Where is Alton Brown when we need him?
If I could, I would sit down with that man and pick his brain about cultures. And I don't mean cultures in the anthropological sense, but rather those ubiquitous one-celled organisms we call bacteria—the stuff that makes cheese (and feet) stinky and yogurt tart.
Recently, I've been working on another yogurt recipe (to come next week!), but in the interim have dabbled in the making of cultured nut "cheese." I used a recipe from Carmella Soleil that I found in her book Deliciously Raw: Easy Recipes for the Omni Blender. The book accompanied my high-powered Omni Blender which BTW really busted a move on this here cashew cheese. Just look at the smooth texture!
All You Need to Make This Cheese
- Raw Cashew Nuts or Macadamia Nuts
- Allergen-Free Probiotic Capsules
The recipe can be found here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Carmella's recipe online calls for rejuvelac. Further on down in her notes she mentions that water can be used in place of rejuevelac. Rejuvelac is a general term for a fermented liquid purported to improve digestion of food. It is commonly prepared using whole wheat, rye, quinoa, oats, barley, millet, buckwheat, rice and other grains. If you are gluten-free, stick with using water for this recipe and/or use rejuvelac made from a certified gluten-free grains. I just used water. Easier peasier.
Once cultured, you can enjoy your "cheese" as is or mix in herbs, spices, salt—whatever you want! There's a world of possibilities. I think I stuck to thyme and dill and threw in some salt and nutritional yeast. Voila, spreadible, edible cheese. Next go-round I'm thinking pepper jack!
The Million Dollar Question
"So, how does it taste?!"
Well, quite like cheese actually—like cream cheese or that Alouette stuff. Kinda blew my mind. My husband approved. I took a batch to a barbecue last week and even our friends liked it.
For the probiotic I recommend Ther-Biotic® Complete by Klaire Labs. I am checking around for a non-dairy cheese culture to experiment with next time—don't even know if one exists ... do you? I'll let you know what I find. The culturing time depends on how warm your house is and how "ripe" you like your cheese. I opted for a milder cheese.
Another Recipe to Try
Happy cheese making!