Vegan Lentil Cashew Holiday Cheese Ball
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 - 10 people, 1 cheese ball
 
This vegan lentil cashew cheese ball is an easy, festive vegan cheese appetizer perfect for holiday or Christmas parties.
Ingredients
For the cheese ball:
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • ¾ cup cooked split red lentils
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp prepared mustard
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, solid or room temp, not melted
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt, more or less to taste
  • Optional: 2 tbsp dried cranberries
For coating the cheese ball:
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
Instructions
Prep the cashews and lentils:
  1. Add 1 cup raw cashews to a glass bowl or jar and cover with cool water. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator to soak overnight or for at least 6 hours*
  2. If not using already cooked lentils, cook according to package directions and allow to cool fully before beginning to make cheese
Make the cashew cheese:
  1. Once the cashews are soaked and the cooked lentils have cooled, drain and rinse the cashews then add them to the bowl of your food processor
  2. Add the remaining cheese ball ingredients, expect the cranberries and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed
  3. If there isn't enough liquid to get it going add up to a tablespoon more liquid, either lemon juice or coconut oil, but try not to add too much as this will prolong the time it takes for the cheese ball to set
  4. Once the cheese is smooth and creamy add the cranberries and pulse a few times to incorporate
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary
Prep the cheese ball
  1. Scoop the cashew cheese mixture into a bowl wrapped with plastic wrap
  2. Gather up the sides of the plastic and twist to form a ball
  3. Place the bowl in the fridge and allow the cheese to set and firm up for 3 - 6 hours or until it holds it's shape when removed from the plastic wrap
Decorate the cheese ball:
  1. When firm, remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and shape as desired
  2. Press the dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds onto the outside of the ball
  3. You can serve immediately or wrap in plastic again and refrigerate until needed
  4. Serve with crackers, chips and wine. Leftovers should last for about a week in the fridge
Notes
If you're pressed for time, you can boil the cashews for 10 - 15 minutes until soft
Recipe by Diary of an ExSloth at http://www.exsloth.com/vegan-lentil-cashew-cheese-ball/