Simple 3 Ingredient Cashew Cheese Recipe ( Raw & Vegan <3 )

Raw Vegan Cheese Recipe

Here’s a simple 3 ingredient raw cashew cheese recipe for cheese making beginners that is a simplified version of my other Epic Cheese ™ post… which is more of a personal endeavor in making a “superfood cheese”.
After you’ve mastered this check that one out to get really serious about lacto fermenting your own nut pates and Raw Vegan Leberwurst pastes.
Also note that this does not taste like health food… It’s actually delicious, keeps you lean, and you don’t have to count calories. Oxymoron food for the win!
You can do this to any nut but cashews are the easiest for beginners because they have a lot of simple sugars that will feed the bacteria. The second best beginner nut is raw coconut flesh.
Note again that these are beneficial bacteria that will keep you healthy and young. The human organism consists primarily of bacteria. In fact you carry more bacteria cells than human ones, and no, not all bacteria are bad. Lacto fermented foods like (raw) kimchis, etc… will aid in re-establishing your natural gut flora. You need beneficial bacteria to do this. Including this in your diet is (in my opinion) superior than popping pills because these foods are highly active (living) and start doing their magic as soon as you eat them. Finding good supplements that are all they’re cracked up to be is tricky (too much marketing hype taking advantage of consumer ignorance) aaaand it’s way cheeper!
Also the cashew nut is a great nut for feeding your little colony of pro-biotics because the sugars in this particular nut provide easy food for them. It’s a good simple nut… and because the end product is a fermented nut it will not be a hard fat to digest. The fats in it are easily assimilable by the body because they are “pre-digested” and the enzymes in the food aid digestion.
You can read more on the subject of lacto fermentation in my other posts.
Now that I’ve gotten the summary out of the way, here’s the recipe!

The Ingredients (Links to quality sellers)

*Raw Cashews
There was some controversy a while back that raw cashews are really not raw (not always), because the nut must be treated with heat during processing… This is the case with many outlets. From my research the above is one seller who’s quality I trust.

*Raw Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a very medicinal and “miracle” food. Among it’s many, seemingly countless, benefits it is also a very good oil to take to loose weight. It shifts your bodies metabolism to a higher gear and promotes weight loss…
That aside it is included in this recipe so that the cheese hardens after you place it in the fridge. During fermentation the cheese “bubbles” and rises like bread does (given the right environment, like yogurt fermentation). When this happens you catch it at the right time and place it in the fridge where the coconut oil causes it to harden in place (coconut oil gets hard in cool environments) and this results in a fluffy happy cheese for your consuming pleasures. The science is simple! <3

*A Starter
This is obtained from the water of lactofermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, kimchi, etc. You know that water that’s always left behind? Yeah, that stuff… Well, never throw that away because you can use it for making nut cheese!
Sauerkraut water is the best… If you buy sauerkraut/kimchi from a store make sure that it is actually raw. Many will, unfortunately, pasteurize it… which I don’t understand because pasteurization sort of defeats the purpose of these foods.
Another excellent starter is raw nut kefir. Which is super easy to make. That basically involves taking milk kefir grains (they can be vegan… don’t worry, they’re just called that), and making a “cashew milk” (blend cashews with water + a dash of clear agave nectar ), and letting the grains sit in the milk for a day or two.
You can also use coconut water kefir. Which involves taking the water from young coconuts and dropping water kefir grains into it and letting that sit for a week. That makes an excellent mineral, electrolyte, etc… rich drink. It’s good if you do a lot of sports.
For all of these, doing it yourself is cheaper than buying it at the store. Health food can be a rip off.
At any rate, there are a few options. Pick your weapon of choice… Just make sure it’s really “raw” otherwise the cheese will fail.
In this case I’m using cashew “milk” kefir.

The Recipe:

In A Blender…

*2 Cups Starter

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe

*1/2 cup coconut oil
(The more you use the harder the cheese will be, but the less it will “rise”. If you don’t have a controlled “warm” environment, like a food dehydrator or yogurt maker then use less.)

