This Vegan Parmesan Cheese features pumpkin seeds instead of cashews, making it a great nut-free alternative. Requiring just 4 ingredients and a food processor, it’s also easily made in a matter of minutes.
This week brought about the unexpected and saddening passing of an icon of my childhood, Luke Perry. Well, really it was more like my “teenage-hood” if you want to get technical. In fact, I was on the cusp of turning 13 when the show 90210 hit TV screens across America.
All of the girls in my middle school were going gaga over the guys from 90210, as well as boy band, New Kids on the Block. They even had 90210 and NKOTB images plastered on their folders, notebooks and even lunchboxes. Meanwhile, I was more concerned with what was in my lunchbox rather than what was on it. 😉
Food won over boys any day in my book. While most of the girls my age had posters of the latest teen heartthrob decorating their bedrooms, I had a picture of cheese plastered on my wall. Yes, you read that right…cheese!
It was actually a photograph of a plate of spaghetti that featured the hand of a waiter holding a block of Parmesan cheese and a grater hovering over a tower of cheese atop the pasta.
Yup, that was how I rolled. After a while, I just asked the wait staff to leave the whole cheese grating ensemble at the table. It was much easier that way.
Of course, this love, I mean addiction, presented a challenge to me when I decided to switch to a plant-based diet.
Life after cheese
“How is it even possible to eat pasta without grated cheese?” I wondered.
That’s it; I was doomed!
OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but cheese meant everything to me. I even refer to myself as a “cheeseivore” several times in older posts.
This was sure to be my demise…
Or, maybe not…
I tried some store-bought vegan Parmesan cheeses, with my favorite so far being Violife. I also tried making the popular cashew-based Parmesan, which I enjoyed as well.
However, not everyone was on board with the changes in their cheese habits. My daughter made a face at the store-bought brands and my husband wasn’t a fan of the cashew kind.
Ugh! I was back to square one. And then, one day it hit me…pumpkin seeds.
I have no idea why or how I decided to replace the cashews with pumpkin seeds. I guess I just saw them sitting there on my refrigerator door just begging to be given a chance to create something BIG…something an “ex” cheese addict would want to sprinkle all over her pasta…something like VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE!
Not only was I hooked, but both the naysayers agreed…”we love it!” And hopefully, you will too. 🙂
Learn how to make it
This Vegan Parmesan Cheese is incredibly easy to make. To do so, you’ll need a food processor or food chopper. For smaller jobs like this, I like to use my 3.5-cup KitchenAid food chopper. It only features two settings, chop and puree, and is perfect for chopping nuts and seeds.
All you have to do is add raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), nutritional yeast, kosher salt and garlic powder to the bowl of your food processor/chopper. Use the pulse or chop setting and pulse/chop until the “cheese” is ground to your liking.
Store in the refrigerator in a sealed mason jar for up to a month.
So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂
Vegan Parmesan Cheese [Nut-Free, Gluten-Free]
- Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor/chopper. Use the pulse or chop setting and pulse/chop until the "cheese" is ground to your liking.
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