People get weird when I talk about cashew cheese – “you can’t call it cheese if it isn’t made from dairy”… Yeah, shut up. Cashew cheese is effing delicious. (So is macadamia feta, by the way).
I find it funny when people get offended my dietary intolerances – hello, more cheese for you, you ignorant wankers – but the reality is, I still crave dairy, even if I can’t eat it, and having the ability to make something I can use in place of it is a handy trick to have up your sleeve, especially with rates of allergies and intolerances on the rise.
This cashew cheese recipe I perfected last year, and served it with great popularity at our wedding earlier this year. It’s based on the Peace Love & Vegetables Cashew Cheese originally, because they are the geniuses who added dill to their cheese – especially great if you’re a fan of pickles – but I’ll often use different herbs, spices and flavours to change it up a bit.
The great thing about it, of course, is that it’s so damn delicious. For your cheese loving friends, you can just tell them it’s a cashew dip – my mate Jamie in particular is a huge fan and keeps asking me to make it for him by the bucketful – it goes great on crackers, like a regular cheese platter accoutrement, but I also love putting it on a bowl of spaghetti bolognese, a plate of nachos, in an omelette or in a wrap in place of cheese. You only ever need a couple of teaspoons at a time.
Just quickly, the recipe is vegan and paleo, full of good fats, and the cashews provide a powerful punch of nutrients, like vitamins E, K, and B6, and copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium. Mostly, it’s just a really delicious thing to eat, and so much more affordable to make your own, than to buy it.
FOOLPROOF CASHEW CHEESE
Soak 1 cup cashews with 1tsp natural salt for 6-12 hours.
Drain and rinse and add to a blender with 1 clove garlic, 3tb Australian extra virgin olive oil, 1tsp natural salt, white pepper, juice of 1 lemon, ½ cup nutritional yeast and 30ml of filtered water, and blend.
When smooth, add a large handful of finely chopped dill and stir in. Store in a glass jar, topped with Australian extra virgin olive oil and store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
* Instead of dill, you may like to add fresh turmeric (about 2cm) or 1/2 teaspoon sumac for an extra lemony zing straight into the blend with everything else*