Before I get into this delicious vegan cashew nut cheese recipe, lets talk about food in general. Over the past few years I’ve really been looking at what I eat and where it comes from. My whole life I’ve avoided red meat simply because I don’t feel good when I eat it, it slows down my digestive system and I feel tired because of it. But recently I tend to avoid it because of how the animals are treated. The only meats I do eat are poultry, fish and occasionally bacon if I know it’s quality, hey I’m far from perfect. chicken is just as bad as beef, but for now it’s still in my diet. After watching various documentaries about food, where it comes from, the truth about raising animals for food, the health of those animals and the amount of food waste there is in the world, it’s making me really take a moment to think about what I consume regularly. I eat way more plant based meals each week and meat has become a luxury I consume less often.
I have not become vegan, or plan on becoming vegan, I am taking a better look at what I eat, realizing where it comes from and what goes into making it. Yes I do eat dairy, milk and cheese, no I’m not cutting it out of my diet, I’m just trying to consume less of it and replace a few meals with plant based alternatives. Overall I’m trying to be more conscious of my food choices, not just with meat but with produce too, trying to keep it local as much as possible.
I found this recipe through instagram. I like to follow food bloggers on instagram and snapchat for meal inspiration and Erin Ireland is one of them. She recently inspired Jillian Harris to include more plant based foods in her diet and venture into becoming “vegan-ish”and that’s when I went to Jillian’s snapchat to discover her making nut cheese with ingredients and directions given to her by Erin Ireland. I thought it was totally crazy to make cheese from nuts and I had to try it out for myself! Turns out it’s totally easy and tastes so good. I can’t say you should compare it to real cheese, but I will say it’s just as satisfying in depth of flavours, creamy texture like goat cheese and the perfect snack at a party.
2 cups raw cashews
175ml non-chlorinated water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 probiotic capsules or enough to equal 40 billion active cells
3 tablespoons fresh dill minced
non-reactive bowl and spoon (glass bowl, wood spoon)
course black pepper for garnish
Place cashews in a large bowl, cover with non-chlorinated water and let soak for 4-12 hours. Drain and rinse with non-chlorinated water.
Blend drained cashews in a food processor with 175ml non-chlorinated water until completely smooth, scraping down the sides, it may take a while. Add in garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and zest and blend until well combine.
Remove mixture from blender and place in a non-reactive bowl, glass is best. Empty the probiotic capsules into the mixture and stir well using a non-reactive spoon, wood spoons are great. Lastly, fold in the minced dill.
Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and place in a warm spot for 12-24 hours. The time will depend on room temperature. Taste it! Your cheese will be ready when it’s tangy.
You can shape or mold your cheese using a container that you like the shape of, or you can simply roll it into a log and crust it with black pepper for garnish. If you choose to mold it in a container, let it set for at least 8 hours before serving.