If you are seeking dairy-free alternatives for cheese, I encourage you to try your hand at raw nut cheeses. I think you might be pleasantly surprised as to how easy and tasty they can be. I promise, I am not telling you…
There are just a few key ingredients and elements that can turn a basic nut into a “cheese!” Stay with me, I know for many of you this may sound bizarre but let your adventurous side shine through. I am right beside you in this crazy quest.
To help you better understand how we can make “cheese” from nuts, I will go over the key ingredients and talk about their role in this recipe:
Nuts are a healthy fat that coat the tongue which carry flavors evenly over the taste buds. They also play the leading role as the base of this “cheese” giving it that creamy texture.
Probiotics bring in healthy bacteria that are great for your digestive system and they are the magical ingredient that gives the “cheese” that fermented flavor. I have captivated you already, haven’t I? Probiotics come in powder form or in capsule form. I have only used the capsule version. They easily pull apart and I just pour the powder into a teaspoon. Once the recipe is mixed together, you leave the “cheese” to culture on your counter top for 24-48 hours. The longer it cultures, the stronger the “cheese” flavor will come through. Once you place the cheese in the fridge the culturing process slows down a tremendous amount.
Nutritional yeast –
This is optional but it adds yet another great layer of depth to the “cheesy” flavor.
I didn’t mix any herbs into this recipe because I wanted a plain cheese. But you can add your favorite herbs and spices to fit any occasion or craving. Adding fresh, minced herbs as you plate, is my favorite way to approach it.
This is the crucial step in creating a rind. The drying process takes about 24 hours. By placing the “cheese” in the dehydrator it creates a rind on the outside of the cheese. You can see the color difference between the outside and the inside. The rind is quite thick on mine.
I originally posted this recipe on 12/06/11, but added new photos along with better explanations for the preparation section. 04/02/15. Not to worry, the recipe remains the same! Can’t mess with perfection. hehe