Festive Cashew “Cheese” Platter

Ryan Shepard - The Upside Blog

by | Updated: October 13th, 2020

Tired of serving cliché snacks—like chips and dip—at your family gatherings? We totally feel you! Next time, opt for a colorful, healthy alternative that’s as much fun to put together as it is to eat. This vibrant plant-based cashew “cheeseboard” features five creamy spreads, fresh fruit, dried fruit, crackers, pretzels and more for the ultimate grazing table centerpiece.

Homemade Cashew Cheese Platter with Fruits, Cookies, Crackers & More | Vitacost.com/Blog

The initial recipe, which calls for one special ingredient in particular (*cough* probiotics *cough*).  shows you how to make one plain cashew cheese wheel. The steps that follow explain how to create unique flavors including:

  • Herb-Coated “Cheese” Wheel
  • Blueberry Smash Breakfast “Cheese”
  • Pistachio & Sun-Dried Tomato Holiday “Cheese”
  • Chocolate Chip & Pecan “Cheesecake” Wheel with Strawberry Jam

Your guests will go absolutely nuts over this spread—not to mention, they’ll have no idea the “cheese’ is dairy-free. Happy holidays!

Yields 4-5 servings per wheel

Plain (Cheese Base)

Homemade Plain Cashew Cream Cheese | Vitacost.com/Blog

3 cups Vitacost Organic Raw Cashews, soaked for 9 hours or overnight
1/2 cup filtered water
1 capsule Vitacost ROOT² Extra Strength Vegan Probiotic
1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt



1. To make the base cheese, drain and rinse soaked cashews. Set aside.

2. In blender, combine cashews, probiotic powder (from capsule) and water until smooth.

3. Line colander with two cheese cloths. Pour in mixture and fold cheesecloth on top. Place on counter (find a warm spot) to culture for roughly 24-36 hours.

4. Mix salt into cultured cheese and stir to combine. Press mixture into desired mold and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

5. To serve, arrange cheese wheel(s) on platter or wooden tray with fresh fruit, dried fruit, cookies, pretzels, medjool dates, sundried tomatoes, grapes, crackers and whatever else your heart desires!

Homemade Herb-Coated Cashew “Cheese” Spread | Vitacost.com/BlogHerb-Coated

3 tsp. fresh thyme
3 tsp. fresh rosemary
4 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1-1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Directions: Roll plain base cheese into herb mix. Allow to set in fridge after rolling to hold shape.

Homemade Blueberry Breakfast “Cream Cheese” | Vitacost.com/Blog


Blueberry Smash

4 tsp. blueberries, smashed
2 tsp. blueberries, chopped

Directions: Add smashed and chopped blueberries into plain cheese base. Mix together and place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours to set.





Pistachio & Sun-Dried TomatoHomemade Pistachio & Sun-dried Tomato Holiday “Cheese” Spread | Vitacost.com/Blog

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
3 tsp. fresh thyme 
4 tsp. fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

Directions: Mix herbs into cheese and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set in mold. Roll cheese wheel in pistachio and sun-dried tomato.

Homemade Pecan-Chocolate Chip Dessert Dip with Strawberry Jam | Vitacost.com/BlogChocolate Chip & Pecan

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup Simple Mills Gluten-Free Toasted Pecan Cookies, crumbled
3 tsp. chocolate chips
3 tsp. strawberry jam, on side

Directions: Combine plain base cheese, chocolate chips and maple syrup. Set in refrigerator to set. Remove and roll in cookie crumbles to coat.

Chef’s tip: Get creative! Use the plain base cheese as you wish to create more delicious flavors.