Cheese please! Hold the dairy.

I became a vegetarian at the ripe old age of 11. Needless to say cheese became my best friend for the protein. I tried to be vegan but back then it was hard to find decent vegetarian food never mind vegan food. I loved cheese; the tartness, the hint of sweetness and the creaminess.

Over the last few years my love affair with cheese started to wane. Dairy is not the best for the body. It makes us more acidic which can lead to a whole host of problems including osteoporosis and cancer. I became vegan a year ago with no desire to eat cheese ever again, however, last summer on a short New York City trip (short because we had to escape a hurricane, just our luck!) my love of cheese, nut cheese that is, was reignited.

Our great escape from NYC! Hurricanes are no fun :(

Since my fiancé and I love raw food we had to dine at Pure Food and Wine. This place is the first raw food restaurant in New York City and the crème de la crème in terms of raw food dining experiences. I had spanakopita and my fiancé had lasagna. Both dishes included ample amounts of nut cheeses. The cheeses were divine, free from animal products and the acidity that dairy cheeses offer.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this site  and subscribed to their mailing list and was sent a recipe for Macadamia nut cheese. After my yummy experience with nut cheese in NYC I thought I would give it a try.

So, after 1 night of soaking nuts, and 1 day of fermentation I produced some wicked cheese! The cheese was a ricotta like consistency, tart and creamy with a hint of macadamia nut flavour. This took a little getting used to (2 bites to be precise then I was hooked). It was rich and delicious and I must say the heart healthy fats were an added bonus!

Only using a handful of ingredients including raw nuts, probiotics, salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and some patience I made cheese in record time!

Fermentation in progress…not pretty but worth the one day wait!

UPDATED July 10/12

Ingredients:

Part 1

1 cup macadamia nuts soaked overnight

1/2 cup of water

1/2 tsp or 1 capsule of probiotics

Part 2

1 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients in part 1 and blend in a high speed blender until smooth.

2.Place the mixture in a strainer that has been lined with cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Make sure to ‘wrap’ the mixture in the liner.

3.Place a ‘weight’ on top of the covered mixture. I used a bowl and placed a bottle of water in it. The weight of the bottle should be enough to gently push down on the mixture removing any excess liquid.

4.Cover mixture and let it sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours but no more to culture.

5.Once culturing it complete add the ingredients in Part 2.

6.You can now eat your macadamia nut cheese OR transfer it to a mould and refrigerate OR dehydrate it at 105F for 24 hours to create a rind.

If you’re a raw food enthusiast, lactose intolerant or just plain curious and love to make your own food from scratch like I do then I encourage you to try this.

Here`s to experimenting in the kitchen…my favorite thing to do especially when it turns out to be extra yummy :)

6 thoughts on “Cheese please! Hold the dairy.

  1. Pingback: End of 40 day fast: thoughts, food, and where do I go from here « virtuousgracious

  2. Pingback: Just a bit cheesy – Smokey Macadamia Nut Dip | Heike Herrling

  3. Pingback: Love + Gourmet Raw Foods in New York City | lifeaftergrains

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