Savoury Fermented Cashew “Cheese”GF, DF, P, V

(Adapted from: Elissa Goodman & Minimalist Baker)

Vegans and Omnivores alike will devour this spreadable, flavour-rich, home ferment.

2 cups cashews, soaked overnight

¼ cup + ⅛ cup filtered water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sauerkraut juice and/or 1 probiotic capsule*

* You need not use both of these as either will provide the beneficial bacteria needed to start the fermentation process.  I use both ‘kraut juice and whatever probiotic capsule I happen to have in my fridge. Some would argue it’s best to use one without additional prEbiotics, but I haven’t found it to have any negative effect.  

SPICES – you can make this as plain as you wish and omit all of the spices below. I’ve found the following combination to be magically savoury:

½ tsp of each:

  • Himalayan / Sea salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary

Place the soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, sauerkraut juice (if using) and spices (if using)  into a food processor and blend until creamy. Transfer to a glass bowl, open a probiotic capsule (if using) and add it’s powder – mix with a wooden spoon.  [Though unavoidable considering metal blades, etc. metal will generally react with cultured / ferments so minimize where possible].

Lay out clean cheesecloth (double or triple layered) and spoon your cashew mixture into the centre.  Lift up the corners so you form a ball of ‘cheese’ that is covered on all surfaces by the cheesecloth.  Tie tightly with a clean rubber band and place in colander / large siv over a dish or bowl to catch any water that drains.  Leave undisturbed, out of direct sunlight, in an area of your home that doesn’t get much traffic / dust exposure but does isn’t airtight.  Leave this to ferment for about 48 hours. When ready, there should be the slightly tangy scent of fermentation but no mold nor moldy odour.  After roughly 48 hours have passed, unwrap your ferment – note that the outer layer may have formed a slight crust and may stick to the cheesecloth, this is normal.  Inspect for any mold by look, smell and taste. If all is well, ENJOY! For even better ‘party presentation’, cover with fresh chopped or dried herb of your choice and lay out on a gorgeous cutting board with crackers, olives and small butter-knives for your spreading pleasure.  

You will be the talk of the town.

[NB: If giving home ferments to children or infants, always inspect carefully, consume yourself first and wait 48 hours.  If no symptoms arise, you can pretty well assume they are safe for your little ones! This said, it’s always at your own risk and your own judgement call as each person’s home environment and cleanliness practices will vary.  Give children a small amount to start to ensure they can tolerate the particular fermented foods.]