Growing up, I loved cheese. I ate it all the time. But when I went vegan and found out about how cruel the dairy industry was, I stopped craving cheese altogether. (If you haven’t seen it already, watch Dairy Is Scary on YouTube. I promise, there’s a great life after cheese!) I have, however, wanted to create charcuterie boards for parties and sometimes don’t have time to stop at Vegan Supply for one of their (expensive) pre-made cheeses. They have tons that are delicious and add amazing flavour to a charcuterie board, but they are definitely more expensive than this one – and it’s a tad out of my way.
So, if you’re looking to create your own cheese for a charcuterie board, try this one! It’s simple. There’s no culturing, probiotics or cooking. Just 6 simple ingredients that, when combined, taste like a heavenly cheese spread! Originally, I wanted this to be in a ball-form. But when I finally got the flavour and texture right, it just wasn’t thick enough to hold as a ball. I figured I could have used plastic wrap to form it into a ball and then rolled it in the crust, but I don’t buy plastic wrap because it’s so wasteful. Then I realized, the majority of my readers like simple recipes – so this one is just that! No fancy techniques to make it look extra cheese-like – just some damn good flavour.
When you’re ready to make it into a charcuterie board – here are 4 tips!
- Add fruit and veggies. I like strawberries and apples because they’re easy, accessible and pretty. I like peppers because they’re super healthy and flavourful. I don’t always have celery on hand, but it would go well here as well.
- Add olives and/or vegan meat to try to make it as true to a charcuterie board as possible. I used the Tofurkey hickory smoked slices here, but any vegan meat would work as long as you like the taste! I’ve also made charcuterie boards with cooked and sliced Field Roast Apple & Sage sausages and it was delicious.
- Definitely add crackers! I like these Wasa crackers because they come wrapped in just paper – so there’s no plastic waste. But any crackers would do. I’d actually recommend adding more than one, just to please as many people as possible! Triscuits would be an excellent addition as well.
- Stick with a colour-theme. As you can see in my photo, I used red veggies and fruit, and then the green from the strawberry tops compliments the green in the olives. You can definitely just use a wide-array of colours, but I find sticking with one or two adds a beautiful aesthetic.
Vegan Cheese Dip
This dip is the perfect spread to add to a vegan charcuterie board! Made with 6 simple ingredients, it takes just 20 minutes to come together.
- ½ cup soaked cashews (rinsed and drained)
- ½ cup chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp onion flakes (you can find this at Bulk Barn or at the grocery store in the spice section. Don’t replace it with onion powder – the onion flakes are key!)
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp water
- Optional crust – 1 tbsp crushed walnuts, 1/2 tbsp onion flakes, 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Add ½ cup of soaked cashews and 1/2 cup of chickpeas to a high speed blender with ¼ cup of nutritional yeast, ½ tsp of salt and 6 tbsp of water. Don’t add the onion flakes into the blender.
- Blend the dip until it becomes smooth. I use a nutribullet and it works fine, but I do stop it every 30 seconds or so and shake it so that all the ingredients are fully blended.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in your onion flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference. You may want to add more salt, nutritional yeast or onion flakes.
- Let the dip sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (if you can). If not, spread onto a charcuterie board right away. If you want, you can create a crust with walnuts, nutritional yeast and onion flakes and add that around the dip like I did. It adds extra texture and aesthetic! Serve with veggies, fruit, chocolate and vegan meat. Yum!