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Glorious Vegan Nut Cheese

Posted Sep 19 2011 12:07am
Back in my pre-vegan days, I loved cheese. On any given day, there would be a wedge of cheese in the refrigerator- a creamy reblochon or a sharp shropshire blue or a simple piece of edam or soft-spreadable Alouette. Once I gained the full knowledge of the horrors & cruelty & pure heartbreak of dairy production, no piece of dairy cheese could ever taste delicious again.

Of course, there are amazing vegan substitutes for cheese like Daiya nowadays, but sometimes I crave a little wedge...

So what's a former cheese-lover to do? The answer is pretty damn simple. Make your own fabulous cultured nut cheeze! Guess this was always somewhere on my to-do list, along with making vegan kimchi and once I conquered that I was on the fast-track to fermentation. And once my Vita-Mix arrived, I had the tools to make my own glorious vegan cheeze. I found some adapted recipes from The Sunny Raw Kitchen and voilà!

Here they are just flavored
Peppercorn & himalayan sea salt being molded
I varied the recipes a bit with extra probiotics instead of rejuvelac, but definitely want to try that next time. These were all cashew nut based- one with peppercorn, the paprika one based more on an Alouette flavoring with added white wine and one herb flavored. They fermented in a warm spot above the 'fridge for about 16hours and then the real fun begins- adding all the yummy flavors. The hardest part of all- was waiting for the cheeze to really firm up in the 'fridge. Had to wait about three weeks, though they were definitely ready for snacking in about two days as a soft spread...The beauty of fermented food is the pungent taste but also added health bonus of probiotics. I have all kinds of nutty cheezy plans dancing through my head...apparently cashew based will always be softer, plan on experimenting with pecans soon!

Finished product three weeks later

Do yourself a favor and make some cultured nut cheeze now!
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