I had a brief stint with fermented seed and nut cheeses early on my journey, using mostly sunflower seeds and almonds. Neither Don or I were really impressed at the time, so I quickly forgot about it.
Recently, my interest was rekindled when someone posted Chad Sarno's Cashew Cheese Au Poivre
. I was still a little hesitant, remembering my failed experiments, but curiosity got the better of me (especially after reading how yummy it was!) I decided to take the plunge and give raw nut cheese another chance. Don't know what I was doing wrong before, or perhaps it was just a matter of what type of nuts/seeds I used, but this Cashew Cheese was a whole different story. Boy oh boy, is it ever delicious! And the texture is so like the 'real' thing!
Basic Cashew Cheeze
3 cups cashews, soaked 12-14 hours
3 capsules probiotics
2/3 cup fresh rejuvelac (see instructions below)
In high speed blender, blend the soaked cashews with probiotics and rejuvelac until smooth.
Line a sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Transfer the mixture to the sieve, drape the cheesecloth over the top, cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to ripen for 14-16 hours.Season according to one of the following recipes (or come up with your own variation!)
Alternatively, shape the mixture into a round, place in a covered container, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or until it firms up.
Store in fridge in airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.
Here's the cheeze mixture freshly out of the Vitamix...
... cozily wrapped up in cheesecloth.
Then after some 16 hours of culturing.
You could sub the probiotics with some miso; the idea is to give the culture a kick start.
If you don't have rejuvelac, fresh water would also work.
It is key to use as little liquid as possible for best results in terms of texture.
~ You may want to adjust the culturing time, depending on how 'strong' you like your cheeze.
Once you have your basic Cashew Cheeze, you then get to come up with whatever flavors you want: chive, sun dried olives and fresh basil, rosemary and thyme, or jalapeño pepper. Mmmmmmm... So many variations to play with! For my part, I opted for the following...