Cashew Cheese

Okay, that sounds weird or maybe too good to be true if you are vegan and missing cheese. The truth is, it is really quite difficult to create something like cheese without dairy, especially the hard kind. This recipe is extremely versatile and creates a cheese remenisent of soft goat cheese. It also fills the bill for cream in both desserts, cream sauces and soups. It is something that I use a lot. You can even use it to make a ricotta and a whipped cream.

The following recipe is a open to lots of variations. Honestly, I am too lazy most of the time to drain it in cheese cloth but if you do, you can roll it in fresh herbs. It really makes a beautiful presentation loved by vegans and non-vegans alike.

Soak 3 cups of cashews in clean water over night. By the morning, you will have about 4 cups.

Drain and rinse the cashews and put into a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtek. You need a good blender for this to get the right consistency.

Add:

1 cup water

2 teaspoons each garlic powder and onion powder

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons dried shallots (optional-you could use fresh or dry herbs here)

Empty 6 capsules probiotics into blender (I use New Chapter, make sure the brand you have is vegan)

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Blend on high for 90 seconds scraping down sides if needed. Transfer to cheese cloth or glass container. Leave out for up to 24 hours to allow for the probiotics to ferment cheese, then refrigerate. The cheese will get decidedly more tangy as it sits.

Enjoy!

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