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe

**Blend that shit like a boss!

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe

*Add a whole bag of cashews

**Blend it again… The desired consistency is that of goose poop.

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe

Repeat again until you fill your container a little more than 1/2 full. If you fill it too full then the cheese may rise too far and start crawling out.
The ideal containers are ones that are air tight.
Optionally mix in spices. That’s awesome!

*Place containers in a warm dark environment where they can be kept warm-ish such as a food dehydrator or yogurt maker. If you have a food dehydrator then you can temperature control it. The cheese does best when it’s warm and toasty.

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe

*Let it sit overnight. You should start seeing air bubbles in it. When it’s risen about 1/2 it’s size place it in a fridge to harden.

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe


Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe

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37 /B/romments

  1. Raged January 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Looove making cashew cheese. So good to have around all the time.

  2. Cat
    Raged June 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    wow your site is awesome, I can’t wait to try making your cheese! Just a question about using some cheese from the last batch to develop the flavour…..can you freeze this cheese like you can with a sourdough starter?

    • Raged June 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Hey Cat,

      I’ve never tried doing that before, but I would assume that if you can do that with sourdough starter then it would work for cheese too.

  3. Jackie
    Raged July 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    How much is a whole bag of cashews? Or does it matter? I’m going to try this out for the first time. Thanks!

  4. Phlegmbot
    Raged November 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    “From my research the above is one seller who’s quality I trust.

    *Raw Coconut Oil
    Coconut oil is a very medicinal and “miracle” food. Among it’s many, seemingly countless, benefits it is also a very good oil to take to loose weight. It shifts your bodies metabolism to ”

    FYI: You mean “whose” not “who’s”; it’s “a miracle food” not “‘miracle’ food.”; “Among its” — it’s means it is; “lose weight” not “loose weight”; “your body’s” b/c your metabolism BELONGS to your body — “bodies” is plural of body.

    Hope your cooking is better than your grammar. ;]

  5. Raw food junky
    Raged December 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Can you soak the nuts before blending them up like goose poop or do u not recommend that?
    What you think about soaking then dehydrating again then using them in recipe

  6. nat
    Raged December 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    You don’t need to soak them when making cheese. It’s better you don’t, and also pointless since it’s a fermented food (when finished).

  7. Julia
    Raged December 28, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Hello, thanks so much for this recipe, I have been wanting to try an actually fermented vegan cheese for a long time! I made mine with one cup of raw cashews and a half cup of sauerkraut juice and just a spoonful of coconut oil because I didn’t want to make a ton my first time out. It tasted really yummy, but it did not rise at all. I made it a second time and added a bit of the first cheese but other than that kept the proportions the same, and it didn’t rise again. Am I using too little starter do you think? Also, I don’t have a yoghurt maker or anything to control temp…would room temp be too cold for it? Thanks again!!!

    • Raged December 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


      Possibly use more cashews and less sauerkraut/starter. It’s the sugars in the cashews that cause it to rise.
      ALSO, yes. If it’s too cold it won’t rise. A great (probably better than yogurt machine) alternative is to get a reptile heating pad / sprouting pad (heating mat). That will give you more liberty with what type of jars you can use, and how much you make.

  8. Julia
    Raged December 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Awesome, thanks very much!

  9. Cubuwu
    Raged March 10, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Coconut oil is really expensive here in spain, do you know if I could use a mild olive oils instead? I know it wouldn’t firm up the same but maybe if I added a bit of agar…?¿?¿? Also, I’ve made unfermented cashew cheese before, and I’ve always liked it best with a little bit of red pepper, smoked paprika, garlic and lemon juice. Do you know if any of these things would react with the kefir and cause it to lose any of it’s qualities? Would I have to add any additional ingredients at the start of the fermentation process, or stir them in at the end? Thanks XD

    • nat
      Raged March 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      You can add all these things (the spices you mention). You don’t really need to use oil if it’s not available to you. Just add less water.

  10. Rhonda
    Raged April 1, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    do you melt the coconut oil before using it?

