Best Vegan Almond and Cashew Cheese Recipes: Dairy Free, Fermented
Nut cream cheese is a good substitute for diary based cheeses, but it lacks the hard texture and taste of a conventional cheddar cheese made with milk.
The good news is that you can make your own vegan cheese using nuts that are blended into a smooth and then cultured with acidophilus, the bacteria that ferments milk and produces yogurt, or with bakers yeast, probiotic powder, or wild yeast (sour dough process).
The fermenting is the key to creating the complex, acid flavor and thickened texture of conventional cheeses. Nut cheeses are a delight as pair well with bread, biscuits or dried fruit. These cheese can also be used in cooking (including pizzas) and as spreads on sandwiches.
Recipes for Almond and Cashew Vegan Cheeses are included.
Vegan Cashew Cheese Recipe Fermented with Rejuvelac
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in 6 cups of filtered water for 6-8 hours (or overnight)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup millet or wheat rejuvelac (grains are washed and then left to ferment naturally in water for several days, similar to a sourdough starter process. Rejuvelac is often available in health food stores)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Drain water from the soaked cashews and then add to a food processor or blender bowl with a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of rejuvelac. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until its very smooth and creamy. Transfer the mixture to a small glass bowl, or other non-reactive bowl. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature, for 2-3 days to ferment. Skim off any surface mold. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the yeast and press the mixed into a cheese mold (or small bowls) lined with cheesecloth or plastic wrap. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 6 hours the the refrigerator to harden.
Note: Various commercial varieties of cashew cheeses are available
Fermented Vegan Almond Cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 1 teaspoon light miso
- 10 g (1/2 oz) flax oil
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- black or green peppercorns (or cracked pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic powder (see tips below)
- 290 g (9 oz) raw almonds, soaked for 8-10 hours, drained, rinsed and skinned
- 1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder (used to start the fermentation - available in health food stores)
- coarse salt
Put soaked almonds into a blender with water, miso, and probiotic powder. Process for 1-2 minutes on a high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Drain the mixture through cheesecloth in a colander or a sieve. Collect the liquid as it drains. Fold the cheesecloth over the mixture and place a small plat on top as a weight to help squeeze out the liquid. Allow the mixture in the colander with a bowl underneath to ferment in a warm place for about 12-24 hours.
Next blend the yeast, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and nutmeg to form a dry powder. Then add the flax oil and the fermented almond mixture, removed from the colander, to the blender bowl. Blend briefly to combine well. Then press the cheese into molds or small bowls and refrigerate for 4- 6 hours.
Remove the cheese from the molds and roll in a mixture of peppercorns and ground salt to form an outer coating for the cheese. The cheese and be stored in the refrigerator and used for up to 5-7 days.
© 2013 Dr. John Anderson
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