Cashew Cheese Log

Here is a simple cashew cheese spread/log you can easily whip up. It does require you to have it cool in the fridge before you can mold it into a log, and depending on your blender, you may need to soak the cashews before hand, but that’s about it.

This recipe will be what’s pictured above with the herb crust. I have also made this with a sundried tomato and garlic (aka pizza cheese) topping, and also a sweeter fresh blueberry vanilla topping. I was going to have pictures and recipes for all three, but when I made this I was still only a few weeks pregnant, exhausted, and cooking or food just didn’t sound appetizing. I’m glad I got this out to share with ya’ll!

But the truth of the matter, this is a simple, mild flavor recipe so find other soft cheese topping recipes and test it out on this!

Cashew Cheese Log

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour if you don’t have a high powered blender
  • 1/8 cup refined coconut oil (refined does not have a coconut taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (I use a chickpea miso)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. In a blender, blend cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, miso paste, and salt until smooth. You will probably have to scrap down the sides a few times, but once it’s all incorporated, blend another minute or two to make it smooth.
  2. Spoon out mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap around the cashew mixture and twist the ends. Make a log shape and set in the fridge to cool off and firm up for an hour or two.
  3. Once firm, unfold the plastic wrap and put cheese log on a plate. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning, and get out your favorite crackers, fruit, and veggies you want to eat with it.

Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Did you know “non-dairy” products are not completely dairy-free? Confusing I know. “Non-dairy” whipped toppings or “non-dairy” creamers can still have milk proteins in it like whey and casein, as allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To see my previous post about dairy labels, click here.

With that being said, I wanted to share with you what I do to make dairy-free whipped cream that is also soy-free as well. It’s not anything new. There are plenty of coconut whipped creams out there, but it’s one of my staples and something that is good to know if you or a family member is allergic to dairy. James is lactose-intolerant and there are a few things that he’s gotten use to, like almond milk in his smoothies and soy in his lattes. But when I had made this he couldn’t get over how good it was. I originally made a version of it to go on a cake I made with fresh berries and since then have adjusted some things to my liking.

Some things I want you to know are that:

  • No, it’s not as easy as just buying whipped cream from the store, there is some forethought.
  • It’s not that hard to do.
  • It’s dairy free, but this is still just straight up fat, and not all healthy fats.

I can’t say this is a “healthy” recipe, as it is an alternative to a major food allergy so you don’t have to miss out on whipped topping for your pumpkin pie this year.

A healthy alternative for a dessert using the whipped cream would be having fresh fruit with a dollop of this instead of a pie with added sugars and a buttery crust. Just know that you need to use this sparingly as with any whipped cream, but it’s definitely something to try and no hidden ingredients!

Dairy Free Whipped Cream

  • Servings: 2 cups of whipped cream, 16 2-Tablespoon servings
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk, full fat not lite
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar, optional, depending on if you want it sweet or how sweet you like it
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional – You can use other extracts like almond, lemon, cinnamon, etc. depending on what you are making it for

Directions

  1. Before you start, freeze the bowl and whisk you’ll be using, and put the can of coconut milk in the fridge. DO NOT SHAKE. The colder it is the firmer it will be. At least have them in the fridge/freezer for about 2-4 hours.
  2. Take the bowl, whisk, and canned coconut milk out. Open the coconut milk. The cream should be at the top of the can. The coconut water will be below the cream. Carefully take out the cream and put it in the bowl without getting any coconut water in the bowl. Leave some cream in there if you have to.
  3. Whisk like crazy! Use a mixer if needed. Add in the powdered sugar if using a little at a time until it’s all incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract. You might need to put the bowl in the fridge or freezer after a few minutes to cool it back off. Sometimes I have to, other times I don’t. Just whisk until it forms stiff peaks.
  4. I usually will make this early and put it back in the fridge for a few hours until ready to use. Just remember to keep it cold.
  5. Top your favorite dessert or fruit with it and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

152 calories | 10.4 g total fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 1.2 mg sodium | 13.4 g carbohydrates | 0.4 g fiber | 10.7 g sugar | 1.1 g protein

Macro Sources

35% Carbohydrates | 61% Fat | 4% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion

N/A

Know Your Labels: Lactose-Free vs. Non-Dairy vs. Dairy-Free

Did you know that “lactose-free”, “non-dairy” and “dairy-free” do not mean the same thing? It can be confusing and frustrating, but it’s important to know the difference when you have a dairy allergy.

Why It’s Confusing
  • Something that is “Milk” doesn’t mean cow’s milk, or animal milk.
    • Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Soy Milk, etc.
  • Something that says “Cream” isn’t always cow’s milk.
    • Coconut Cream, Cream of Tartar, etc.
  • Just because it says “Butter” doesn’t mean it’s from dairy sources either.
    • Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Apple Butter, etc.

Then you have things like:

  • Lactose Free is not Dairy Free
  • Dairy Free is not Non Dairy
  • Non-Dairy, you guessed it, is not Lactose Free

Confused yet?

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Lactose Free

Lactose-Free means that it is only free of lactose, a protein found in cow’s milk that people can have a hard time digesting. Many people lack a specific enzyme to digest this protein and are therefore, lactose-intolerant. There are lactose-free milks and other products, but that does not mean there is no trace of cow’s milk in the product. There are other proteins in milk that are used and can be in products labeled “Lactose-Free”. So good for people who are just intolerant to lactose, but not necessarily allergic to dairy all around.

Non-Dairy

This is one of the trickiest and the one that upsets me. You would think from the label there should be no dairy, or no cow’s milk in the product. Wrong! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed products with this label to still have animal proteins found in dairy (like whey or casein) to be present. The products that come to mind the most are “Non-Dairy Creamers” like the powdered creamers, and “Non-Dairy Whipped Topping”. Both still have other components of dairy in their ingredients list, but it’s not “Milk” as a whole.

Dairy-Free

This is truly what it says it is. Dairy-free. At least it is for now. So if the product you are holding says “Dairy-Free” and you have a dairy allergy, you should be safe. There are a lot of non-dairy yogurts, cheeses, milks, etc. that truly do not have dairy components in them at all.

Read The Whole Label

Now with knowing the difference, I wanted to talk about a few surprising things I’ve found. There are a lot of vegan and vegetarian “dairy-free” products out there now. Some products are placed next to them and could be safe to assume they do not have dairy. For example: One time when I was testing out some different dairy-free cheeses I came across one right next to the rest of the truly dairy-free products. I read the label. It was a soy based cheese, so for myself I wasn’t going to buy it, but I was shocked to still see “Casein” (a protein found in milk and other animal products) as one of the ingredients. So all though it was “Non-Dairy” cheese, and the first few ingredients looked good and was plant-based, there were still milk based ingredients. Be careful.

Go Dairy Free.org has a lot of information on their site. Here is a Dairy Ingredient List they have that is pretty much all inclusive if you truly do have a dairy allergy.

Bottom Line
  • Educate Yourself
  • Know Your Labels
  • Dairy-Free (right now) is the Label that is truly free of dairy and all that comes with it
  • Know The Different Names of Dairy
  • Don’t get overwhelmed

It can be a hassle. It can start to be a headache, but you’ll realize a lot of the words are similar. Pretty much anything with “lacto” “lacta” “lactu” “whey” “casein” are things you need to stay away from. Buying things without a label like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fresh meats, etc. you will not need to worry about reading labels or ingredient lists. When most of your basket at the store is full of those items, you won’t need to be reading everything you’re buying.

Work for your body so it can work for you.