Thursday, March 4, 2010

Walnut Cheeze Spread

I received an email the other day about recipes for walnut cheeze. This was one that I hadn’t tried yet. However the more I thought about the idea the more I liked it from a nutrition perspective. Walnuts are the healthiest nut in terms of omega 3 fatty acids so if I could make this into a “cheeze-like” spread it would be a good thing. I knew the color of the walnuts would make the spread a light beige color, which it did. Additionally I was worried the flavor of the walnut would be too strong to mask with other flavors. It did take more seasonings but it turned out fairly well. Here is what I did.

Walnut Cheeze Spread
Makes 8 servings


1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight and drained thoroughly
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or to taste)
½ teaspoon onion flakes (start with half next time)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste (note kosher salt has a different level of saltiness if using another salt start with ½ the amount and taste)


Combine everything in your food processor and process until smooth. You may need to stop the machine a couple of times to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Place the spread in a tightly covered container and refrigerate for a few hours before eating. The spread needs time for the flavors to marry.

You can use the spread on a sandwich, as a dip for veggies, on crackers. It can be used anywhere that you would use soft spreadable cheese.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 105.05
Calories From Fat (83%) - 87.03

Total Fat - 9.54g
Saturated Fat - 0.9g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 145.85mg
Potassium - 67.23mg
Total Carbohydrates - 2.16g
Fiber - 1g
Sugar - 0.44g
Protein - 2.25g


This is a thick spread that is also soft. The flavor is a little “oniony”. Next time I will use less onion flakes to start. Overall this worked out better than I expected it to. The hubby declared this a success and had a little snack last night of this on Mary’s Onion crackers. You may also want to increase the amount of nutritional yeast. I prefer that to be a more subtle flavor.

Unrelated Note:

Yesterday was a very productive day at our house. One closet down, a few more closets to go. On the bright side I now know that I own over a dozen pairs of exercise pants. To think last week I bought another two pair because I didn’t have enough. Yeesh!

I purged my main closet of a lot of stuff. My rule was it I hadn’t worn something last season it was gone. When I put things back I turned the hangers backward. My reasoning was when I clean the closet next year if any hangers are backward I know those items didn’t get worn and they will be quicker to identify for the next purge. Tomorrow I am working on another closet. This one is my overflow closet which is geographically undesirable. Something tells me 90% of that will be leaving.

Last night I made Dan a smoothie similar to the one posted here, but I sweetened it with the yacon powder. The powder has a very mild flavor, which is much less sweet than I expected. Now I know why the bag label gives the nutritional information for one serving. On the positive side the powder is not the slightest bit bitter. I think it will make a nice sweetener for tea, which I will try today and let you know how it works. When I see the syrup I am going to pick up a bottle to see what we think of it.

For now I am off to tear apart another closet. I will be back later today when I take a green tea break and let you know how the yacon powder worked in tea.


  1. Cool! Even I could do this! I guess you can see my confidence does not wax strong in the kitchen. But I am learning, steadily learning. :) You are a kind and gentle friend, Alicia. I appreciate your patience.


  2. That spread sounds perfect for a nice snack or appetizer for party. YUM. Good job on the closet!

  3. Wow! perfect spread..guess, my hubby would love it on a sandwich..thanks for sharing..

  4. Sounds like you are making great progress with the purge! Isn't it great? I love the reverse hanger idea.

    I think I'd like this cheeze. There are so many of yours I want to try, but I really really want the almond feta first! I will plan on it as soon as I return from vacation.

  5. What a great yummy sounding snack!
    It feels so great when you are done with the clearing out, doesn't it?!

  6. Valerie,

    This is very easy and makes a nice spread with healthy fat. I hope you like it.


    Thanks! I hope you like it too. I had a little for a snack today and the flavor does deepen overnight. I like it even more today.

    One closet down, a few more to go. But it is a good start.


    I think this would be good on a sandwich. I would use it on a grilled veggie wrap.


    I am making progress but it never goes as quickly as you want it to. Glad you like the reverse hanger trick. I read that somewhere years ago and never tried it. But after yesterday I thought it was time to try it.

    Have a wonderful vacation!

    The almond feta is still my first love. You picked a good one to start with.


    I feels good to be finished with one closet. I think it will be better when I get them all knocked out. But I am feeling "lighter" already. ;)


  7. Jess,

    Thanks! I hope you like it. :-)


  8. this will be the next one to try, maybe to mild though like you said in later posts.

  9. Michelle,

    I liked this even more today. It definitely improves as it sits in the frig. It made a great spread on my wrap today for lunch.

    Enjoy the maca recipes in the quick lunch post. I saw them and thought of you.


  10. OH OH OH!!!! I have everything to make this!!!!! YAY me!
    I bet this would be brilliant stuffed in cherry tomatoes, maybe with chives in it!!!!

