Say what? It’s not an oxymoron but rather a delicious treat made from raw cashews and because we use the fermenting liquid from the previous batch of vegetable ferment – there is no lactose or casein at all. When I say raw cashews, that’s not really true but that is how they are marketed. Raw cashews are steamed to remove the covering which contains a potential toxin so it’s a good thing that they are not raw. All nuts contain phytic acid which interferes with the absorption of minerals in our gut so it is recommended to soak the nuts prior to use. I soak them for at least 24 hours, often longer, in filtered water and I change the water frequently. When the fermenting process is done, I divided the cheese into 3 batches so I could flavour them differently. I add spices or veggies or fruit to flavour it. This is a matter of your own preference. I put garlic and onions in everything so that was the base of one of my chesses. Another batch got fresh berries and another one was loaded with herbs like dill, parsley, chives and lemon zest. Have fun experimenting and let me know how it went! Recipe below…..
FERMENTED VEGAN CASHEW CHEESE
2 cups raw cashews (or other nut/seed) presoaked
½ cup water, or liquid from a batch of lacto-fermented sauerkraut or pickles
Pinch of salt
Juice of one lemon (only if using just water as your liquid and not the other options as they will have the salinity and acidity required for a good ferment)
Place cashews in food processor and process well till a fine powder (or paste if using soaked nuts). Then add your choice of liquid along with a pinch of salt (more salt if using just water and less if using whey and possibly none if using fermented liquid). Blend until smooth paste.
NOTES: if using just water and not the other liquids mentioned, adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice as well as 2 or 3 dairy free probiotic capsules.
TO FERMENT: leave to sit in a glass bowl at a constant room temperature for 8 – 24 hours. Because my kitchen can get cold, I stick a heating pad under the bowl at very low heat or I set the bowl on a thick towel and wrap another towel around the bowl to retain a heat consistency, depending on the season. The longer it sits, the stronger it will become in taste. Usually this recipe can ferment up to 2 days. After fermentation is complete, refrigerate and consume within 5 – 7 days.