This creamy, tangy nut cheese is a satisfying savory snack, similar to a soft French cheese like Boursin. A delicious anti-inflammatory substitute for regular cow dairy cheese, it’s a fab go-to if you’re looking to lighten the inflammation load, have a dairy sensitivity, lactose intolerance, or are seeking a vegan option. It makes a wonderful appetizer to serve alongside crackers and dried fruits, like figs or fresh apple slices. This recipe is best made with cashews or macadamia nuts as both have a naturally creamy texture and are excellent sources of monounsaturated fatty acids (the same fatty acids found in olive oil). They’re also full of protein, so nibbling this as a snack helps with satiation, blood sugar balance, and healthy weight management. Soaking the nuts overnight is best for texture, and in the case of cashews, neutralizes the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- 1 1/2 c cashews or macadamia nuts, soaked overnight in fridge
- 1/4 tsp probiotic powder (or 2 probiotic capsules, broken open)
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1 Tbsp sauerkraut juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp fresh garlic
- pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp rosemary, parsley, dill or thyme, freshly chopped
- 1/4 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
1. Place nut of choice in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to stand overnight.
2. Drain and rinse nuts, place in blender with 1⁄2 cup water, and process on high speed for about 10 seconds.
3. Add remaining ingredients to blender, and blend for another 10 seconds. If needed, add water, a tablespoon at a time, to create a smooth consistency.
4. Dump cheese into bowl and stir in the nutritional yeast and your choice of flavouring.
5. To shape the cheese:
» For a brie-like round: put mixture in a round tool such as a baker’s ring, poached egg ring, or burger press tool.
» For a log shape: lay out a sheet of wax wrap or parchment paper, create a roll, wrap, and leave in fridge to firm up/set and then cut out discs.
» For a rustic ricotta-like serving: just leave it in a bowl and place in refrigerator to set for a few hours.
Sprinkle with black pepper, some sprigs of fresh herbs, or serve as is!
A note on the sauerkraut juice: I always have a jar of sauerkraut handy as a condiment and found that adding a tablespoon of the fermented juice lends an earthiness to this cheese, but if you don’t have sauerkraut on hand, apple cider vinegar is a perfectly fine alternative.
(As published in EcoParent Magazine)