Cashew what cheese? Cashew NUT CHEESE.
There are many a joke to be made about the wonderful world of nut cheese, but we’ll save those for another day.
I’m always in search of new ways to jazz up my diet. And by diet I mean, the foods I eat and not that I’m “on a diet”.
Ok, so back to the cashew nut cheese. I used to be into cheese, like realllllllly into cheese. Like take a bite straight out of a block of cheese, into cheese. In university one of my regular dinners was “quesadillas”. And ohhhh was it ever fancy. I took one tortilla shell, sprinkled cheese on it, folded it in half and microwaved it. Dinner is served, bon appetite!
These days it’s a wee bit different. I’m not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, but I don’t eat too much cheese. Most nutritionists choose not to eat cheese (or dairy in general) because it’s “mucus forming” and inflammatory, which is true, but mostly I find conventional dairy kinda gross, and the organic stuff is pricey. So, in my regular frugal fashion, I decided to simply make my own and make it vegan.
How to make cashew nut cheese.
Measure out 2 cups of cashews.
Soak cashews in filtered water for 2 hours.
Rinse and drain.
Blend cashews with 3/4 cup filtered water and 1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder in high powered blender on high for 30 – 45 seconds. This recipe suggests using some kombucha instead of water, so I added a little booch to my water so it was about 2/4 cup water, 1/4 cup kombucha. (Next time, I would do less water, maybe just 1/4 cup or leave it out altogether and just use 1/4 cup kombucha)
Line a large bowl with cheesecloth/nut milk bag to catch any liquid that drains from the nuts. Pour cashews into cheesecloth/nut milk bag.
Fold cheesecloth over the cashews and place in a warm location to ferment for 24-36 hours (shorter in warmer months, longer in cooler months). I put mine on the stove because this is Canadian winter and my entire apartment is an icebox.
At this step you can add whatever flavouring you want to your cashew nut cheese. Try experimenting with sweet or savoury flavours. My first round I decided to go au naturel. Some other options are herb and garlic, nutritional yeast and hemp or cinnamon and cranberry.
After the cashew nut cheese is finished fermenting, it’s time for the second ferment. Wrap in parchment paper and store in a sealed glass container for up to five days.
After the second ferment, transfer over to a fresh container and consume within four days.
So, now that you’ve got your cashew nut cheese, what the heck are you supposed to do with it? Why make quesadillas of course! This variation is just ever so slightly different from the one I described above that was a staple in my university diet. The first difference; it actually includes vegetables! We’re already off to a much better start.
Cashew Nut Cheese Quesadilla (vegan + gluten free)
Inspired by this recipe.
- cashew nut cheese
- handful black beans
- handful chopped baby tomatoes
- 1 chopped green onion
- small handful cilantro
- squirt of lime juice
- 2 tortillas (I used organic corn tortillas, which are gluten-free and non-GMO)
- tsp coconut oil
- guacamole (I quickly mixed 1 avocado, lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder)
Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium. Spread nut cheese generously on both tortillas (now that sounds dirty…). Add the other ingredients in a bowl (black beans, tomato, green onion, cilantro and lime), mix to combine and spread over one tortilla. Place in pan until toasty brown, about 3-5 minutes and then flip. Garnish with gauc and extra limes and enjoy!