The cashew goat cheese featured in my post yesterday is an example of a fermented food. It takes at least 24 hours to make (though of course, very little of that time is hand-on). So what do you do when you want to make something with cashew cheese, but don’t want to ferment? Or what on Earth did vegans do before Artisan Vegan Cheese?
Really simple, raw cashew cheese.
I hadn’t given much thought to how good this stuff is, until I had a friend over for vegan pizza (and to watch The Hunger Games. Team Peeta!). As I was getting everything out, I realized I had some leftover cashew cheese from something earlier in the week, so I offered to put some on her pizza- which she looooooved. So of course, we had to make it the next time she was over, too, and I taught her how to make it.
It’s so simple. There are a number of more complicated recipes out there, but you don’t need to go complicated.
Simple Cashew Cheese
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2-3 cloves garlic (less, if you prefer)
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- chopped herbs (parsley or basil, or whatever suits your tastes)
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt (or more or less to taste)
- Ideally, you should soak the cashews in filtered water for anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, but if you have a good food processor/blender, you can skip this step.
- Add the cashews, garlic and lemon juice to the blender/food processor (you may need to add some water if you’re using a blender. A food processor is definitely a better choice for this). Pulse until the cashews begin to resemble cottage or ricotta cheese. If you didn’t soak your cashews, you may also need to add a little water to get this texture. You can add a bit more lemon juice as well.
- Add the chopped herbs and salt, and pulse quickly to combine.
- That’s it. Wasn’t that easy?
The beauty of this is, you can make a batch on the weekend and use it all week. You can reduce the portions and make less, you can add whatever herbs you want, you can add a little nutritional yeast.. the possibilities are endless.
The last time I made this, I ended up making two dishes with it.
This is what I made it for- I found some end-of-the-season squash blossoms, and decided I wanted them stuffed (and fried). It’s this recipe, with about a teaspoon of simple cashew cheese cheese stuffed in (open the blossom gently to stuff).
And with the leftover cashew cheese, I made these. It’s just boiled whole wheat lasagna noodles, stuffed with cheese, rolled, topped with marinara, and baked at 350F for 10 minutes.
Serve either dish with a salad!