Cheese

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I Just Can’t Get Enough (of that raw fermented stuff…)

Published January 27, 2012 by Polana Fowdrey

So, I’ve done Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Water Kefir. I’ve bought live probiotic powder and turned my hand to raw cheese; what’s next?

Yogurt, of course! This is something I will find very useful in my raw dishes. (Especially at breakfast, where I’m trying out things-that-are-not-smoothies!)

I’ve been doing my research and decided that first I will try Oat Yogurt. I’ve not done this before, so it will be a 24 hour experiment. I will let you know how it turns out!

Here’s what I’ve done:

In a ceramic bowl, I mixed:

2 cups wholegrain oats (I only had rolled oats but whole oats would be preferable as they’ve not been processed.)

3 cups water

the contents of 2 probiotic capsules

I’ve stirred the mixture together and covered it. Now I need to leave it  to stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

Tomorrow night I will take a look and see whether the mixture needs blending to make it smooth and creamy, or whether it is fine as it is.

I’ll blog my results of this experiment tomorrow!

UPDATE: 24 Hours later.

I uncovered my oat mixture and to be honest it just looked like uncooked porridge. I tasted it and there was none of the sourness I have been led to expect.

I decided to blend the whole mixture and add a couple more probiotic capsules (the powder from the inside) and leave it in the bowl for another 24 hours.

So, a bit disappointing really, but tomorrow might yield better results. Patience Poli, patience…

UPDATE 2: Another 24 hours later.

The yogurt looks a lot more like yogurt now and is rather sour to taste – more like I was hoping for.

I gave it a good stir and it looked right, so I added some frozen strawberries, soaked cashews and dried cranberries.

I now have a lovely yogurty breakfast, which I will have in the morning.

UPDATE 3: The following morning.

Yum! This is delicious!

Now I know how to do it, here’s the recipe:

Fruity Breakfast Yogurt.

Equipment:

bowl, blender

Ingredients:

2 cups Oats

3 cups Water

4 Probiotic capsules

Strawberries

Cranberries

Cashew nuts

Agave Nectar

Method:

Soak the oats in the water. Add the contents of the probiotic capsules.

Cover the oats and leave for 24 – 48 hours at room temperature. This depends on the temperature of your home. It will take longer in Winter.

Soak the cashew nuts for several hours or overnight.

Blend the oat/water mixture and pour into a bowl.

Add the cashew nuts, strawberries and cranberries (these are to taste so no precise amounts are given.)

Add a little agave nectar to sweeten if required.

Serves 4 – 6.

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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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