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!)
Blender/Liquidizer, Sieve, Bowl, Muslin (or Nut Milk Bag), Dehydrator (or fan oven – use fan only,) Ring Mould
2 cups cashew nuts
1 cup water
2 probiotic capsules
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (or 1 teaspoon Marmite (yeast extract) if you don’t mind a non-raw condiment!)
Squeeze of lemon juice
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… =)