Main courses and desserts are important components of any get-together or feast. But it’s the appetizers that welcome guests and set the tone for the festivities. Starters are the opening act, warming up party-goers for the main feature. Here’s a fuss-free appetizer that will kick your celebration off right. It’s made with healthy, vegan ingredients and packed with I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-real-cheese flavor. This recipe is a 10 in my book—it uses less than 10 ingredients and occupies less than 10 minutes of your valuable time!
Vegan “Cheese” Ball with Cranberry and Pistachio Coating
¼ cup nutritional yeast
3 cups raw cashews, soaked 2-4 hours or up to overnight
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, solid
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
Water, as needed to blend (1 Tbsp max.)
¼ cup lemon juice
Pinch of salt
⅓ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (to coat)
⅓ cup pistachios, crushed (to coat)
- In food processor, combine cheese ball ingredients and pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
- Remove mixture from food processor and use plastic wrap to mold it into a ball. (You can divide mixture into two smaller portions, each wrapped in plastic, if needed.) Chill for 1-2 hours.
- Combine coating ingredients and roll cheese ball in mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap again and chill until serving.
- Store wrapped and refrigerated. Will keep for 7-10 days.
- Try serving with brown rice seaweed crackers and black mission figs.
- Get creative with the outside coating! Suggestions include dried cherries and pecans or dried apples and walnuts.
- This would also make a delicious pairing with cranberry chia seed jam.