Macadamia and cashew cultured nut cheese

Macadamia and cashew cultured nut cheese

Cultured nut cheese is well worth the effort. So many people avoid dairy products for various reasons and the thing they miss most is nearly always cheese! Nut cheeses are too delicious to be solely the domain of those avoiding dairy. Culturing the nuts brings out their goodness and provides you with wonderful living probiotics.

1 cup macadamia nuts (soaked 4-6 hours)
1 cup cashews (soaked 2-4 hours)
1 cup filtered water
2 probiotic capsules or 1 tsp dairy free probiotic powder 
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt 

Drain the soaked nuts and rinse thoroughly. Place in a food processor with the water. Blend until totally smooth; you may need to do this for a minute at a time so you don't overheat the mixture. There should be no lumps or graininess in the mixture at all. Stir in probiotic powder at the end. 

Line a sieve with a cheesecloth or use a nut milk bag and place over a bowl. Place the nut mixture into the cloth - fold cheesecloth over the top of the mixture ensuring that it is well wrapped in - you need to be able to place some weight on top. If using a nut milk bag, form a twist in the top to seal it in tightly. Take a small flat plate and place on top of the mixture, then add some weight - at home I use a pestle and mortar. The weight should not be so heavy that the cheese pushes through the cloth. You want only the water to come out of the mixture. 

Leave at room temperature to culture for 16-24 hours. The time it takes will depend on the temperature of your room - if you live in a warm climate it will culture faster than in a colder climate. The mixture is ready where there is some activity in it, there should be some fluffiness in the centre of the mix and it should no longer taste just of pureed nuts. 

Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and nutritional yeast. 

Shape into 2 rounds approximately 3cm high and 7cm wide, (of course you can make smaller or bigger ones as well). 

Place in a dehydrator for 16-18 hours at 41 degrees Celsius to form a rind. The culture and flavour continues to develop while drying. 

Once dried, wrap with parchment paper and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Extracted with permission from the unbakery; raw organic goodness by Megan May

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