HOMEMADE HERB CASHEW CHEESE by EMILY ALDER
Last Spring Matt and I jumped on the Whole 30 bandwagon in an effort to reset our bodies, digestive system, and begin some better family routines. It was a really great experience, but can difficult to do as a family of five. While we enjoyed our experience, it’s not something we practice continually. However, the process gave us motivation to pay more attention to what ingredients are in the products we have in our household. I’ve always prided myself on buying as healthy and organic as I can. I TRY to cook homemade well-balanced meals at least 3-4 times a week. Yet, the when going through the rules and ideas behind Whole 30, I realized I wasn’t shopping simple. As in, simple ingredient lists. We have found some amazing recipes that have become staples and we work hard to keep our products as clean as we can.
So while I can say that Whole 30 brought a lot to the table for us I had some serious challenges on the dairy front. My biggest changes have been using coconut cream/milk in my daily coffee and making my own cashew cheese. If you have been reading for a while, you undoubtedly know my love of cheese. So saying a permanent goodbye to that goodness wasn’t going to happen. However, I did want to find a way to cut back. And I don’t mean feasting on brie daily. It’s the cottage cheese I have for breakfast every morning or the string cheese I snack on in the school pick up line. So I went to the recipe gold mine that is Pinterest. I had pinned a recipe for cashew cheese several years ago. It was always on my mind to try but was something way out of my depth. So once we had finished our first Whole 30 I set out to give this Herb Cashew Cheese a try.
Let me tell you, this stuff is so delicious. I can’t really compare it to anything but say that it’s a savory nutty cream that is a breakfast staple for me. It’s also easily adaptable to different herbs and flavors so you can really make it your own.
Herb Cashew Cheese Recipe
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 3 tbsp lemon juice, plus zest
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp fried minced garlic (I sometimes use pre-made)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp cracked pepper
- 1/2 cup filtered water
The night before, place cashews in a medium sized glass bowl and cover with water. Let soak one the counter overnight.
In the morning completely drain the cashews and place them in a food processor with lemon juice, oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Process until a creamy consistency, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water as you go to thin the mixture. Add more if you want a creamier result. I prefer mine to be a bit heartier but you can process until it is completely smooth if you want.
Once fully processed you can shape the cheese into any form you want. I put some in a container for use and then form some into a log and store with cheese paper. Garnish with more salt, pepper, and herbs when serving.