Simple Cashew Cheese

Top view of cultured cashew cheese at 2 day mark.

Feeling more confident now that you understand how dairy-free cheese is made? It’s seriously simpler than you think! This particular method only requires 3 key components: a base, a culture starter and salt.

In this recipe, a quinoa rejuvelac acts as the culture starter.

*What? You don’t have rejuvelac handy or have any idea what it even is? Head here to learn more about this probiotic beverage and make your own.

Oh, she’s alive alright!

A wide variety of culture starter can be used to make your vegan cheese. Yogurt, probiotic capsules, leftover brine (with active microbes, not the store bought kind!), water kefir and even a ginger bug just to name a few. Results will vary depending on the culture used.
I would love to hear all about your experience!

I found culturing in cheesecloth with weight on top had the best result when came to a flavourful cashew cheese. Oxidation is hard at work to develop those savoury, cheesy notes.  Although this method was a bit messier and I tend to lose a bit of the product to the cheesecloth or nut-bag. It does yield a firmer cheese at a faster rate.

A modest smear for the camera.

Alternatively, I have had success culturing in glassware instead of cheesecloth. Good excuse to try both methods!

I love this simple recipe for many reasons – it’s easy, versatile and interchangeable but mostly it ages like a real cheese! After just 2 days of culturing, you’ll get a creamy, tangy dairy-free cream cheese spread. If you’re into a funkier variety, let it go for a few more days and the flavour will deepen.

Tasting your cheese with a clean utensil is the best way to find your sweet spot!

A four-day culture in the summer is just right for me. A variety of natural flavouring can be incorporated at this point – try garlic, lemon, chives or nutritional yeast.

Already cheesy, savoury and full of umami at this stage, stay tuned for a few more ways to flavour, shape and age your cultured nut cheese!

 

Print Recipe
Cashew Cheese - with Quinoa Rejuvelac
A simple cashew based vegan, grain free cheese using traditional cheese aging and bacterial culturing methods. This recipe yields a versatile cheese that ages with time. Enjoy it as a spreadable cheese, sliceable log or a grateable hard cheese.
Prep Time 8 hours
Passive Time 2+ days
Servings
8oz cheese wheels
Ingredients
Prep Time 8 hours
Passive Time 2+ days
Servings
8oz cheese wheels
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together in high speed blender, add a little rejuvelac at a time.
  2. Pour mixture into a glass container, cover with nut bag or cheesecloth and store in room temp away from light.
  3. Check and taste daily, on day 2 it should reach a tangy, hardy flavour similar to cheese and will continue to deepen. Let the cheese go till it reaches desired flavour.
  4. The cheese is ready now! Add in any desired ingredients for additional flavouring and or texture. If you are looking for a firmer cheese, keep going.
  5. Shape the cheese into 2 logs or 4 mini wheels using parchment paper.
  6. Wrap firmly and store in fridge to age some more.
Recipe Notes

Recipe yields four(4) 8oz cheese wheels or two (2) 16oz cheese logs.

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