I was inspired by Somers posts on Good Clean Food on her discoveries in vegan cheeze making. This is a recipe everyone should be trying! I won’t lie…it isn’t cheap to make. It is relatively easy though and doesn’t contain anything questionable. While picking up some more raw cashews I was looking at commercially made vegan cheezes and the ingredient lists were scary. Unpronounceable ingredients, heavy amounts of oil and tofu and price wise they were not bargains either. Well, and I haven’t met one I like. Over the years I have tried a bunch of them. Most are slimy and have an off-taste. Like rubber-cheeze. I haven’t bought any in a long time -last summer though I made the mistake of hacking down some at Vida Vegan Con that was on food served. Yech. So I went into this experiment with open eyes. I figured if it turned out, great. If not…no big loss. And yes, it works. And is quite tasty!
I adapted the recipe a wee bit. As long as you follow the water/pectin/nuts ratio all is good. It is a recipe I will be playing with more! I made one large block, next time I will make smaller molds so I can stash them in the freezer for later use.
- 1 package Pomonas Universal Pectin (use only this brand)
- 3 cups water, divided
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
Lightly oil or spray a glass or ceramic container for molding (or a couple small ones if desired), my mold was a glass food storage rectangle, 8″ x 6″ x 3″.
Take out the small calcium packet from the pectin package, add it to a small canning jar with ½ cup of the water, shake to dissolve and set aside.
Bring the remaining water to a boil, set aside. Add the cashews, lemon juice, yeast, salt and garlic to a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix), sprinkle the pectin on top. Pour the hot water in, seal the blender tightly, cover the top with a kitchen towel and process on high until smooth. Take off the top carefully and pour in the entire container of calcium water, put the lid back on with towel over and process quickly until mixed. Immediately use a silicone spatula to scrape into the prepared mold(s) and smooth out – it sets quickly so work fast. Be sure to fill your blender with hot water and clean right away.
Set the mold in the refrigerator for an hour uncovered. Put a plate over the mold and flip over gently, return to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before covering.
The longer it sits, the firmer it becomes. If allowed to sit overnight you can grate it.
PS: For another option see Somer’s other recipe for Pepper-Jack Cheeze!