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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flavored Raw Cashew Cheese

In keeping with the other day's post of DIY and getting to know yr food and the process that goes into producing it, here's another experiment I tried in making my own raw cashew cheese!
Using this post as a guide, I soaked my raw cashews for 8 hours or so during the day and blended them up that night in my (again, not fancy) food processor with the water, garlic, salt and lemon juice. I transferred it to a ceramic container and left it in my pantry for 24 hours. While the recipe calls this step "fermenting" the cashew cheese, I couldn't really detect much difference in the smell or texture after a day. It might have firmed up a bit.
The next day, I divided the mixture into three - I scooped some into plastic wrap with smoked hot paprika, chili powder, and red pepper flakes:


Another batch was mixed with fresh chopped dill (still using it up!) and black pepper:


I also left some plain in the container.
I had some of the dilly cashew cheese spread onto a roasted potato for lunch yesterday and I'm excited to taste the others.


I know some vegan companies that sell apparently tasty cashew cheese but they are incredibly expensive. While I do own a dehydrator, I'm a little intimidated by it (let's hope that changes soon) and opted for this recipe because all of us can make it!  No special equipment beyond a food processor is needed; nor do you need to buy rejuvelac or another product to speed fermentation. Maybe some other time I'll get really into it and try a different method but this is totally passable!
I'm thinking of maybe making a cashew cheese pizza with the plain stuff.
In re: the rest of the dill, most of the huge bunch is still on the counter in a glass of water ("Thanks for putting my MOST HATED vegetable or whatever in my FAVORITE glass," G says) but I did make a small dent with the cheese and these savory dill/nooch muffins based on Hannah's spring herb muffins.


I've made these before and always vary the recipe a little, depending on what I have. I used dill and onions this time, with walnuts and subbing 1/4 cup of nooch for the daiya. They're always good but I bet they're even better with the basil Hannah recommends!

21 comments:

  1. Ooh, cashew cheese! I've always wanted to make it but am too lazy to do so. But I'm particularly interested in the cheese made with fresh dill - umm, YUM!

    Oh, and you're not the only one who's intimidated by their dehydrator. I was so intimidated that I sent it back - ha! Maybe I should buy it again..

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  2. This.Is.Awesome. I've not tried cashew cheese (again, the price). I wonder how they'll taste after a few more days of "fermenting"!

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  3. OMG yum!!! They look so good! I have really been wanting to make some new raw things and cashew cheese sounds like a great place to start!

    I wish I had a dehydrator. I've been dying to make raw crackers and breads and whatnot. And fruit leather. And veggie chips. OMG I need one, lol!

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  4. I love cashew cheese! You can get probiotic capsules and use the innards to 'culture' it. The probiotics give it a really cheesy type smell, although the texture is still soft. I got my recipe from Tal Ronnen's cookbook (Conscious Cook) and everyone loves it, even omnis.

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  5. My husband hates dill too. WTF. I really want to get into making vegan cheeses too... I'm intrigued. I even have a vegan cheese cookbook somewhere.

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  6. I've had cashew parmesan in a restaurant, and it was good, but this creamy stuff looks AMAZINGLY good. Great on a potato and I bet it would be great on bagels and "sammiches" too, not to mention pizza. I think I'll have to make this some time. Good idea to portion it out too; I wonder if you can freeze it (?).

    What's the deal with not liking dill? Next to cilantro, it's my favorite herb that I never tasted until I grew up, and fresh is the best.

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  7. I love your adaption of the muffins! I'm gonna have to try your take on them next time, since I don't often have Daiya on hand, either. Using nooch instead is a great way to make these more of an everyday sort of treat. :)

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  8. Wow, these turned out great! What fun! I've been meaning to try a "goat-cheeze" style cashew cheeze, I think I merge the recipe I was going to use with this method.

    "Most hated veggie in his favorite glass" LOL...poor G! :D

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  9. Those look wonderful! I keep meaning to try out homemade cashew cheese (& even have a big bag of cashews in the freezer to prove it), and your herb blends are motivating me even more. Just have to remember to soak them... :)

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  10. I love homemade cashew cheeses! They're so easy and delicious. At my last birthday party, I had a fancy vegan cheese and wine spread (with all sort of cheese from Teese, Cheezly, Daiya, etc), but the cheese that went the fastest was the homemade cashew cheese. All the lacto-ovos and omnis LOVED it!

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  11. This sounds spectacular! I've never had cashew cheese and must try it. It's very cool that you're making your own stuff like this.

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  12. What what! This looks so amazing and the recipes seems so easy. I am definitely going to try and make some this weekend, I'm really excited. Thank you for sharing this!

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  13. Ashlae, I haven't sent mine back, as it was a gift but I haven't even taken it out of the package! What a dope.

    Ingrid, I'm excited to see if they change at all! I almost feel like I should leave them out overnight again. But I don't want to make myself sick.

    VAVA, I had high hopes for my dehydrator as well but I never seem to have the time to sit around for 15+ hours. You could always try the oven with the lowest setting/ door open method.

    Wizardess, interesting, thank you! I'll check out the capsules.

    S&S, they remind me of your pub cheese that I made and liked so much, only less tangy and nacho-y.

    miss Rachel, I was wondering if it froze well too...because it's very rich and I can't eat too much. maybe I'll try it and let you know. It WAS good on the potato - so good that the potato was kind of bad but I ate it anyway, with more cheeze! (PS I love cilantro too)

    Lauren, thanks!

    Hannah, you can probably figure out that they weren't super cheezy but they were still really good! I've never actually even tried Daiya!

    Rose, yeah! I wanted to make a goat cheese too! Are you using the recipe from Veganize It? Her's looked awesome.

    Eileen, thanks! I can't keep a huge bag of cashews in my freezer for too long, or I'll eat them! It's much better to make cheeze and impress people :)

    Bianca, I remember yr post about that. Totally classy! Glad to hear it can win people over.

    molly, thanks :) I like to DIY when I can and when I have the time. The sense of accomplishment and pride is better than the cheeze...

    Luminous, Holla! Yeah, it was really easy. I'm impatient about waiting 24 hours for things but if you stash it away in yr pantry, it's easy to forget about :)

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  14. I was aiming for one from MeloMeals blog, but I'll have to check out Jen Shaggy's recipe too, now that you mention it. Her recipes simply rock!

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    1. Oooh, I just checked it out. I love that it uses sauerkraut! That one looks great too.

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  15. Somehow I missed this. In the last few weeks I've started making cashew sour cream/yogurt (from Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipe) on a regular basis. Yum! You have to cook it a little bit, though, but it's awesome for use in hot dishes, as well as extremely tasty on its own. The end result must be very similar to what you made here. I've seen those recipes for real fermented raw cheeze products but, heh, you try it first!

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  16. Thanks for the mention! I'm happy you liked the recipe! :-)

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  17. Zoa, I recently saw a raw coconut yogurt I wanted to make but it seems a little intensive. maybe the cashew one will be better.

    Nicole, it was great! Thank you!

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  18. Looks very delicious! And a savory muffin! I've never made those. Beautiful pics as well.

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  19. Shen, I like savory muffins but there are certainly fewer options. Basically I like all muffins with equally distributed insides.

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