Cheese is one of the most difficult things to substitute when opting for a dairy-free or vegan diet. This recipe is the simplest of the cashew cheese recipes that I found, adapted from Dr. Alejandro Junger’s “Clean Eats” cookbook. Cashews, are a very versatile nut, and after soaking and blending them, they’re truly creamy. Who would have thought? Nutritional yeast (aka “Nooch”) is an inactive yeast grown on molasses, basically a fungi that is dried with heat. It’s a good source of vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, and protein. Low-fat and gluten-free, this addition gives a cheesy flavor and richness to any dairy-free dish (think mac ‘n cheese!)
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
2 Tbsp filtered water
1 capsule probiotic powder
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)
Soak cashews for 3 hours. Drain and discard the soaking water.
Blend the cashews, water, and probiotic powder. Blend until smooth and thick, like a paste. Use as little water as possible. Form into a ball and wrap in a cheesecloth and let this sit on top of a strainer overnight at room temperature.
Evenly incorporate the lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt. Form into a ball again with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.
When ready to eat, roll the ball in the chopped fresh herbs and evenly and gently press into the cheese.