Smoky Chipotle-Garlic Cashew Cheese

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Smoky Chipotle-Garlic Cashew Cheese Recipe

Bowl of creamy cashew cheese with 2 crackersIn our neighbourhood, spring seems to be the season of get-togethers, when pale neighbours, blinking against the unfamiliar sun come out of hibernation to begin planning this year’s garden and the next round of household renovations.

The neighbourhood potluck can be a fearsome place for health-conscious eaters, what with the grape jelly-basted meatballs and Ichiban-laced cabbage salads, not to mention mysterious orange cheese dips studded with bits of pimento-stuffed olives. I’m sure some hold a certain nostalgia for potluck favourites which have been in the family since the 1950s, only to be resurrected at every communal meal from church suppers to neighbourhood block parties. I, for one, think it’s time to move on. Leave the Imperial cheddar cheese product behind, I say, and come join me in the 21st century!

This naturally-fermented, dairy-free cheese spread  is creamy, luscious and made with whole, plant-based ingredients. It takes a couple of days to make, but it’s worth it – believe me. It is sure to please even the most cynical of dairy-eaters at your next gathering. Try it yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!

 
Smoky Chipotle-Garlic Cashew Cheese Recipe
This naturally-fermented, dairy-free cheese spread is creamy, luscious and made with whole, plant-based ingredients. It takes a couple of days to make, but it's worth it - believe me.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw cashews
  2. 2 cups filtered water
  3. ¼ cup juice from naturally-fermented sauerkraut or pickles (unpasteurized)
  4. 2 tsp white miso
  5. 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  6. 1 clove roasted garlic
  7. 1-2 tsp chipotle pepper paste
  8. ½-1 tsp smoked paprika
  9. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews in water 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. Place cashews in food processor with sauerkraut juice and miso. Process until smooth, scraping down bowl of processor as needed.
  3. Place cashew mixture in nut milk bag. Set bag in wire mesh strainer over a small bowl to drain.
  4. Set cashew cheese aside at room temperature for 24-48 hours until fermented to taste. The longer it sits, the more tart the cheese will become. Taste it after 24 hours to see how you like it.
  5. Remove cheese from nut milk bag and return to food processor. Add garlic, nutritional yeast, paprika, chipotle pepper and salt to taste. Process until all ingredients are smooth and thoroughly blended.
  6. Refrigerate cheese for 3-4 hours or until firm. Cheese should be the consistency of cream cheese. Serve with crackers or raw vegetables, or use in sandwiches or wraps. Cheese will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Tip: season with other combinations of herbs and spices – anything goes!
Fresh Start Wellness by Calgary Holistic Culinary Nutrition Expert Erin Gionet http://www.freshstartwellness.ca/
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