If you are a nut lover, there are so many ways to feed your fancy! Here is a unique recipe that creates a vegan and gluten free cheese-like spread for hearty crackers or crusty artisan bread. And covered with fresh herbs and spices, it is beautiful to boot. Get creative and play with the flavors!
INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE AT CULTURES FOR HEALTH
- 2 cups raw cashews, preferably organic
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (easily found at Trader Joe’s or bulk sections of grocery stores)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 packet Vegan Cheese Starter Packet
- Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cool, filtered water. Soak for 4 to 6 hours. To save time, soak in very hot water for 1 hour.
- Rinse thoroughly and add to a high-speed blender or food processor Add garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt and process until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add the water a little at a time until the mixture has a creamy and smooth consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as you wish. See notes below for several flavor options.
- Add the Vegan Yogurt Starter Culture packet and mix well.
- Use a spatula to scoop the cheese and place in a several layers of cheesecloth or an Organic Cotton Bag. Tie cheesecloth or bag with a rubber band tightly. Place a chopstick or long kitchen instrument through the rubber band to use as a hanger over a deep glass container.
- Place at room temperature for 36-48 hours, and up to 72.
- Once the cheese has cultured enough for taste, transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours to firm/harden and chill.
- When ready to serve, carefully unwrap from cheesecloth or bag onto clean kitchen surface. Gently use your hands to form small or large balls.
- Enjoy chilled with crackers or vegetables. Cheese will hold its form for several hours out of the refrigerator, but best when chilled. Leftovers keep well covered in the refrigerator up to 7 days (sometimes longer) - only consume if it smells and tastes pleasant!
- The longer the cultured cheese sits at room temperature the flavors becomes tangier and the cheese firmer. Play with timing but we found 36-48 hours is sufficient.
- Coat finished cheese ball(s) with chopped fresh herbs, freshly ground black pepper, or a spice mix (taco seasoning, herbs de provence, curry, etc
- It is served best very chilled but will keep out of the refrigerator for several hours.
- We recommend this nut milk bag to strain your cashew milk.
How will you serve your vegan cashew cheese?