Dairy intolerances and allergies are steadily increasing but giving it up is a real challenge for many people, and cheese seems to be what they miss the most - and I am well aware that countless favourite dishes are just not the same without it. A plate of spaghetti, for instance, really cries out for a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese so I have been experimenting with dairy-free alternatives - and I really think that the recipe below ticks a lot of the boxes. No, it isn't quite the same, but it is pretty good, I promise you, so do please try it out because it is quick and easy to make, deeply savoury and very satisfying! I have adapted it from a vegan website called ConnoisseurusVeg. Ingredients like garlic and onion powder can be found in the spices section of most supermarkets and health shops, or excellent organic versions can be sourced from Steenbergs of Yorkshire, along with bouillon powder and nutritional yeast flakes.
Plant-powered "Parmesan" Cheese
Makes about 1 cup/250 ml
75 g raw cashew nuts
2.5 ml/1/2 tsp garlic powder
2.5 ml/1/2 tsp onion powder
5 ml/1 tsp bouillon powder
1/4 tsp sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Simply blend all the ingredients in a small food processor for about 5 seconds, until it looks like Parmesan cheese, but be sure to keep a bit of texture to the cashew nuts - you don't want it to be powdery.
Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge. I have no idea how well it keeps as it does not last for more than a week in my kitchen!