Firstly, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank each and every person who read and responded to my last post. I had no idea it would have such a marked effect on so many of you, and while I don’t derive any joy from knowing others have been through similar struggles, it is comforting to know that I am not a lone soldier in the war against ourselves, as one reader so eloquently put it. I don’t think I can quite express just how touching some of your messages and comments were. Your support and journeys inspire me to keep charging ahead with my own. Thank you, once again.
Moving on to what has been one of the most highly requested recipes in recent times, following some debuts on Snapchat a while ago; home-made vegan cashew cheese.
While specialty cheeses like Daiya and Tofutti are pretty easy to find in Bahrain, I try to reserve using them only as an occasional treat. This is mainly because while dairy-free,they are still highly processed and, as imported goods, they do tend to cost a pretty penny.
So when the craving strikes for something creamy, and unmistakably savoury, I often whip up a batch of my mainstay cashew cheese. It works wonderfully in sandwiches or even drizzled over homemade pizza, and – well, however else you would usually use cheese!
- 2 cups soaked cashews (minimum 2 hours)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (more if you like a tarter flavour)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- Sea salt to taste
- 4-6 tbsp water
- Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender or food processor. Start with a few tablespoons of water and increase as needed for a creamier consistency. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed, scraping down the sides if necessary in between blending.
Some notes, as always:
- When buying cashews from bulk bins, you may come across cashew pieces – these are often cheaper since they don’t look as nice, but aesthetics are hardly important when it comes to cashew cheese.
- I made this using the small cup on my Nutribullet and halved the recipe because I just wanted a small amount. Any high-speed blender will work, but if not your best bet is a food processor.
- An alternative method is using a spice grinder attachment to your blender. If you decide to go this route, don’t soak the cashews, instead grind them to a fine powder and then mix in remaining ingredients till you get a smooth paste. Also either skip the garlic altogether or substitute with 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. This was my ultimate hack to nut cheese in university.
- The cheese will last around 10 days stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
Are we appreciating just how freaking creamy this concoction is?
Yes? Okay, phew.
All jokes aside, this cheese reminds me a lot of a childhood staple of “glass cheese” as we call it in the Arab world. My favourite breakfast as a child was two slices of toasted white bread, slathered in glass cheese and then dunked into a piping hot mug of tea with milk (otherwise known as shaay we laban or chai haleeb).
I may just have to re-create that with some gluten-free toast and almond milk tea. My seven-year-old self would be proud (or would she?)
If you’re stuck on ways to serve cashew cheese, you might try the age old cucumber canape idea.
I’ll be honest. I have never once had cucumber rounds with cheese on them before the above picture was taken.
But hey, such is the life of an amateur food photographer trying to get creative.
Until next time, friends.
(Ps. A new post will be up on Thursday, and hopefully I’ll be back to the Sunday/Wednesday posting schedule by next week.)