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Herbed Macadamia Nut Cheese

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Herbed-Macadamia-Nut-Cheese served with fresh fruit~ raw, vegan, gluten-free, cultured ~

Some of my favorite cheeses are nut-based… ok, they ALL are nut or seed based since I don’t eat dairy products. But that’s beside the point. :)

My all-time favorite nut to use are macadamia nuts, but due to low availability and high cost, I view them as a real treat. Our local grocery store carries them in bulk, but they are so expensive and tend to be rancid. I have never understood how they can NOT store them in the refrigerated section of the store.

They are one of the highest fat content nuts out there, and they can spoil fairly easy. The good thing is that even though these nuts may be fatty, they contain more heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids than any other nut! So don’t shy away from them.

So, keep that in mind if you have to purchase them in bulk… taste test them before making the investment. In many ways, I find that macadamia nuts make some of the best cheeses because the flavor is neutral, the blonde color is beautiful, and the texture is spot on for creating firmer cheeses.

Again, (can’t stress this enough) taste test any and all nuts or seeds before making the cheese. If you leave any nut or seed lying around too long, they’ll turn stale and bitter; this will quickly ruin an otherwise delicious and nutritious nut cheese in a heartbeat.

I made this particular recipe for our Annual Halloween Party. And I am going to be very honest here… when I took it out of the fridge to plate it, I tried a little sample. I wasn’t sure if others would like it, for it had quite a strong taste after the culturing and then further dehydrating it had gone through.  I panicked inwardly then I had Bob taste it; he said it was strong, just like a real strong dairy cheese but good. With hesitancy, I plated and displayed it on the table with the rest of the foods.

Much to my relief, I had so many people approach me during the party saying that they LOVED the cheese. Even my Aunt Kathy, who eats the typical SAD (standard American diet) LOVED it.  I hope you enjoy this recipe, my friends. Blessings, amie sue

close up of vegan Herbed-Macadamia-Nut-CheeseIngredients:

Culturing base:

  • 2 cups (300 g) macadamias, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1 cup (216 g) water
  • 1 tsp (2 g) probiotics

Add-ins:

  • 1 Tbsp (5 g) nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp (6 g) Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup (5 g) fresh chopped parsley, rosemary, Thyme, or cilantro

Preparation:

  1. After the mac nuts are done soaking, drain, and rinse them before adding to the recipe.
    • Soaking the nuts will help neutralize the flavor and reduce digestive inhibitors.
    • Macadamia nuts don’t  soften, like other nuts when soaked.
  2. In a high powered blender combine the macadamia nuts, water, and probiotics. Blend until creamy.
    • If you detect any grittiness, keep blending.
    • Keep one hand on the base of the blender carafe and make sure that it doesn’t get too warm.
  3. Place a strainer inside of a bowl and line it with cheesecloth, allowing the edges to drape over the edge of the bowl.
    • Place a nut bag in the center of the cheesecloth and pour the cheese into the bag, close and pile the rest of the bag on top, then wrap the cheesecloth around everything.
    • If you don’t have a nut bag, you can pour the cheese mix straight into the cheesecloth, just be sure to double or triple the layers.  The nut bag is my personal preference but is not required.
  4. Place a weight on top of the cheesecloth ball.
    • It should not be so heavy that it pushes the cheese through the cloth, but heavy enough to gently start to press the liquid out.
    • I either use a mason jar filled with water or marbles for the weight.  Cover everything with a towel.
  5. Leave to ferment for 24-48 hours at room temperature.
    • Use the timing as a basic range. The culturing process can go slower or quicker than expected depending on the ambient room temperature.
    • Taste test the cheese throughout the fermenting process to find the “sweet spot” of flavor that you prefer. Be sure to use a clean spoon, so you don’t contaminate the cheese.

After fermentation:

  1. Once fermentation is complete, remove the cheese from the cloth and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Stir in the salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and fresh herbs.
  3. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

Options:

Serve as a soft-spreadable cheese:

  1. Serve in a bowl to use as a dip or spread.

Shape the cheese:

  1. Place the cheese into a mold and cover with plastic.  Chill overnight.
    • I used a food ring.  I didn’t need to oil it or anything.
    • After it has chilled, just lift the ring off and serve.

Dehydrate to create a “rind”:

  1. Dehydrate at 115 degrees (F) for 24 hours to form a rind around the outside of the cheese.
  2. Plate and serve.

2 thoughts on “Herbed Macadamia Nut Cheese

  1. Lronat says:

    Hi. I just made the herbed macadamia nut cheese with cilantro. DELICIOUS!!!! Do you have any “cheese” recipes that are nut free?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Lronat,

      So happy to hear that enjoyed the cheese recipe! Thank you for letting me know. I love the feedback. I do have some nut-free ones, just take a peek through them. Keep in mind that you can swap most nuts out for sunflower seeds. If you want to know for sure, just comment on the recipe you are curious about. I will help you through it. blessings and Merry Christmas. amie sue

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