Dairy free parmesan cheese

Dairy free parmesan cheese – gluten free, grain free, dairy free, clean, vegan and paleo frendly.

I’ve always been dairy intolerant. As a baby I had to drink goats milk; and consuming just a mouthful of milkshake was enough to give me stomach aches and the runs. I quickly got over milk but I held on to my one true love, cheese for many years. In particular, parmesan. Not the freshly grated stuff so much, but the powdery sprinkles I used to affectionately refer to as vomit cheese thanks to the smell. Such was my love for it, I sprinkled this “vomit cheese” liberally, till it just about resembled a freshly fallen blanket of (yellow) snow. In fact, I preferred my pasta with more parmesan than sauce. The texture and taste of parmesan on pasta took it to the next level in my opinion. The impending consequence of dairy consumption wasn’t as intense as the milkshake, but I knew it was time to call it a day.

Things have since become a lot easier for the dairy intolerant such as readily available plant milks like almond, cashew and rice milk plus the use of  cashews to make cheesecakes. There’s also a little known cheese substitute that vegans use called savoury yeast flakes (AKA nutritional yeast). This can be found in health food shops.

What are savoury yeast flakes?

Savoury yeast flakes are a yeast that grows on molasses or wood pulp. When ready, it’s harvested, washed then dried to stop the activation process. It is then crumbled or flaked. Savoury yeast flakes are not an active yeast like brewer’s yeast or yeast used to make bread. It also does not lead to yeast overgrowth or infection in the body. In fact, it’s choc full of B vitamins plus 15 different minerals and 18 amino acids. It is a complete protein.
It has a nutty, cheesy like flavour and can be sprinkled over popcorn, soups, toast, fries, veggies, stirred through rice, sprinkled over pizza or anywhere you would normally sprinkle cheese.

Since I like to find substitutes for my favourite things, I’ve been experimenting with a dairy free version of my old friend “vomit” parmesan cheese which uses raw (natural) cashews, Himalayan salt and savoury yeast flakes. Just 3 ingredients, blitzed in a mini food processor and you’re on your way to sprinkling your dairy free parmesan over everything your heart desires. I like to use Lotus brand savoury yeast flakes from my local health food shop.

I’ve been dumping sprinkling my dairy free parmesan cheese over my Low carb Italian zoodles and smiling with great satisfaction that “parmesan” and I have become friends once again, albeit in a much kinder (and less smellier) way. You could also use it on my Bolognese with zucchini spaghetti  if you wish for something heartier.

This recipe makes 1/2 a cup so you can try it out first and see if you like it. I’ve used 1 1/2 tablespoons of yeast flakes but it you find the taste isn’t strong enough on your pasta, simply add more.

In the meantime, I’ll be releasing a cheesy crackers recipe soon using these savoury yeast flakes so watch this space.


With love and gratitude,
Tash x

Why this is so good for you

Cashews reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, help prevent gallstones, help prevent age-related deterioration of eyesight, reduce the risk of colon cancer, increase immunity and reduce the risk of stroke.

Savoury yeast flakes help prevent cancer, enhance energy, help produce red blood cells, have antibacterial and antiviral properties, improve age spots, skin elasticity; and help prevent spina bifida and other major birth defects.

Himalayan salt contains all of the 84 elements found in your body. It is anti aging, increases hydration, promotes blood sugar health, prevents muscle cramping, strengthens bones, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, helps expel toxins from the body, helps reduce acid reflux and helps the intestines absorb nutrients.


Let’s create!

Dairy free parmesan cheese

Yield: Makes 1/2 cup


  • 1/2 cup raw (natural) cashews
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons savoury yeast flakes (nutritional yeast)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt


  1. Blitz all ingredients in a food processor till a fine crumb forms.

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  1. […] added some savoury yeast flakes (AKA nutritional yeast) which I wrote about in last week’s Dairy free parmesan cheese post. This gives some flavour to the crackers and a boost of vitamin B. If you have some savoury […]

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