Fermented Nut Cheeses
- 2 cups raw nuts of your choice (Almonds, Cashews, Brazil, Macadamia, etc). This will make 2 cups of nut cheese.
- 1 cup Rejuvelac, water kefir, probiotic capsules (crack open two capsules), brine from a previous ferments, even kvass works.
Soak your nuts:
Nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted because they contain enzyme inhibitors that can strain the digestive tract when consumed in excess. Soaking your nuts makes them easier to digest and their nutrients more readily available. To soak your nuts leave them overnight in salt water, then dry them in a warm oven or dehydrator. Salt activates enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors. You can also soak them in just water and it will still help break down the nuts. Note: Make sure you are always using raw nuts.
Cashews should be soaked no longer than 6 hrs. And all other nuts can be soaked overnight. Once soaked you can blanch the nuts for 3-5 minutes and then the peels should slide right off the nuts. You can skip this step with cashews as they do not have skins. This helps get rid of the bitter taste the skins have but also makes a better consistency cheese.
Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender and continue to mix until smooth. Add more of your liquid if necessary to form a smooth, creamy texture.
Strain & Ferment:
Pour into a nut milk bag or cheesecloth-lined strainer. (Paint strainer bags make great nut bags and can be easily found online or at your local hardware store). Allow to strain for 24-48 hours. You can hang the nut bag over a bowl or place it in a colander with a weight on top. This will apply pressure and push out the excess liquid over the process time. The longer it sits the more tart your nut cheese will be, so feel free to give it a little taste along the way to suit your pallet. Additionally, you could wrap the nut cheese bag around a wooden spoon and find a place to hang it from to allow it to strain.
After 24-48 hours, remove your cheese from the nut bag or cheese cloth. I like to add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt for a very basic cheese. I also to create different flavors of cheese like a Almond Dill cheese where I add lemon zest, fresh dill, and use a almond base. You can add garlic, cumin, roll the cheese in dill or peppercorns. The sky is the limit! Store in the fridge for several weeks and enjoy!