  11. cristina
    Raged July 24, 2014 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Why this containers in the last step are marked as ‘no’ ? I think that’s a basic step that we are missing!! I would like to know. Thanks.

    • Raged July 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I write ‘no’ on the containers so people don’t eat the cheese before it is finished. :)
      It’s not really a step… unless you live with cheese hungry people.

  12. leafycafe
    Raged September 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    what temp and for how long? I’ve got it at 95 in my dehydrator and worried it is too hot and I’m heading to bed for 7 hours. The goose poop tastes great!!

  13. Raged May 1, 2015 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    I used roasted cashews that have salt in them because that’s what I had and I’m quite an impatient person. Plus, the consistency came out milder than the goose poop you described. Fail?

    • Raged May 4, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. If it’s still relevant to you…
      Roasted should be ok (no fail!), but you can just leave it out longer to ferment (will take longer).

  14. meital
    Raged August 10, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Hey Nathalie,

    I have a sourdough starter on the go in the frigde…. do u think I could add a bit of that to get fermentation going?

    • Raged August 10, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      I am skeptical of sourdough starter because it makes it taste very “different”. I have not yet figured out how to use that properly. Very little (like a teaspoon) may work — I might have used too much.

      Alternatively if you have water kefir that actually works very well. Been doing that now.

  15. Sonya
    Raged October 4, 2015 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    Hi there
    A few questions

    1. Can you use a few grains of vegetable culture (such as Lactobacillus plantarum) with water or another liquid (sugggestions?) as the starter liquid? I can order buy vegetable culture frozen at my local health shop.

    2. Also I bought some cashew cheese and it was made from activated cashews – using activated cashews will work won’t it?

    3. If I wanted to add fresh flavouring like fresh dill or garlic should I add it before or after fermenting process?

    • Raged October 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      1) Yes. Any culture will work. Water kefir works amazingly (very fast), coconut water kefir also (you can buy that at places like Whole Foods), sauerkraut water — that’s the water sauerkraut ferments in — (or any other fermented vegetable) works. If it is frozen it may need to ferment longer. I would suggest saving part of the “cheese” as starter with each batch. That way you develop your own culture and it gets better every time you make it. The fluffyness (air holes, when it grows) usually happens with the second or third batch.

      2) Yes.

      3) It will ferment slower if you add herbs to it. It will still work, and usually tastes better if you fermented with the herbs.

  16. Colin Brwym
    Raged March 9, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    synthesizing a recipe from various sources, but this is the most non-cryptic, easy to understand website i’ve found on making nutcheese with kefir grains. many thanks for sharing your nutcheese journey with the world!

    i’m attempting this in the morning with almonds… BUT i have some questions..

    Firsteses: will the almonds give the kefir grains have enough sugar to eat generally? i know to make the starter i should add sugar, but cursory Googling leads me to believe there is twice as much sugar in cashews… contemplating adding some maple syrup or coconut milk to the recipe

    Secondsly: i live in a well-heated apartment, but prone to chills sometimes. about 19 66 degrees is a the rough average for ambient temperature, but can sometimes dip to the low 60s. in your experience does kefir need 95 degrees or more to thrive? or does a cooler ambient temperature just take longer to bubble?


  17. zac
    Raged March 18, 2016 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Will this cheese melt well if i use it in a cheese toastie?

  18. Raged October 5, 2016 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic stuff, really great idea to make it with the cultures for those good bacterias.

  19. Simply_Me
    Raged March 28, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Would apple cider vinegar ferment nuts?

  20. Evelyne
    Raged May 17, 2017 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the recipe. It’s completely addictive ! I started mine with home made ginger ale as the starter. It’s a bit liquid probably bcs I added only little coconut oil. I’m ready to explore the variations on the recipe. ?

  21. kate
    Raged January 5, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Another thing… mentioned that you have to add a starter to the coconut ‘water’ to get it to ferment. No need. Just let it sit in the fridge in a jar for a while, and it turns into this amazing coconut kefir, on its own. try it.

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