Have you tried your hand yet at making vegan cheeze*? Does cheese making seem daunting? Some recipes can be, but many are ridiculously simple and can be made with staple plant-based pantry ingredients amp; a blender or food processor (no fancy equipment or ingredients necessary).
There are so many varieties and ways you can play. Different nuts or seeds, added flavors, fermented or not. This recipe is a relatively quick and easy one. It can be fermented if desired, but I usually just make it the quick way. Feel free to get creative with endless flavor varieties… some of my top suggestions are: jalapeño, chive, or cranberry! Yum!!
Now let’s dive in! Try this as a dip on a cheeze platter / board, spread on toast (with some fancy toppings like zucchini soaked in olive oil, marinated amp; sautéed mushrooms, avocado, tomato / onion / capers, etc) or a sandwich, as a pizza topping (I love it with roasted butternut, broccolini, and / or carmelized onions).
*I (and many folks in the plant-based community) spell cheese with a “z” to signal that this is not dairy cheese
Yield 1 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups Cashews, soaked (strained and rinsed)
1 tbsp filtered or spring water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt (I primarily use Himalayan pink find ground or real salt)
1/2 tsp fine ground black pepper
optional flavor add ons: chives, jalapeño, cranberry, etc.
Cover cashews with filtered or spring water.
Soak cashews overnight (for at least 8 hours)
Strain water out from cashews and rinse cashews with filtered or spring water
Add cashews and all remaining ingredients to food processor or high speed blend and process for approximately 3-5 minutes,nbsp;stop occasionally to push down the cheeze that builds up on the side of the food processor basin. Process until desired texture is reached.
If not fermenting, feel free to add flavor add-ons like herbs, jalapeños, cranberries now and blend or stir a bit longer to incorporate.
Store in a sealed glass container in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks.
Serving tip: drizzle a little olive oil and herbs (dried or fresh) on top at serving
If you’d like to ferment it for some added probiotic gut flora goodness:
Once the cheeze is food processed, transfer to a glass container (a ball jar is perfect) and cover with cheese cloth (folded a few times over to keep unwanted friends out) or a clean rag or napkin. Secure the cheese cloth over the jar with a rubber band to keep out unwanted friends.
Set on the counter out of direct sunlight and in a space that is room temperature. Too hot and it will ferment too fast, faster is not a good thing with fermentation, and / or go bad… too cold and it will dramatically slow down the fermentation process.
Let ferment for 24 hours, or until desired tanginess is attained.
Add in desired flavor twists after fermentation to prevent potential spoilage.
Another option still… Get fancy and form your chèvre into a round or a log and dehydrate to create a rind. This step can be done whether or not you ferment the cheese. It does however require a dehydrator.