Non-dairy “milk” products are becoming more and more popular, but sometimes it is still difficult to find good and cheap non-dairy cheese products in shops. Only some shops are offering this product range, that’s is why it is useful to be able to make your own cheese at home. You just need to stock up on nuts, which actually are worth to keep in the kitchen always to use for many cooking purposes as non-dairy milk or cheese, desserts, healthy breakfasts, cream, vegetable and legume stews.
If you have got to this page, that means you are interested in alternative cheese products or at least you are wondering what’s going on here and why cheese is made from cashews.
Some of you have already stopped eating dairy products living the lacto-vegeterian lifestyle, some people take it as a challenge, some due to health issues, but you don’t need any reason to start healthy diet right now. New year has come and it is time to plan new challenges and to start what you couldn’t complete or even start last year.
Some of you probably think that all this non-dairy products are just fake substitution and don’t deserve to be called “milk” products. Perhaps you are right here about the name of the this product category, but I can’t say the same about its value and role nowadays. First of all, all these coconut, almond nut and oat milk options are very tasty. Have you tried vegan cheddar cheese made from coconut milk or ricotta made from cashew nuts? Delicious and very nutritious! Non-dairy “milk” products deserve to be highly valued and it is worth to include them in your meal, that’s for sure.
If you are interested in expanding the product range in your fridge or if you are already on dairy free diet and would like to facilitate the provision of relevant products, this recipe is for you.
The questions are where to get these products, which to chose and how to cook? I am ready to help you with the question of how to make homemade cashew cheese.
CASHEW CHEESE. CREAM. MILK.
Cashews are perfect for “non-dairy” products. They are easy to blend into smooth texture and they have nice soft taste. Few minutes and cream is ready.
It can be used instead of butter, as sour cream (by adding lemon juice) or on top of dessert. If you add more water you can make a cream and also cashew milk by achieving more liquid consistency.
Cashews – pre-soaked for 1-2h
Filtered water and Salt
For cheese: 1 cup of cashews, 1/4 cup of water, dash of sea salt +1 tsp of apple vinegar, 1 tsp of lemon juice, black pepper, garlic powder, 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
For cream: 1 cup of cashews, 1 cups of water, dash of sea salt + 2 dates for sweetness or 1 tbsp lemon juice for savory cream.
For milk: 1 cup of cashews, 3-4 cups of water, dash of sea salt + 2 dates, vanilla or cinnamon.
Fermentation is essentially one of the oldest forms of food preservation and is natural process of “good” bacteria growth in foods.
What are probiotics? Probiotics are these “good” bacterias, which participates in food fermentation.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. According to research, probiotics can help with health conditions that involve your gastrointestinal system and other parts of your body. This leads to health benefits and reduces illness. Probiotics can also help your body produce needed vitamins and recover after using antibiotics. “Friendly” bacteria such as Lactobacillus can help us break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off “unfriendly” organisms that might cause diseases such as diarrhea. But probiotics advantages are not still fully proven and we also have to consider that probiotics can be harmful for people with health issues (for example, weakened immune systems).
FERMENTATION WITH PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS
One of the way to make fermented food at home is to use probiotic sold as dietary supplement.
How to use it for cheese fermentation?
Make cashew cheese using proportions given in the recipe above. Add 2 pills of probiotic to your cashew blend and mix it well. If the pills you have got are not capsuled, pulverize the pills before to mix it in the cheese.
Place the mix in a glass jar and cover the cheese with thin layer of any oil. Cover the jar with some tissue on top, so it can breath and will not explode since it can go up a bit due to bacteria activity. Keep it in room temperature for 3 days.
3 days later. Mix your cheese with any preservatives by your choice, form the shape you like and place in breathing material like baking sheet or fabric, or even container with air access. Keep in the fridge another 5-7 days.
There are many ways how to flavor your cheese before you place it in the fridge for a week. You can make it sweet or savory, or just leave the original taste.
What preservatives can you use for different cheese flavors?
Ideas for savory cheese:
Hempseeds and rosemary, lemon and dill, coriander seeds, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, truffles, herbs and nutritional yeast.
Ideas for dessert cheese:
Cranberries and cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and dried apricots, vanilla and coconut, cacao and honey.
Watch all the process:
Note! When buying probiotics supplement for cheese fermentation, consider that most cheeses are made with starter bacteria from the Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, or Streptococcus families.
I don’t have prescription, which probiotics are better to use. Please check in your local pharmacy which are available in the store.
SNACKS WITH CASHEW CHEESE
There are plenty ideas how to use your homemade cashew cheese. I will show you some quick and easy recipes.
Cashew cheese with wholegrain bread, waffle or crisps is an amazing breakfast snack. I like to add seeds, ground nuts, greens and spices on top, which gives more specific and rich flavour.
Note! Probiotic enriched foods due to live cultures in them should be refrigerated and stored properly. Make sure that fermented product is still fresh and healthy when you consume it.
My next post relating to non-dairy “milk” product will be dedicated to 3 different type of homemade non-dairy milk: hempseed, macadamia nut and oat milks. I am also on my way to make my homemade Chestnut milk. But about non-dairy milk read in my next post.
Please leave a comment below if you have any additional questions or advise. I hope the video was very helpful.