Making a cheese out of nuts is actually quite simple, and all you need is a few basic ingredients to get started. Once you have mastered this recipe, feel free to experiment with adding different ingredients to flavor your cheese, such as fresh herbs, honey, dried fruit, citrus zest, or even edible flowers, for a beautiful presentation. This cheese doesn’t firm up enough to be sliceable; its texture is more along the lines of a fresh goat cheese. Spread it on toast, savory crepes, or crackers; and serve it with olives, walnuts, and grapes on a cheese platter. Your friends will devour it without ever knowing it’s totally raw and vegan!
- Yield: 2 cups (500 ml)
- 2 cups (280 g) raw cashews
- ¾ cup (175 ml) nonchlorinated water
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ organic grated lemon zest
- 1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 probiotic capsules, or enough to equal 40 billion active cells
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill fronds, plus more for garnish or 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, or 1 teaspoon dried chives
- Put the cashews in a large bowl, cover with cold tap water, and let soak for at least 4 hours, up to 12. Drain and rinse the cashews.
- Put the cashews in a food processor, add the nonchlorinated water, and blend on the high until completely smooth (this may take several minutes), scraping down the sides periodically. Add the garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon zest and juice, and blend again until fully incorporated.
- Scrape the cashew blend out into a nonreactive bowl (glass is best). Empty your probiotic capsules into the cashew blend, and stir in with a nonreactive spoon. Fold in the dill and chives.
- Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and put it in a warm spot, such as on top of a radiator or inside a gas oven with the pilot light on. Your cheese will be ready in 12 to 24 hours (the time will vary depending on the temperature). Taste it: the cheese is ready when it is tangy and delicious.
- You can mold your cheese by selecting a container that you like the shape of, lining it with cheesecloth or plastic wrap, spooning the cheese into it, and packing it firmly with a spatula. You can also roll the cheese into a log shape and then roll it in herbs or spices, such as cracked black pepper to create a distinctive flavor. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 6 hours before unmolding and serving. The cheese will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.