Being on a tight budget and not able to afford quality cashew cheese, I decided to make my own. Just cause I can't afford one doesn't mean it's completely out of site, just takes a bit more time and energy. But when you factor in the time it takes to drive to the store, peopling, find the item and pay & drive back ... are you REALLY saving time?
Here's my first attempt of making harder cashew cheese with agar agar; a natural vegetable gelatin counterpart. I've done Faux-Parm with cashews, notch (nutritional yeast), garlic & salt. Even an obey, gooey, dippy one. Next will try a baked almond cheese, looks crumbly like feta. With all the different recipes on the web, there's no need for us to cause harm to enjoy. Any flavour is possible with the basics. Once you learn and get comfortable you can try new things. I'll post the new tried, tested & true here.
1 cup cashews raw
1-1/2 cups filtered or spring water plus more for soaking
2 tsp agar agar powder OR 2 tbsp agar agar flakes
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked salt (omit for low-sodium diet)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Soak the cashews in filtered water (covering with an extra inch or so) at least 4 hours or overnight. Rinse and drain the cashews.
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the agar flakes. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the agar is dissolved completely.
Put the drained cashews into the blender with all the remaining ingredients. Pour in the agar mixture, put on the lid and hold down the lid with a hot pad or towel. Blend on high until very smooth.
At this point you can stir in other flavorings like minced dill, jalapenos, or cracked pepper.
Pour into a glass dish that has been oiled or sprayed with vegetable oil. Refrigerate until firm. Remove the cheese by running a knife or spatula around the edge and it will pop out of the container. Store in an airtight glass or plastic container in the refrigerator and use within 5 days, like any fresh food.
Grate this cheese using a box grater. It’s soft, so it might not hold up to grating in a food processor.
Recipe credit: www.reciperenovator.com