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The other day my hubs opened up the oven and said "Joy, that stinks"! I knew I was on to some good cheese-making by his comment! But just to be clear, you do not heat this cheese in the oven. The oven stays OFF. It is the perfect warm place for this cheese to ferment like a champ.
Ever since I had my first taste of cashew cheese a few years ago at Tori's Bakeshop, I've been wanting to make my own cashew cheese. Not just because it's tasty, but also because soaked and fermented nuts like this cheese, are easy to digest, making the nutrients easier to absorb.
But to be honest, I was quite intimidated by the idea of making it myself. It seemed somewhat of a mystery. Every recipe I looked up had a slightly different formula so I knew I would have to play around before I nailed it.
I'm pleased to tell you, I've nailed it and this cheese is absolutely wonderful. It has a creamy texture that is consistent throughout. You could totally trick a dairy-cheese lover into thinking it was a dairy-based cheese. I might just try this on my dad, he he he.
Whether you avoid dairy cheese or not, this cheese is for EVERYONE!
The texture is somewhere between goat cheese and cream cheese.
There is a slight bit of a rind, but it's so soft you can eat right through it.
Here's the full recipe and then be sure to read my tips below (including a step-by-step video!).
*NOTE: The key to get it super creamy is making sure you blend it really really well. It should be almost like cream when it's finished blending. I don't think it would work in a food processor, you need a high power blender like a Blendtec or a Vitamix.
If you can't find probiotics that have 30 billion CFU per capsule, you can just use 10 billion capsules X 3. Just crack open the capsule and pour it in. There are also brands of probiotics you can purchase that aren't in a capsule form, like Genestra HMF Powder.
You need to make sure you soak your cashews for several hours; the longer the better, so if you soak them overnight, that's ideal. Soaking cashews makes them nice and soft for blending but also, you will be improving the digestibility and the bioavailability of the nutrients. You also reduce the phytic acid which can otherwise bind with minerals and prevent their absorption, so reducing the amount of phytic acid in foods is a good thing.
It is imperative you use high-quality probiotics, or else it won't work; just like in my Homemade Coconut Yogurt which is one of my most popular recipes of all time! More often than not, when I get an email that the yogurt didn't work out, it's because someone used a cheap probiotic.
If you are sensitive to dairy and experience digestive upset or skin irritations (including eczema ), I would recommend going dairy-free and also making this creamy dairy-free nut cheese!
Depending on what kind of blender you're using, you may need to scrape the sides of your blender down as you're making it or use the wand to help it blend as I did.
Once it's been blended, pour it into cheesecloth or a nutbag like I did and tie a knot at the top.
Then leave it somewhere warm for 48 to 72 hours. I left it for 2.5 days before I put it in the fridge. I had to travel with it actually because we had a friend's wedding to go to this weekend!
I didn't leave it in the wire mesh strainer because after doing more research I read that metal can inhibit the fermentation process. Even though it was in this strainer for around 12 hours, it didn't make a difference.
And just in case you still need some clarification on this whole nut cheese-making thing, you can watch my step-by-step video where I take you through the process of making your own creamy cashew nut cheese!
Lactofermented foods are incredible for gut health.
We enjoyed this cashew cheese with some crackers, dried apricots, sliced apple, carrots and radish.
There you have it! Have you been making your own nut cheeses for a while? Hopefully I'm not the only nut cheese virgin here, lol.
Tell me some of your favourite nut cheese flavour combinations, or what flavour you are dreaming up for your nut cheese!
Have a joyous day!