You can find a growing selection of cultured cashew-based cheeses in health food stores.
When choosing a non-dairy cheese in the store, look for brands without added oils, fillers, additives, and preservatives. The best brands use organic ingredients, like cashews, salt, herbs, and spices. That’s it!
For those of you adventurous folks, cultured cashew cheese is really easy to make at home.
You can use this recipe as a basic formula, and add any flavors, herbs, spices, or other mix-ins to customize the recipe to your tastes and your dosha!
Here’s The Recipe!
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours, rinsed, and drained
- 1 probiotic–not prebiotic–capsule (I use this)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 lemon, juiced (optional)
- pinch of salt (optional)
- herbs, spices, and mix-ins of choice (e.g. garlic, green onion, black pepper, jalapeno, raisins, cranberries, turmeric, lime juice, rosemary, thyme, dill, basil, and on and on!)
- Place soaked cashews in high speed blender along with about 1/4-1/2 cup filtered water. You want to add only as much water as needed to blend until you get a smooth, creamy texture. It will be quite thick.
- Place cashew puree in non-metal bowl. Add probiotic capsule. Stir with non-metal spoon.
- You can either leave it in the bowl, or place it in a cheesecloth or nut milk bag with bowl underneath. This just concentrates it more, as some water will release as it dehydrates. Use the cheesecloth or nut milk bag if you want to make an actual cheese ball. If you just want a spread, it doesn’t need to be quite as thick.
- Place in dehydrator, and dehydrate at 90 degrees for 8-12 hours. You can even leave it to ferment for 24 hours. Your choice. If you have something else in the dehydrator, you can set it at 115, and it may be ready at closer to 8 hours. It’s pretty flexible.
- It’s ready when it smells slightly tangy and cheesy. At this point, you have cheese.
- Optional steps: add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and other mix-ins of choice. Stir well to combine, again using a non-metal spoon. This protects the probiotics.
Use it like you would creamy cheese!
You can make a cheese board. Roll the cheese into balls and create various shapes. Serve with vegetable crudite and your favorite raw and/or vegan crackers.
You can use it as a spread on raw breads or regular bread.
Use it as a spread on raw collard wraps or nori rolls.
Dollop it atop giant, rainbow salads, or raw vegan pizza! Yum!
Stuff it into mushrooms, cucumber cups, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery sticks, etc.
If you skip the lemon juice and nutritional yeast, you can take it a sweet direction with dates, honey, maple syrup, or agave…
The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.
Let me know in the comments how you used your cheese!
Recommendations For Your Dosha
Vata – This recipe agrees best with you of all the doshas. Loaded with creamy, oily, smooth cashews, you can eat this regularly. Add soothing lemon, and any variety of herbs and spices, and you are well on your way to a vata-pacifying meal or snack. Try not to have this with very dry crackers or bread, as these foods will be too drying for you.
Pitta – Your strong digestive fire can handle this. Cashews are not the best choice for you, so consume in smaller quantities. Pair with cooling and hydrating cucumber, bell peppers, celery sticks, and lettuces. Be sure not to add super hot, fiery spices, even though you will want to.
Kapha – Not the best choice for you. Consume in moderation. Have a little here and there, but don’t eat this whole recipe in one sitting. Your digestion will be very slow. Include black pepper, lemon, jalapeno, chives, garlic, and other heating spices to encourage your digestive fire to burn, burn, burn!
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