smoky cashew cheddar

My first attempt at nut cheese was a huge success! It's a bit of a long process from start to finish, but the actual prep is pretty damn simple. I had tried a sharp smoky cheddar at a local restaurant in my new hood and couldn't stop thinking about it. So, I made it! Here's what I did:

ingredients:

2 cups soaked cashews
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp lemon
5 tbsp water
1 probiotic capsule (not the pill! open capsule to dispense powder)

directions:

Add 2 cups of cashews to enough water to cover and allow for expansion. Cover and store in fridge overnight or for 4-8 hours. 

Once cashews are soaked, rinse and toss in your blender (I used my vitamix). Add all of your ingredients, minus the probiotic and blend until smooth. I had to keep adding water to allow for my mixture to puree, if you can get away with using less I would suggest doing so!

Once everything is as smooth as you can get it, open your probiotic capsule and blend in the powder, disposing of the outer shell. I tried the new Genuine Health 15 billion vegan probiotic and it worked great! Since I've never made anything cultured before, I have nothing to compare my results to. I just go by flavour!

When your mixture is pureed, transfer it into a cheese cloth or nut mylk bag. Squeeze out excess liquid and twist tightly to made a big cheese sack. Lol. 

I tied my sack to a wooden spoon and rested it on a big mixing bowl. I then transferred the bowl into the oven, turning on the oven light. This will add just enough heat to ferment your cheese overnight. Leave for 10-12 hours. 

Once your cheese has finished the fermentation process, remove out of the mylk bag or cheese cloth and onto a decent sized piece of parchment paper. Roll your cheese into whatever shape you'd like. I found my cheese to be insanely sticky when doing this. Maybe I needed more coconut oil but I'm not sure. Let me know what you guys think! Let the cheese chill in your fridge for at least 4 hours before seasoning the outside and eating to allow it to firm up a bit. 

I rolled my cheese log into some ground pepper. You could also roll in fresh or dried herbs!