Miss cheese? Try this

If there’s one reality of living a dairy-free life, it’s that living without cheese is HARD.

When I was first cutting dairy out of my diet, a few months after going gluten-free as well, cheese was the number one food that I felt like I couldn’t live without. It was the one that I just couldn’t find a replacement for.

The truth is there isn’t a really good alternative that tastes the same or has the same texture.

There are brands of non-dairy cheese out there, like Daiya, that are great for adding to recipes that call for cheese. And when you just HAVE to satisfy that cheese craving, it can work.

In my experience, I feel like it’s a once-in-a-while splurge than an everyday necessity in my diet. Especially since it’s so expensive and is such a stretch in terms of flavor and texture of “cheese.”

So I have all but given up on trying to replace cheese in my life. Gosh, typing that sounds so cynical. But I do still enjoy a cheesy flavor once in a while…

And that’s where my non-dairy cashew cheese comes into play.

Cashews are a great option for turning into a non-dairy cheese, because they:

  • have a mild flavor thatbecomesa completely blank slate to layer other flavors
  • are a great source of monounsaturated fats (the healthy ones!)
  • contain magnesium, which is great for helping absorb calcium into the body (aka awesome for bone health)

Non-dairy Cashew Cheese | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

This cashew cheese is a great recipe to have in your recipe arsenal, because it can be used for so many things. In the past week after whipping up a batch, I’ve used it a number of different ways, like:

  • in place of cream cheese
  • as an added flavor layer in salads
  • spread on sandwiches
  • dipped raw fresh veggies in it

Non-dairy Cashew Cheese | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

You can also use this recipe as a great base for a mac and cheese style sauce. The possibilities really are endless with this recipe!

Non-dairy Cashew Cheese | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

Non-Dairy Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions

  1. Add cashews to a bowl of water to soak overnight.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a bit of water at a time until it’s just right (Note: it will thicken up in the fridge).
  3. Transfer to a jar or other container and refrigerate at least an hour.
  4. Enjoy however you please!

Dairy-free Cashew Cheese | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

Have you ever had cashew cheese? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

Why The Paleo Diet Is A Good Option When You’re Gluten- & Dairy-free

The paleo diet is centered around eating similarly to the way our ancestors once ate. It’s said to help optimize health, minimize the risk of chronic disease, and help you lose weight. (source)

The main concepts of the paleo diet are to:

  • eat high protein foods
  • limit your intake of high glycemic and high carbohydrate foods (including grains, legumes, and sugars)
  • eat a good amount of healthy fats -mono- and polyunsaturated fats, with some Omega 3 and 6’s
  • get loads of fiber in the form of nutritionally dense vegetables

Why the paleo diet is a good option when you're gluten- and dairy-free | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

It’s a great diet to follow if you feel the need to follow a specific protocol. Of all the “diets” out there that are gaining popularity, this is the one that I’d recommend to most people.

Why?

Because it is the most nutritionally sound “diet” I’ve seen to date.

It avoids processed foods, white flours and sugars, dairy, limits sugars of any kind, promotes eating tons of vegetables, and eating filling protein to keep your blood sugar stable. Toss in a few healthy fats and you’re satisfied between meals and cutting down on over-snacking (if that’s an issue for you) and major cravings – this is a diet that almost any health expert can get behind.

That said, I don’t follow the paleo diet myself.

[Read more…]

Whales & Walnut Coconut Orange Cookies

Do you ever have those moments where things just come together and you can’t explain it – let alone really believe it yourself?

This happened to me last week as I was out for a walk with my mom and son. We meet up at least once a week for walks at this same park that I’ve been going to since I was a kid. The park has changed over the years, but the location – right on the water of the inlet into the Puget Sound – hasn’t.

As we were walking, we saw a couple of kayakers who had come to the shore and were just sitting and chatting. My mom said “I’d love to get out on a kayak one of these days” and I replied “Yeah, Tyler (my husband) wants to do it someday too… but I would NEVER get in a kayak in any water that whales had been in. A lake? Maybe. But not this water.” And she followed it up with “well, whales are rarely here. It’s only once every ten years or so. But I get your point. I’d kayak in a lake too.”

The truth is that I’ve seen whales while at that park before. Yes, WHALES. Orca whales. Our area is sometimes graced with their beauty – but it’s truly rare. And when it happens, it’s like the whole world opens up and people flock to see them.

So as we made our way around the park loop a second time, I noticed a ton of cars showing up to the parking lot. And what was weird was that they weren’t even pulling in to properly park. They just barely pulled in, hopped out of their cars, and were running to the shore. Completely strange.

And I said to my mom, “the only time I’ve ever seen anything like this is when there’s something in the water.”

Then we both saw it. Four orca whales swimming along the inlet on their way back out to the Puget Sound. Three adults and a baby. It was incredible. We watched as far as we could. I even got a video on my phone… except after playing it back, I realized I was so enamored watching them in person that I took video of the sky and not the water they were swimming in – oops!

And in that moment, I realized two things. One – sometimes it gives me the heeby jeebies when I say something like “whales swim in that water” and ten minutes later there are WHALES swimming in THAT water. And two – there are sometimes things that come together that you never would have anticipated, but they just work.

Now that’s a terrible segue, but that’s also how I felt about this new cookie recipe. At my first idea of them, I didn’t think they’d work out. And then, as I pulled them out of the oven and had my first bite (I waited for them to cool a little bit), I thought “I don’t know how I did it, but these are delicious!”

I had the idea to throw together a simple cookie, but didn’t want to go to all the effort of mixing up flours or batters – so I tossed a few ingredients together, and tossed them on a cookie sheet to bake. I was so surprised at how well they turned out that I had to share them with you.

Walnut Coconut Orange Cookies | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

[Read more…]