First Try: Cheeze Balls

by Sherri Koehler on November 27, 2010

My job to prepare for Thanksgiving meals as a child involved stuffing sticks of celery with cheese spreads. I was partial to the port wine and smoked flavors. I had a couple of years where cheese was the last hold out to my becoming a vegan, but I’m generally good without it. As a vegan I honestly don’t miss cheese the way I thought I would.

A friend of mine, Dave (who has posted several recipes here), has for a few years now been making cheeze balls or dips to bring to parties. In honor of my Thanksgiving heritage of stuffing the celery sticks, I decided to give them a try myself this year. The results were pretty darn tasty and attractive!

The base for both flavors involved soaked cashews, silken tofu, blanched almonds, and a pile of nutritional yeast. I also used some white miso, fresh lemon juice, and mustard powder to provide some saltiness and the sharper bite. Everything was processed very thoroughly in the food processor to make a smooth paste. I did end up drizzling in a little bit of olive oil during the processing when things got a little too sticky.

The smoky cheese ball relied upon a generous amount of sweet smoked paprika and a little bit of Hawaiian sea salt. These things gave it a slightly salty, very smoky flavor and a rich orange hue.

Smoky Cheeze Ball

The herbed cheese ball had more white miso for the saltiness and some fresh parsley added in while processing. This gave the cheese a hue similar to hummus, but with a faintly green cast from the tiny speckles of parsley mixed in.

Herbed Cheeze Ball

Both cheese spreads were put into the fridge to chill. I even stashed them in the freezer for an hour before attempting to make balls. This way the paste would be extra cold while I tried to form into balls with my warm hands. This worked really well and I was able to make very even shapes. The smoky one was rolled into toasted walnuts and the herbed one was rolled through some toasted almonds.

They went great with crackers and looked nice in a serving dish from my childhood! The smoky one was a real hit and most of it was eaten. The herbed one was good, but I think I’d like to play around with the flavors even more.

Crackers & Cheeze!

I had leftover spread that I did put into some celery sticks making my trip down memory lane, Thanksgiving Edition, complete!

Celery Stuffed with Cheeze!

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