Okay – so I’m not gonna lie. I’m obsessed with cheese of all kinds. Honestly, I’ve never come across a cheese I didn’t like (except American, which is probably 70 percent plastic, to begin with). Cheddar. Gruyere. Wensleydale. Emmental. Havarti. Blue. Asiago. Feta. Camembert. Gouda. Hell, even Limburger. No cheese is safe around me.
Needless to say, I know my damn cheeses. I search them out and travel further than any sane person should just to try a new type. And as a cheese enthusiast, I’m not going to lie to you. Nutritional yeast DOES NOT taste like cheese. It is the sad, shadowy doppelganger of your favorite wheel of parmesan that’s been painstakingly inspected and allowed to cure for a year so you can lovingly grate it over a thick, creamy bowl of pasta.
It’s not that nutritional yeast tastes bad. I actually like it quite a bit, and it works as a substitute if you’re looking to cut calories or dairy. But remember: if anyone tells you something made from nutritional yeast tastes like cheese, they’re a damn lying liar. And pretty much you shouldn’t take their word for anything after that.
That said, this pine nut parmesan is pretty damn good for what it is (and what it is, is NOT parmesan; that’s for sure).
So let’s start with the pine nuts. They’re a bit of a health food obsession of mine right now, and for good reason. They’re chock full of nutrients, especially vitamin A and lutein, which can improve your vision. Pine nuts also contain a lot of vitamin D and C, and are a great source of iron. These protein-rich buggers will also give you lots of energy, so you’re less liable to fall into the post-pasta position once you’re done eating.
Ah, nutritional yeast. As much as I love making fun of it, I can’t deny it’s got a lot of benefits. Nutritional yeast is what’s called a “complete protein,” meaning it has the 9 essential amino acids in it. Unfortunately, parmesan can’t hold a candle to that claim… It also helps lower cholesterol levels and aids in cancer prevention. Another point to nutritional yeast! And boooooo to cancer!
Bon Appetit! I made myself hungry. I’m gonna go buy some cheese, and maybe some nutritional yeast, if I’m feeling healthy today. But most likely just cheese, if I’m being honest. Writing this has just given me cravings that I can’t control at this moment. I’ll be healthy tomorrow and that’s the honest truth.
Now back to my last line pitch.
Ditch the dairy and add this to your next pasta dish. It’s salty and rich, the perfect topping to a marinara or pesto based dish.
Raw Pine Nut Parmesan Recipe
1 Cup Pine Nuts
1 T Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Sea Salt
- In a food processor, pulse until no large pieces of pine nuts remain. Do not over pulse! Alternatively, you can place the pine nuts on a cutting board and hand chop into smaller pieces and mix with the other ingredients in a small bowl.
Yield: 1 cup
Freshness: 1 month
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.