I miss cheese. I’ll admit I stray, devouring an organic slice of cheese, only to “pay” for it later. Oh, food allergies! However, instead of doing completely without, I read cover-to-cover Miyoko Schinner’s recipe book, Artisan Vegan Cheese in order to make something I would hoped resembled cheese. Not quite ready for the hard cheeses in her book, I chose a soft cheese to experiment with. It would take three recipes to get to the final product of Cashew Chèvre, and I was leery!
The first recipe is the basis for most cheeses…creating Rejuvelac. I settled on quinoa as my grain of choice to ferment. Most grains can take a few days to sprout, but after soaking the quinoa just overnight, the grains had sprouted by morning! Already, I was ahead of the game. To finish the process, the liquid had to be fermented a maximum of 2 days.
The second recipe was for Basic Cashew Cheese. It was easy enough to soak and blend cashews with the Rejuvelac and salt, then process in a blender, and finally culture 36 hours. I slept as it sat in the fridge overnight, anxious to taste it in the morning. I must say, blech. But, it was VERY sour and fermented! Time for the next recipe.
The third recipe to make the actual chèvre required adding a bit more salt and nutritional yeast to my cashew cheese. Hmmm, not bad! After resting it in the fridge, the kids were allowed to try it. Not a winner I’m afraid! Since I am not one to waste, back into the fridge the cashew chèvre went until I could decide what to do. About 10 days later, I decided to slather some on bell peppers. I was completely surprised by the fantastic fermentation! It was comparable to the flavor of cream cheese, complete with tang. I begged the kids to try again. They did, and we have now since eaten it on bell peppers, soups, and anything else I can figure out cheese should partner with. Next time, I will try the Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese that uses a non-dairy yogurt!