When I first went vegan, I heard the plant-based community wax poetic about nutritional yeast. I’d read many accounts describing the yeast’s remarkably cheesy flavor, not to mention its stellar nutritional profile, and I was decidedly intrigued. Nutritional yeast is used in a variety of vegan dishes and condiments–from mac n’ cheese to this vegan parmesan cheese.
Also called “nooch,” this mystery ingredient eluded me for a long time, despite my attempts to locate it. I was determined, though. So determined, in fact, that I made my way to the closest health food store, bought a huge tub of brewer’s yeast, and set to making a “cheesy” tofu scramble.
Now, reader, brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast are not the same, and what followed was a very painful few days of consuming an inedible scramble. I even subjected my poor parents to the dish!
This sunflower seed vegan parmesan cheese is nothing like that infamous anecdote. Tangy, salty, and yes, cheesy, this condiment makes for a delicious topping to just about anything. Pasta, salads, popcorn…the possibilities are endless! Just don’t forget to look at the label before buying your nooch 🙂
Sunflower Seed Parmesan
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Put sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse a few times, until they have broken up a bit but are still coarse.
2. Add remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until the mixture resembles parmesan cheese–it shouldn’t take more than a minute or so. Make sure you don’t run the processor too long, or you might end up with savory nut butter!
3. Parmesan cheese should be stored in fridge, and should keep for at least a week.
Also by Molly: Vegan Almond Butter Gravy
Related: Super Easy DIY Vegan Cheese
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Photos: Molly Lansdowne