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)
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
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.
In A Blender…
*2 Cups Starter
*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.)
**Blend that shit like a boss!
*Add a whole bag of cashews
**Blend it again… The desired consistency is that of goose poop.
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.
*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.