Vegan Parmesan (no food processor required!)
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When we set off to travel by bicycle for two years, the items I missed most were my Vitamix and food processor. I use both appliances on a daily basis, often multiple times per day.
I didn’t know how I would live life without either device. I’m a daily smoothie drinker, how would I get all my fruits? How would I make perfect pesto for an easy pasta dinner? And most importantly, how would I make desserts?
As it was, I did have to trade many of my beloved foods temporarily for a life on the road. We had smoothies from the mercados in South America, packed with fresh local fruit (sin azucar, por favor!) for barely $2. I rarely made pasta on the road (have you tried making pasta in really high altitude? It takes forever). And desserts? Well we mostly relied on a simple chocolate bar, and went crazy when we found vegan desserts in restaurants like Green Point in Cusco, Peru.
I did find, however, that with a little creativity, I could use my Klean Kanteen food canister as a sort of food processor. And that is exactly what I used to make my vegan parmesan.
It just takes a little bit of strength and pounding, perfect for those evenings after a long, arduous hill when you’re ready to throw your bike over a cliff. The result won’t come out as fine as the vegan parmesan you make in your food processor, but it has the same taste.
With just five ingredients, this vegan parmesan takes only 10 minutes to make, if that. It all depends on how well you smash! Simply pulverize your cashews, and then stir together the remaining ingredients. You can make this while you wait for your pasta to finish cooking.
Use this vegan parmesan to top any type of pasta, like my One-Pot Lemon Broccoli Pasta dish over at Fresh Off the Grid, sprinkle it over avocado toast, or coat your vegan pizza with it.
A few things to note:
The whole beating of the nuts part can be messy if the bag you’re using gets a hole. Although I didn’t do it in the photo, I’d recommend putting whatever container the cashews are in inside of a bowl in case there are any escapees.
Outside of the US, nutritional yeast seems quite difficult to find. We could sometimes find it in health stores in larger cities in both Europe and South America, but otherwise we just opted for brewer’s yeast which I could find just about anywhere and is quite similar. I usually purchased it from pharmacies abroad.
- 1 cup of cashews
- 3 T nutritional yeast or brewer’s yeast
- ¼ t garlic powder
- ½ t salt
- 1 T olive oil
Place your cashews into a sealed bag and into a container like a bowl. Use a heavy device like a food canister, water bottle, or rock to pulverize the cashews into crumbs. It’s ok if there are chunks remaining.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir together until combined.