Cashew Cheese

During my Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training, we were challenged to eat vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and alcohol free for the entire 7 weeks. I normally eat gluten, dairy, sugar, and alcohol free, but for the YTT course I tried to reduce my meat intake as well. Since we were spending many long hours at the studio I thought it might be nice to spice up my salad with some vegan cheese. It was important for the practice to eat light meals since were practiced all day on the weekends, but to still get in some fat and protein. Nobody likes to exercise on a full stomach. Blah!

I had been dreaming about the cashew cheese 🧀 I ate at @greenspacecafe since last April, but I always felt overwhelmed by the cheese-making process (I thought it would be gross or labor intensive) so I avoided it. I could not have been more wrong! Give this recipe a try! You won’t be sorry!

Ingredients:

• 2 cups (240 g) raw cashews;

• 1 close garlic, minced;

• 1/2 tsp garlic powder;

• 1 lemon, zested;

• 2 lemons, juiced (about 1/4 cup or 60 ml);

• 2 TB (6 g) nutritional yeast;

• 1/8 tsp sea salt;

• 2-3 TB Italian herbs spice blend;

• 2 TB (30 ml) olive oil; and

• 1 TB (8 g) finely minced fresh dill (to be sprinkled on top).

Method:

Step 1: Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cool water. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to soak for 12-20 hours;

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Step 2: Once soaked, drain cashews and add to food processor. Add all other ingredients except the dill or other garnishes of your choice;

Step 3: Process this mixture until creamy and smooth. Then taste and adjust seasonings as needed;

Step 4: Place a think kitchen/hand towel over a medium mixing bowl;

Step 5: Use a spatula to scrape all the cheese on to the tea towel/cloth. Gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a “disc.” Secure with a rubber band;

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Step 6: Place in refrigerator to set for 6-12 hours;

Step 7: To serve, unwrap and place on a clean plate. Sprinkle the dill any other garnishes you choose. It is fragile, so handle gently; and

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Step 8: Eat cheese chilled with crackers or vegetables. Cheese will hold its form for 1-2 hours out of the refrigerator, but it tastes best when chilled. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Note: If you are sensitive to lemon or garlic as many people are, be more cautious with your portions and only add a little at a time.

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