Raw Cashew “Cheese”

Published January 26, 2012 by Polana Fowdrey

I haven’t eaten actual cheese for decades and don’t miss it at all, but as a vegan I have sometimes enjoyed a dairy-free alternative to cheese. It’s certainly a useful thing to have in the fridge, turning a simple salad into something a bit more interesting and nutritious and providing a great filling for a raw (or even almost-raw) sandwich.

I have adapted a recipe originally shared by Russell James (the Raw Food Chef) here.

Russell’s recipe uses macadamia nuts, which I absolutely adore, but they are a little expensive so, finances being how they are, I used cashews instead.

Here is my version, but I urge you to check out Russell’s (and his other recipes too – they are superb and always work out perfectly!)

Cashew Cheese

Equipment:

Blender/Liquidizer, Sieve, Bowl, Muslin (or Nut Milk Bag), Dehydrator (or fan oven – use fan only,) Ring Mould

Ingredients:

2 cups cashew nuts

1 cup water

2 probiotic capsules

pinch salt

2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (or 1 teaspoon Marmite (yeast extract) if you don’t mind a non-raw condiment!)

Squeeze of lemon juice

Method:

Blend the nuts and water together until you have a smooth paste.

Add the powder from the probiotic capsules and mix in thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag or a piece of muslin and place in a sieve, over a bowl. Place a plate on the top and a weight to squeeze the excess liquid out. I used a fairly full jar of coconut oil which seemed heavy enough.

Leave at room temperature for 24-48 hours. It’s a good idea to place a cloth over the whole thing so that no dust or unwelcome flying insects get in.

After 24-48 hours, unwrap the mixture and place it into a clean bowl. Add the salt, yeast and lemon juice and stir everything in.

Now pour the mixture into a ring mould. I put mine on top of a non-stick dehydrator sheet (on a DH tray) and placed it in the dehydrator for 24 hours to dry out a little and get a crust. Then I placed it in the fridge, where it lives whilst it is being eaten.

You can just put it straight into the fridge without dehydrating if you are in a hurry or don’t want a crust.

It’s delicious and can be customised with herbs, onion, garlic… the list is limitless!

I think this should last about a week, but ours won’t. Nom nom… =)

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