vegan nut cheese, day 1

I started my nut cheese today! I decided to go with the cashews first because that’s the one I’ve been the most hungry for. The process is simple, it’s the waiting that’s hard.

This is another loose recipe, where I just kind of dump things in until it seems about right. You will need:

raw cashews (I used, according to the bag, 0.66 lbs)
fresh lemon juice
some sort of fermenting liquid (optional, you don’t have to ferment)

The sauerkraut juice I’m using to ferment, as I mentioned before, is from my mom. You can also buy raw fermented sauerkraut at some health food stores, and use that liquid. Apparently there are pickles made the same way, but I haven’t tried them yet. Just so you know, most sauerkraut isn’t made by fermenting any more, it just has vinegar in it to give it a fermented flavor. That kind of sauerkraut juice won’t work for fermenting.  I’ve made this “cheese” a bunch of times without actually fermenting it, though, and it’s still good.

So, you can start by soaking your nuts over night. I didn’t do that because I didn’t think ahead! I’ll do it tomorrow with the almonds, though. Last time I soaked mine covered in water with 2 Tbsp of the sauerkraut juice, but plain water is fine, too.

This time, I just put the nuts in the blender right out of the bag, added a few teaspoons of kosher salt, covered them with water and added about 5 or 6 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. I had to add more water a couple times so it could blend properly, I had it on Liquify to get it nice and super smooth.

I think I must’ve added a total of about 1 cup of liquid. Next, get your colander out and sit it on top of a plate. You can line it either with cheese cloth, or with damp paper towel. I used six connected sheets of paper towel folded over three times, so it was two sheets wide. As I am typing this I kind of wish I had only used four sheets, to make sure the excess liquid can get out easily, but we’ll see what happens.
Pour the mixture onto the paper towel. Mine looks extra wet because after I got most of the mix, I added more water to the canister and used the Easy Clean button to get the rest out.

It doesn’t look very pretty…. Then fold the paper towel over the mixture.

Now find something heavy to sit on the mixture, to press the excess liquid out. I think the easiest thing is to put a small plate on top, then sit some soup cans on it, or mason jars filled with water. The liquid will drip out onto the plate below the colander. Find a place for this to sit at least over night. I’m sticking mine in the oven.

I’ll probably leave mine until Wednesday evening when I get home from work. I just checked it and it looks like it’s draining well, but I’ll probably change the paper towels tomorrow at some point anyway, just to keep them fresh.