Herbed Cashew Cheese

Have you tried your hand at cultured, plant-based cheese yet? It's really fun and pretty easy, too. All you need is a Vitamix or another high-powered blender. Not only is it totally yummy but, since it's cultured, it contains beneficial probiotics that tummies love. There are many vegan cheese recipes floating around. Many use nutritional yeast and lemon to achieve a cheesy flavor but there is really no substitute for the authentic tart and tangy goodness of a cultured cheese. Give it a try!

This recipe uses a basic cashew cream cheese recipe, and then it's infused with herbs and spices and dried in the oven at a low temperature to preserve those healthy bacteria. It's still pretty soft and spreadable but it is sliceable especially when it's cold. I'll be creating more recipes for plant-based cheeses soon so stay tuned :)

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 6-8 hours
  • ½ cup water
  • pinch sea salt (or adjust to taste)
  • 2 TBS plain, vegan yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped herbs—use what you like! I used fresh parsley, fresh dill and dried chervil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  1. Drain the cashews, rinse and place in a high-powered bender. Blend, adding the water a bit at a time, until smooth and creamy, occasionally stopping to scrape down the blender jar and move the mixture toward the blades.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Culture the cheese: Transfer to a clean glass bowl or container, cover securely with a breathable cloth, like cheesecloth or a paper towel, and let rest at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours, depending on how sharp a flavor you want and the ambient temperature (culturing will proceed more quickly at warmer temperatures). 
  5. When it's cultured to your desired taste, transfer to a parchment-lined bowl and bake at 180° F (or on "warm" if your setting doesn't go that low) for 1½-2 hours. If you're not too concerned about the probiotics and simply want a yummy-tasting cheese, you can increase the oven temp to 200-220° and bake for one hour. They key is to remove as much moisture as you can. It will puff up in the oven. That's okay. It sinks when it cools. 
  6. Refrigerate overnight before serving. It should stay fresh for about a week in the fridge.

before baking


Healthy trails,

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