Lately I have been consumed with the idea of making my own cheese. It started with homemade ricotta and then I decided to try my hand at vegan nut cheese.
Making nut cheese is ridiculously easy. It is a little time consuming, as you have to wait while your nuts soak and then wait for your mixture to culture and then finally wait for all the flavors to meld in the fridge.
The basic recipe for cultured cashew cheese is just raw cashews, water, and probiotics. Some recipes call for rejuvelac, which is a fermented liquid that typically contains gluten in it. I just used water – simple! But as I said, I was looking for an herby, garlicky spread, so I doctored it up with lemon juice, a touch of vinegar, some nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs. I used a combination of fresh thyme, chives, oregano, and parsley but you could use the herbs you prefer and if you don’t have fresh, dried will work well too.
If you can buy cashew pieces instead of whole, do it. They are typically cheaper and you are just going to grind them up anyway. You can soak your cashews anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. I, being impatient, opted for 4 hours. I have no idea if this makes any difference in the overall product.
You need probiotic capsules. Make sure they are allergen free and shoot for something around 10 – 15 billion