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.
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.
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!