They were definitely not appetizing to us. This is awesome.

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  51. Just found your recipe, made it quickly, had it on my pasta for lunch, and loved it!

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