This is another post by my “virtual” intern Maggie Sloan, a vegan nutrition school graduate working her way toward becoming a Registered Dietitian.
I have learned how to cook some really awesome food since becoming vegan earlier this year. I love it! It’s so much more creative than the traditional American diet. I’ve eaten/made so many dishes I never would have thought about if I were not vegan. One of my favorites that I’ve made so far is cashew cheese!
Some people miss cheese when they become vegan. There are a lot of great vegan cheese brands out there now to help with this loss, for instance Daiya and Follow Your Heart. If you like eating raw, cashew cheese is something healthy you can make with just a few ingredients. This is totally new to me, but from the moment I heard about “cashew cheese,” I was intrigued. I imagined the process would be long and complicated, but it was super simple! I wanted to make it immediately!
The whole concept of cashew cheese sounds sorta crazy, but the key is soaking the cashews. That way they blend easier. (Although I did see a recipe where you didn’t need to soak them… Hmm.)
1 1/2 cups raw cashews. (not roasted or salted)
1 cup water
2-3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
dash of cayenne pepper
Place the raw cashews in a bowl and soak in water for at least 2 hours.
(I soaked mine for 3 hours, but you can soak them overnight or while you’re at work.)
Place the cashews and half of the water in a food processor/blender along with all other ingredients. Blend until desired consistency. (You can add more water if needed.)
And this is the final product!
See how easy?! Just soak cashews and blend everything together. It turned out so tasty and has tons of flavor! Some recipes tell you to refrigerate for several hours so it will set and become firmer, but you can eat it just like this. You can do so much with this cashew cheese. Eat it with crackers, as a veggie dip, a spread on a sandwich or wrap, eat it mixed in a salad, or whatever you desire. It’s so versatile and yummy.
The Veggie Queen footnote: After trying Dr. Cow nut cheese, I decided that I want to learn how to make great nut and seed cheeses. I have just started experimenting and made my first cashew and sunflower cheese, (the photo of it vanished or it would be posted. It was a bit firmer than Maggie’s cheese). I must say, that I have a ways to go before this cheese is going to satisfy me but this was a good start. I will keep experimenting until I get it “right”.
I recently attended a cooking demonstration by Chad Sarno who really knows his way around a raw kitchen and he uses a probiotic capsule for the fermentation. I am going to experiment with making my own rejuvelac from a gluten-free source. Sarno recommended dehydrating the cheese to form a rind. Here’s a link to his recipe. When I have something to report, you’ll hear it here.