When you live on a dairy free lifestyle, recipes using cheese are obviously a problem. Cheese was one of my foods prior to my health issues and there are many days that I miss a good, cold slice of cheddar. There are several dairy free options out there but in my area they are hard to find. If you do find one, it’s highly processed. Fortunately, there are many people out there creating AWESOME vegan cheeses. They are a little work, as I imagine real cheese would be, but totally worth it. Someone sent me a pin on Pinterest for a vegan cheese and I found myself over at Rockin’ The Stove. At their site, there was an amazing post for various vegan cheeses: almond feta, cashew goat and cheddar. I was really interested in the goat cheese so I modified it, just slightly, and fell in love! I can’t wait to try the other cheeses from the post. Here’s the original link to Rockin’ The Stove’s Vegan Cheese post.
Cashew Cheese (modified from Rockin’ The Stove)
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp tahini (or sesame seed oil)
2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
- In a bowl, cover cashews with filtered water. Let soak overnight or for about 6-8 hours. Rinse cashews thoroughly and place in a high powered blender.
- Add in oil, lemon, tahini, salt and water. Blend for about 5-6 minutes or until completely smooth.
- Using a strainer, spoon cashew mixture into a cheese cloth in strainer. Tie up ends of cheesecloth. Place strainer over a bowl to catch any excess water.
- Let cheese rest at room temperature for about 8 hours. Chill in fridge for about 4 hours. Place cheesecloth onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Form cheese into a log or circular shape. Bake at 200F for about 45-55 minutes or until cheese is slightly firm to the touch but still soft in the center.
- Let cheese cool and remove from cheesecloth. Roll cheese in parsley flakes. Keep refrigerated
*Note: the cheese will start to “melt” if left out of refrigerator. Place back in fridge to harden. It is said that this cheese will last 2 months in the fridge but I never have any left for that long!