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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Simple Vegan Cream Cheese

I was always interested in making cheese but before I had a chance I went vegan and now cheese smells like feet to me. I use to like cheese and miss some aspects of it so I was thrilled when I discovered you can buy vegan cheese at most grocery stores. I tried as many as I could find that did not have casein hiding in the ingredients and they were usually awful. They were also expensive. Life changed for me with the advent of Daiya. Beautiful, wonderful, fantastically melty, this put a lot of options back on our menu. The local pizza place now makes vegan pizza with Daiya. The shreds are the best but they are expanding to sliced and cream cheeses. They all cost a lot.

I have been experimenting with cashew cheese and I am very happy with the results of this cream cheese. It is simple, doesn't require anything that is hard to find and it tastes good. It is more on the subtle side of the cheese spectrum. You could probably use it in desserts if compelled to.

What you need:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews soaked overnight
  • water
  • 2 capsules of probiotics
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
What to do:
1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add to food processor with 1/2 cup of water and grind until as smooth as you can get it. 
2. Empty the capsules into the cashew paste and mix. 
3. Pour the mix into a wide mouthed jar and cover the top with a clean cloth, securing with an elastic band. This is to allow air flow but keep bugs out. 

4. Let it sit for 24 hours out of direct sunlight. You may need less time in warmer climates but it was 30 degrees C in the house at the time I was making this and it was still fine. There should be little bubbles in the mix but not mold. If there are suspicious spots which happens on occasion, I just remove them and the cheese turns out fine so far. 

5. Mix the lemon juice and salt in. Put it in the fridge to thicken. I added a sprinkle of paprika for colour. 

I dug a hole in it to show that it thickened.