Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cashew Almond "Cheese"

What unbelievable texture for a non-dairy cheese!
I'm always looking for that perfect plant-based "cheese." Any time that I get nostalgic for dairy cheese all I have to do is remind myself of a dairy cow's miserable existence and I'm over it – just like that!

This recipe is a keeper but you do have to plan ahead when you make it. Look at the texture! And there are no additives to make it thick (meaning no expensive agar flakes). It could use a bit of seasoning; I just haven't decided what would be best. With its creamy texture it would be good for something like enchiladas or stuffed shells. It spreads well on crackers and would make a beautiful presentation at a vegan "cheese" and wine party.

1 cup raw cashews
1 acidophilus capsule
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds (soaked overnight)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil

Finely grind the cashews and add 1/2 cup water and the contents of acidophilus capsule and puree until very smooth. Transfer to small bowl, cover and let it ferment for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, drain the almonds that have been soaking and puree until smooth. Add the fermented cashew mixture, lemon juice, and salt and process until mixed. Scrape into a small oiled oven-safe ramekin. Drizzle top with a bit of olive oil and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly toasted and dry on top. Refrigerate tightly covered for up to one week.

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