Last Updated on June 3, 2023
My homemade Brazil Nut Parmesan (Vegan) is vegan parmesan-style nut cheese that’s super easy to make with only 5 ingredients including Brazil nuts. It’s “cheesy”, rich, nutty, and full-flavored vegan nut cheese that can go with pasta, salad, and more! Once you make this Brazil Nut Parmesan, you’ll never go back to the other store-bought highly-processed kinds!
This is how I “met” Brazil nut. It’s not a love story. LOL. But let me talk a bit about behind the story of the my Brazil nut parmesan.
I would have never known Brazil nuts existed until one day I saw “Brazil nut parmesan topping” on the menu of a local plant-based restaurant. I clearly remember thinking to myself “the idea of using nuts as cheese alternative is so brilliant!” ← good old days of being a vegan newbie!
Being an Asian person, nuts aren’t really a staple of my diet so I don’t really eat nuts as much as I should. But it’s safe to say, Brazil nuts are one of the few kinds of nuts that I consume the most…because of this delicious homemade vegan cheese!
When I first became vegan I was desperately in search for cheese alternatives — we vegans know what I’m talking about, right? So, soon after I tasted the Brazil nut parmesan at the restaurant, I started recreating my own. Over the course of years, the taste preference for my Brazil nut parmesan has changed slightly. But now, I’ve found the right blend and ratio of ingredients to go with just about anything!
Why Brazil Nuts Are Good for Making Vegan Parmesan?
Brazil nuts are perfect for making vegan alternative for the traditional parmesan cheese. Here is why:
- Delicious (obvious but very important!)
- Somewhat creamy
- Semi-crunchy texture
- Less process
- Easy to make
I have to say, the #1 reason for using Brazil nuts to make vegan parmesan cheese is for the richness!
In fact, Brazil nuts are very much high in good fat and the natural oil is what makes this vegan cheese rich, and slightly creamy. It’s also nutty and has a unique I’d call it “semi-crunchy” texture. Every time you bite into the bits of Brazil nuts parmesan, the texture is very satisfying!
I’ve made vegan parmesan using other nuts like cashews. But I can assure you that no other nuts tastes as good as the Brazil nuts when it comes to making vegan parmesan cheese!
What’s in The Brazil Nut Parmesan?
My Brazil Nut Parmesan has only 5 simple ingredients that you can easily find!
- Raw Unsalted Whole Brazil Nuts
- Nutritional Yeast
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Sea Salt
The nutritional yeast gives the “cheesy” taste as well as the umami flavor that you look for in any cheese. The combination of the taste of nutritional yeast and the richness of Brazil nuts are meant to be.
I also use onion powder and garlic powder to enhance the flavor but I use just enough so those flavors don’t overpower. The same goes for the salt. Most likely, you use Brazil nut parmesan to sprinkle over something. So, you don’t want it to dictate the overall flavor of the dish.
Not a fan of onion powder and garlic powder? No problem!
I’ve made this plenty of times just with 3 basic ingredients; Brazil nuts, nutritional yeast and salt. When made without the use of onion powder and garlic powder, it tastes very clean but still delicious, creamy and “cheesy.” In other words, you can modify the ingredients to cater to your taste preference!
What’s also great about this Brazil nut parmesan is the versatility. So, what can you use it for?
What to Make with Brazil Nut Parmesan
It’s pretty much a self explanatory…meaning you can use it just as how you’d use the conventional one. Here are some examples of what you can use the Brazil nut parmesan for:
- Avocado toast
- Garlic toast
I pretty much use it for any pasta dishes from Italian to Asian-inspired pastas! Some of my recommendation are to pair with is my Linguine with Kale & Lemon Caper Sauce as well as Vegan Tomato Miso Shimeji Pasta.
For salad, it literally works like a magic! Especially, when you don’t have much to put in salad, try some greens, onions with a splash of oil and vinegar of your choice and a sprinkle of the Brazil nut parmesan. You won’t believe how great it can be!
Other than the simple green salad, it’s also delicious sprinkling some on my Lemon Caper Savoy Cabbage Salad.
No matter what you use it for, the Brazil nut parmesan really elevates the taste of any dishes. By the way, if you’re a bowl-kind of person (note: I’m not), it’s a great addition to sprinkle it over your favorite creations!
Be sure to check out the “Step-by-Step Instructions (w/ Photos)” after the Printable Recipe!
Brazil Nut Parmesan
- 2 cups raw unsalted Brazil nuts
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4-1 tsp sea salt
- Place Brazil nuts in a food processor. Pulse them until coarsely ground. Important: Don’t grind completely just yet.
- Scrape the side of the food processor with a spatula. With the food processor off, add nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Pulse again until all ingredients are well combined and the Brazil nuts are finely ground (about the size of sesame seeds.)
- It’s ready to use or transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated.
- Brazil nuts are excellent source of healthy fat which is perfect for making vegan “parmesan” style cheese.
- Be sure to use raw and unsalted Brazil nuts.
- Nutritional yeast gives the “cheesy” flavor and umami to vegan cheese alternative.
- I use Nutritional Yeast (non-fortified) from Foods Alive. I love the fact that it contains no added vitamin B12.
- I use onion powder and garlic powder to give additional (more complex) flavor.
- Modify the amount of seasonings to your taste preference. For example, I like it not overly garlicky so I use more onion powder than garlic powder.
- If you prefer more plain taste, you could make it simple by using just Brazil nuts, nutritional yeast and sea salt.
- I recommend making it not too salty. I use 3/4 tsp sea salt so the Brazil nut parmesan will not over-season the dishes that I use for.
- Add some dried herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley etc. for variations.
How to Use
- My Brazil Nut Parmesan is very versatile so you can sprinkle on just about anything!
- I use it on pasta, salad, pizza, avocado toast, and garlic toast etc.
How to Store
- Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. It’s best to consume within 1 month or so.
Step-by-Step Instructions (w/ Photos)
1. Place Brazil nuts in a food processor.
Pulse them until coarsely ground. Important: Don’t grind completely just yet.
2. Scrape the side of the food processor with a spatula.
With the food processor off, add nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and salt.
Pulse again until all ingredients are well combined and the Brazil nuts are finely ground (about the size of sesame seeds.)
3. It’s ready to use or transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated.
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