Friday, April 27, 2012

Cashew Cheese - So Good, So Dairy Free!

I came across this recipe from the Raw Freedom Community Board and just had to try it when I saw the picture of this marvelous cheese.   This recipe comes from the .  

This cheese was amazing!  I decided to take it to one of my kids classes and hand out samples to those who weren't dairy intolerant and asked them what they thought.
  Everyone thought it was real cheese and loved it.   This recipe is definitely a keeper.  

This recipe called for using a spring form pan.  I wrote the instructions in for using the pan put I placed mine a regular bowl and made individual cheese balls instead.  

2 cups cashew soaked
3/4 tsp probiotics dissolved in 1 cup warm filtered water
2 Tbsp small flakes of Red Star Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp sea salt

3 Tbsp coarsely crushed peppercorns
(white, green, Pink Peppercorns, black)
1/2 Tbsp coarse sea salt

For an Herb Cheese try adding this to your cashew cheese:
1 Tbsp minced green onion
1/4 - 1/2 tsp lemon juice(depending on how tangy you like things)
 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, large flakes
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp chopped fresh basil (or more to your taste)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or more to your taste)
Dried basil and thyme for the crust
Soak cashews for 12-14 hours in water.  Use enough water to just cover the cashews.  
( I did soak mine almost 24 because I got busy, and it still worked out great.)

Drain off the water.  In a blender, add cashews warm water with the dissolved probiotics.
Blend on high until smooth and no chunks.
(You will see that I needed to process mine a bit longer.  I found chunks!)

Scoop into a glass bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm location for 14-16 hours to culture.
Once again, I got busy and it sat for 24 hours.
Still good!

Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, nutmeg, and sea salt.  Stir well.  

In a small spring form pan, sprinkle peppercorns on the bottom of the pan.
 Scoop your cheese on top.
This is where I used a dish.
  I lined it with wax paper, but that wasn't a great idea.
The wax paper got soggy.  Next time I won't line it with anything.

The original recipe calls for letting it chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.  I let mine set up in  the refrigerator for 3 days.  Same busy and forgot about it.
Even after sitting for days the cheese was still soft.  This cheese is definitely a schmear type cheese.
 I used my cookie dough scoop to make individual balls and rolled them in my topping instead.
I used pink peppercorns and parsley for some of the balls and four peppercorn blend on another.

If you are using the spring form pan, unlatch and sprinkle the rest of 
the peppercorn on top and sides of the cheese.  
Slice into wedges for serving.   
Garnish plate with drizzled aged balsamic vinegar and your favorite gluten free crackers.
  It is so easy to make and sooooo worth it!!!!

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