simple vegan cashew cheese
Before I started making my own cashew cheese, I thought it was a very complicated process and that I could never make it myself at home. After I finally decided to give it a try, I was so happy I did! It ended up being the best cheese I've ever made!
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 - 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- content of 1 probiotic capsule
- juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
- 1 tbsp. chickpea miso
- some olive oil
- cheese cloth
- optional: some pepper, saffron, walnuts, dried fruit, dried herbs or flowers for decoration
1. Soak the cashews in water for about 6 hours and then drain all the water.
2. In a food processor, combine the soaked cashews with the nutritional yeast and process until it's silky. If necessary you can add 2 - 3 tbsp. of water so it mixes better.
3. When it's nice and creamy add the content of the probiotic capsule and mix for a few more seconds.
4. Transfer the cheese mass into a clean glass bowl, and cover with a cheese cloth or dish cloth and a rubber band. Leave the glass bowl in a dark place at room temperature for up to 48 hours, to let the probiotic cultures grow. The longer you let it rest, the cheesier it will taste. Depending on the room temperature, it might start molding, if you let it rest for more than 48 hours, so make sure you process your cheese mass after this time.
5. Remove the cloth from the glass bowl and make sure there is no mold (green) on your cheese mass. If you only let it rest for 48 hours or less, this should not be a problem.
Add the juice of the lemon or lime and the chickpea miso to the cheese mass and mix well using a fork or spoon. If you want to, you can also add some saffron (1 tsp.) at this time.
6. Cut the cheese cloth into 6" x 6" squares and equally rub a little bit of (up to 1 tsp.) of olive oil onto the cheese cloth squares. This will prevent the cheese from sticking on to the cloth later.
7. Prepare some glass or porcelain dishes by lining them with the oiled cheese cloths. You can use one big dish to make one big cheese or a few smaller dishes. You can use any shape. I like using round dishes. I usually make 2 - 3 small to medium dishes (about 4" diameter) to make different flavors.
You can sprinkle some pepper or herbs on to the cloth to make a pepper or herb crust.
8. Using a spoon, put the cheese mass into the dishes you prepared. Tap the dishes to create an even surface. You might have to use a spoon to even the surface.
9. Sprinkle some more pepper or herbs on the surface of the cheese. When you're done, fold in the corners of the cloth to cover the cheese.
10. Now you can either put the dishes with the cheese in a paper bag or leave them as they are to let them harden in the fridge. Leave the cheese in the fridge for at least 1 week or up to 3 weeks. The longer you wait, the more cheese like it will become. If you only want to wait for a few days, you will have cream cheese. The longer you let it rest, the harder it will become.
11. After 1 - 3 weeks you can take the cheese out of the dishes and remove the cheese cloth and put it on a plate instead. I usually cover the cheese only with a cheese cloth to store it. It will continue hardening. Although the cheese won't really go bad if you leave it in the fridge, it is best to eat it within 3 -4 days.