Cheese Substitute: Cashew Cheese!

2015-09-21 20.22.55

I’m a huge fan of this cheese, and always have some in my fridge. It works well as a dip (especially with some seasoning mixed in), or put right on noodles to make some mac and cheese. You can also make it extra creamy with more water and add some garlic and you have a nice creamy aioli. I clearly need to stop cooking so late at night, or learn to take pictures during the day, but don’t let the bad food photography get in the way of trying this amazing cheese!

I have include notes on fermentation below, although I usually skip this step to save time and because I like the creamy version. I also really like the flavor as is. However for a harder cheese you will want to ferment it and let the water strain.

I have also found this makes a great dip. Just add a flavor packet for dip seasoning. I’m a big fan of Basiks, and A Spice Above for seasoning dips. Then dip some nut crackers, or carrots, for a yummy snack.

Cashew Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3-5 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cashew nuts (make sure they are raw and not roasted or seasoned)
  • Optional - ½ teaspoon probiotic powder - (See Notes)
  • Optional - ½ lime juiced or 1 -2 tsps
  • Optional - a dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Soak the nuts overnight in enough water to submerge them and a pinch of salt (7+ hours). Cover with mesh or let a lid sit lightly on top. (See Notes on Soaking)
  2. Drain the water from the cashews with a strainer, rinse and add to the blender. Add enough fresh water to cover up to about ¾ of the nuts.
  3. Add probiotic, lime juice, salt and blend, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides if needed. Blend to desired consistency, I try to get it as smooth as possible.
  4. See optional fermentation notes, or Serve and enjoy.

 

Notes on Probiotics:

Probiotics provide healthy bacteria for your gut and are a great addition to your diet. Adding 2 capsules in the blending water enhances the flavor of the cheese and helps it last longer.  Capsules can be easily separated and poured in.

Notes on Soaking:

Nuts naturally contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that can make them hard to digest. Soaking the nuts overnight not only makes them easier to blend it helps to shed the phytic acid and neutralize  the enzyme inhibitors so their powerhouse of available nutrients for absorption.

Optional Fermentation:

Fermentation is what gives cheese its richer flavor. Once the recipe is mixed together, you can leave the ‘cheese’ to culture on your counter top for up to 24 or more hours.  The longer it sits at room temperature the more cheesy the flavor. For this step you will need to include the probiotics which are used as cultures to ferment your ‘cheese’ For my recipes I use Ther-Biotic® Complete by Klaire Labs since I already have them in the house.

To ferment the cheese place a strainer in a big bowl and line it with a nut or mesh bag and then pour in the cheese mixture after blending. Press out the water with your hands and tightly wrap the bag around the mixture. Place a small plate on top of the bag and then add a heavy can or weight on top of the plate to help it strain. Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit on the counter for 12-24 hours or more. The fermenting time depends on how warm your house is and how rich you like your cheese. Do taste checks to find your preference. The longer it sits, the richer the flavor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: