During my first two years of university, labneh was one of the foods I missed the most being away from home. It’s basically strained yogurt that has the consistency of soft cheese, and is traditionally eaten with pita bread olive oil or on pastries for breakfast. It was definitely one of my favourite dairy products, coming only second to halloumi cheese.
So a while back, I shared my recipe for cheater’s vegan labneh , made with soy yoghurt and the miracle of xanthan gum. While it is delicious and pretty close to the real thing, it’s still a tad more processed than I’d like, so I set about concocting a raw version using cashews.
And believe me when I say that not only is this a raw, and more wholesome vegan labneh, it also tastes infinitely more authentic (if you’re thinking the Lebanese/Levantine version of labneh, not the Turkish version which is slightly creamier and less bitter). I have half a mind to present this to my friends and family back home and watch to see if they notice it’s vegan.
Seriously, this stuff is incredible.
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or the juice of one small lemon
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp citric acid
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- a pinch of xanthan gum
I’m not sure how long this will keep in the fridge, my guess would be a week. Of course I’ll never find out, because there’s no way this lasts a week in my fridge.
For a “cheesier” variation, add 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast and an additional tbsp of water – delicious atop a wholemeal tortilla pizza.
And if you’re still lost on other ways to use labneh/cashew cheese, make sure you tune in for tomorrow’s for a very special post 😉