Cashew Cheese Log

I've never met a vegan "cheese" that I didn't like!  There are hundreds of dairy-free cheese recipes available and I tried several years ago when I was changing my diet and searching for dairy alternatives.  I have created my own version of my favourite recipe that I believe is basic, no-fail, and simple to make.  It's perfect for anyone ready to give nut cheese their first try.  As bonus to an already tasty dish, the addition of acidophilis powder allows the mixture to ferment, making it a perfect probiotic food.  Fermented foods help build beneficial bacteria in the gut, and a healthy intestinal tract is a critical component to a strong immune system.  They boast numerous other benefits such enhanced digestion, improved mental health, and neurological support, to name a few.  Removing as much moisture as possible from the cashews will help achieve a firm result.  This cheese can be crumbled over a salad, added to a wrap or sliced and eaten with crackers.  The garlic flavour keeps you going back for more!  The recipe is below.

Cashew Cheese Log

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cashew cheese log

Ingredients

  • about 1/4 cup dry roasted almonds or pistachios (to roll in when finished)
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews or macadamias
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but tastes great with it)
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, dill, chives, or other fresh herb (chopped, not minced)
  • contents of 1-2 acidophilus capsules or 1/2-1 tsp acidophilus powder 

Directions

  1. Soak the cashews in water for an hour 
  2. Use a food processor to crush the almonds. and transfer to a plate.
  3. Drain and rinse the cashews.  After rinsing spread them out on a clean kitchen towel that has been covered with sturdy paper towel.  Place another paper towel over the cashews and pat dry.  Roll up the towel and apply pressure to remove as much moisture from the cashews as possible.  The drier they are the firmer the cheese will be.  
  4. Add the cashews and minced garlic to the food processor and process until smooth.
  5. Sprinkle in the probiotic powder and the sea salt and process again.
  6. Slowly add in the lemon juice, being careful not to add too much.  The batter should be mouldable, but firm.  Use less juice to keep it drier.
  7. Once all the ingredients are processed together, fold in the fresh herbs and blend by hand.  Using the food processor for this step will turn the mixture green.  It doesn't affect the flavour but it isn't very appetising.  
  8. Scoop out “cheese” with your hands and shape it into a log or ball.  Gently roll it in the crushed almonds to coat completely.
  9. Place the log on a plate, cover with a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours to ferment.
  10. Store in a sealable glass container in the refrigerator.  Keeps for about a week.