Cultured Nut / Cashew Cheese - Vegan Cream CheeseFeatured

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4 REASONS TO MAKE YOUR OWN CULTURED VEGAN NUT CHEESE, INSTEAD OF BUYING VEGAN CHEESE

Health - Most of the commercial vegan cheeses are made from processed ingredients, like oils, starch, and thickeners. If the vegan cheese is made from whole foods, without oil or minimal oil, then the price is very high. 

Price - Store bought cashew cheese will cost at least 4 times more than home made. 

Home made organic cashew cheese ~$4.5/lb* 
Store bought organic cashew cheese ~$18-20/lb
*Calculated based on organic cashew pieces price $7.99/lb

I got hooked for a few months on an oil/starch based cheese and ended up I gaining significant extra weight/fat.

Taste - Many vegan cheese recipes are just nuts blended with vinegar or lemon juice and nutritional yeast. They're great as healthy alternatives to animal milk cheese, but they are lacking the real cheesy flavor. Cultured nut cheeses taste like real cheese, and often even better, if the fermentation went right, it should taste tangy, kind of like a sour cream. I gave my cashew cheese to a non-vegans to try, they are also cheese lovers, they asked for more and greatly praised it. If meat and dairy eaters ask for more of vegan cheese you know it is a success.

Environment -  Commercial vegan cheeses are packaged in plastic, often in unrecyclable packaging, actually, I have never seen a vegan cheese in a recyclable or compostable packaging, while it is possible to package in compostable cellophane or plant-based wax. I do not consider plastic to be vegan, since plastic pollution kills and harms animals by the millions. Would be nice if vegan cheese companies also considered wild & sea animals, not just farmed/captive animals, but until then let's reduce plastic usage as much as possible.

EQUIPMENT
Blender*
 - Good news! You do not need a special high-powered, high-speed blender (such as Vitamix or Blendtec) for making any plant-based cheeses. 

NOTE: According to independent studies, "BPA-free" plastic claims by plastic manufacturers have been shown to be untrustworthy!  I recommend the $60 Oster Pro 1200* (has glass jar without plastic on the bottom) to avoid the many toxic chemicals from plastic from leaching into your food, will also not support the plastic manufacturing industry. Click here to watch our videos about "BPA Free" claims & Blenders.

Reusable Organic Cheesecloth - Our reusable cheesecloth is the most eco-friendly you can find. It is made the USA from 100% certified organic cotton grown in the USA The edges are sewn with 100% organic cotton threads and all packaged in certified compostable cellophane. Despite the claim of some nut milk bag sellers "nut milk bag is better than cheesecloth" it is actually much easier to use our reusable muslin cheesecloth for making nut cheese, then use a nut milk bag. It is easier and cleaner to pour and to remove the cheese from cheesecloth. I tried to use nut milk bag for making cheese and it was messy and hard to remove the cheese.

Easy
Fairly cheap

Cultured Nut / Cashew Cheese - Vegan Cream Cheese
Waiting time 1d 8h

INGREDIENTS

For 1 Batch(es)

Vegan Recipe

  • 2 Cups - Cashew (whole or pieces), soaked
  • 0.25 Cup - Rejuvelac or water with probiotic powder/capsule (remove capsule)
  • 0.5 tsp - Salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak - 2 cups of nuts (white nuts like cashew, blanched/peeled almond and/or macadamia will produce a white cheese) for about 4-8 hours, soaking is optional, but it helps to blend and make the nut cheese smoother when finished.
  2. Add ingredients into the blender - nuts, 1/4 cup (or little more to blend or just enough water to blend) rejuvelac* or water with 1 dose of probiotic powder, 1/2 tsp of salt (salt is very important for successful fermentation, eliminating or reducing salt amount can spoil cheese).
    *Rejuvelac is a more reliable choice than probiotic powder, and I think the cheese tastes better. 
  3. Blend - Very well, until very smooth, but do not overheat the mixture, since it can kill the fermenting microorganisms.
  4. Pour - The mixture on to the cheesecloth with a strainer underneath.
  5. Cover - Mixture with edges of the cheesecloth.
  6. Add - A weight on top (plate with water glass water jar), so it gently squeezes the excess liquid. This step is optional, may be even unnecessary, since gravity will push excess liquid anyway.
  7. Ferment - Place on the counter for 24-36 hours (time will depend on your room temperature - the warmer is temperature the faster it will ferment). For more tangy flavor let it sit longer (not longer than ~48 hours) at room temperature
  8. Storage - Remove the cheesecloth and place in a sealed glass container, then store in the refrigerator. After a day or two the cheese will become firmer.

Recipe notes

Quantity - 2 cups of nuts will produce about 1 pound of nut cheese.
Storage - Will store for about 2-3 week, in a sealed glass container, in the fridge.
Another way of fermenting - The nut cheese can be fermented in a glass container, but I prefer to ferment in a cheesecloth since it will strain the excess liquid and dry cheese a bit. 

NUTRITION FACTS

(diet, gluten free, lactose free)
Per Serving

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