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This recipe yields a soft, creamy cheese that is perfect to use a spread or as a dip. If you are familiar with cream cheese, it has the same basic texture. As you can see in the photo to the right, when molded, it will hold its shape.
As you might have already figured out, this recipe is dairy-free. The base is created from soaked cashews which gives it that perfect texture. You can use other nuts instead, just be aware that there will be flavor differences.
For those of you who are new to raw food recipes or just new to nut cheeses, I want to quickly touch on a few notes here. To create the “cheesy” taste, I used lemon juice and probiotics. The probiotics also aid in the fermenting process. And they add great health benefits so I suggest that you give it a try so your body can reap the rewards. :) Below, in the ingredient list, I provided a link for the one I used. If you don’t have that particular one or already have another brand on hand, use what you can get or have. This probiotic powder comes in capsules, so you will be emptying them out into a teaspoon. I had to empty seven to get the amount I needed.
The fermenting / culturing process can take 24-48 hours. There are two factors that come into play. The climate where you live and how strong a “cheesy tang” taste you like. After 24 hours, take a peak and do a tiny tasting. Once you put the cheese in the fridge, the fermentation process slows down big time. So get it to the stage that you like before chilling.
This cheese has a pretty mild flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes and basil are a marriage made in culinary pantry heaven. Be sure to use sun-dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil. Ok, off you go…skuttle into the kitchen and get busy. Be sure to look through all the photos below for more ideas on what to do with this cheese. :)
Cheese base and fermentation:
This is the probiotic that I used but you can use any brand that you have on
hand. I had to open seven capsules to create one teaspoons worth.
After blending the cheese base to a smooth cream, pour into a nut bag. You can
use cheesecloth instead. After years of making these cheeses, I prefer to line my
container with cheesecloth, but pour the base into a nut bag. This makes it
simpler for removing it once the fermentation process is over. This is just a preference.
Oops, forgot the cheesecloth, do as I say, not as I do. hehe
Be sure to put the colander inside of another bowl to catch any liquid that may
drain out. Close the top of the nut bag / cheesecloth and put a weight on top.
The purpose of the weight to put some pressure on the cheese mix, helping it
to drain any liquid that releases. Don’t make the weight too heavy that you start
to see the mix oozing through the cheesecloth.
Food rings are a fun tool to have on hand. Cheap investment that reaps big rewards.
I decided to only mold 3 and keep the extra in a dish to use for a quick spread.
Before removing the food ring, be sure to place the cheese on the plate or platter that
you want to present it on. A bit more difficult to transfer once freed.
I think this cheese spread is so beautiful.
Let’s take this cheese to another level. If you have any left over, spread it out
onto the teflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator. Score into crackers and
dehydrate at 115 degrees (F) for 6-8 hours or until dry. These will not be
sturdy crackers, rather crumbly to be honest, but greatly enjoyed with a salad.
You can also, chop it up into crumbles to sprinkle over your salad. So many options!