  11. Brandi,

    I think this would be great in cherry tomatoes, or on cucumber slices. Wonderful suggestion, thanks for sharing it!


  12. VivaciousVegan's comment cracked me up, because I had the same reaction! :-) I'm going to get some walnuts soaking tonight and make this tomorrow! I love noochie stuff!

  13. Lalo,

    I was trying to make something that used ingredients that most of us have on hand. Glad you like the sound of it. If you increased the onion flakes it will take on a onion dip flavor. I was playing around with part of it this morning to see what would happen with more onions.


  14. Awesome! These are all ingredients I have access to! (+1 if you were keeping my quibbles in mind.) I just have to pick up the onion flakes, and I'll give it a shot tomorrow.

  15. Jenn,

    I hope you like it! It does improve overnight in the frig as the flavors have a chance to marry.


  16. Mmmmm, looks delish, Alicia; I don't always love walnuts, but I think I would love them this way!

    Congratulations on the purge! I LOVE purging and organizing--I just did my bookshelves last week!


  17. LJ,

    Walnuts aren't my favorite either but we eat them because they are healthy. This doesn't really taste like walnuts, which I like.

    Purging is great when it is finished. At the moment I am in the mess before it is finished (if you know what I mean). But I am making good progress. It is amazing how much stuff you can store in closets, cabinets and drawers when you live in one place for a long time. Congrats of reorganizing your bookshelves. That is on my list too!

    talk to you later,

  18. I made this earlier this morning, and since I licked the spatula and know how tasty it already is, I can hardly WAIT for the flavors to marry! (I keep opening the fridge and yelling at it, "Enough with the long engagement, already! We all know you're meant for each other, so just hurry up and elope!" LOL)

    I followed your advice and used half the salt and onion powder (I didn't have flakes), and added an additional TBSP of nutritional yeast, since I'm a nooch freak. Also, since the walnut soak water had such a deep color, I knew it had to have lots of nutrients in it, so I used it for the 3 TBSP of water, and poured the rest on my plants!

    My only complaint is that it doesn't make enough! I will be doubling this recipe from now on! Thanks for a great recipe, Ali! YUMSKA!

  19., I made this last night, and managed to hold off on it until today. It's great. I have very little experience with vegan cheeses, but it's delicious, however you look at it. Mine has a funny texture, probably due to my mini-processor, which I scraped about 8 zillion times, and finally gave up on.

    The only change I made was that I forgot the garlic powder, so I used a roasted garlic clove instead. Thanks Alicia! Now I'm going to have to look into the almond feta...

  20. Lalo,

    I am so happy to hear you and BW liked this. Dan enjoyed it too. Isn't it crazy that it doesn't taste like walnuts? That surprised me the most.


    I am so glad you enjoyed this since you were the one that prompted this experiment. Thanks again for the inspiration!

    On the texture I think you are right about the mini processor being the issue. Do you have a blender? That should make the cheese smoother, but would be a pain to the remove the finished product from the jar.

    Love your idea of roasted garlic. That had to be a great substitution!


  21. When I first tasted this spread I knew it reminded me of something but couldn't put my finger on what. It took several more tastes (for purely investigative reasons, you understand) before I figured it out. :-) I said to BW, "Doesn't this taste like the sauce in our Smoky-Freaky-Mac-n-Cheesy?" And he said, "Yeah, I knew it reminded me of something! That's it!" That sauce has a smoky, sharp, tangy flavor rather like smoked sharp cheddar, and this spread is like a mellow version of that. So when I made another batch of this spread today, I borrowed a couple of elements from my mac-n-cheese sauce, and ended up with a smoky, sharp cheddary taste. So if you like that flavor, you might want to try something like this...

    I did everything the same as the original, using half the onion powder and an additional TBSP of nooch. But in lieu of the salt I added 1/2 tsp of regular tamari. I didn't think it tasted salty enough, though, so I also added 1/4 tsp of sea salt. (It tasted saltier - though not, in my salt-loving opinion, TOO salty - after it sat a while, so I may halve the salt next time, but leave the tamari as-is).

    I also added 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika.

    And I found both times that I've made this that adding an additional TBSP of the water (that the nuts soaked in) made it easier to process in my food processor, as well as smoother in consistency. Yet it still was plenty thick.

    We love having both versions of this... one mellow and one sharp. (It also provides good practice in self-restraint, since it's much higher in fat than foods we normally eat but so easy to hoover up before you know it!) :-)

  22. Lalo,

    Thanks for sharing your changes! I can't wait to incorporate some of your ideas at our house. :-)

    Remember you said my recipe didn't make enough? Well, that was because the less I make the less we can eat, or "hoover up" as you put it. ;-) LOL. You are too funny!


  23. LOL - yes, ma'am, excellent point, and it's the very reason I decided not to make good on my threat to double my next batch! :-)

  24. Lalo,

    LOL, glad you changed your mind on that double batch. I am still laughing at the ma'am. Too funny!



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