Make Your Own Nut Cheese
Nut cheese, or fermented nuts, is an amazing addition to any pantry. It is soy-free, dairy-free and gluten free and full of healthy fat and protein.
The fermentation process fills the cheese with beneficial transitory bacteria that help clean out the digestive track and promote a healthy micro biome.
Home made nut cheese is simple to put together, and is a far healthier option than the dairy-free cheese substitutes sold at most grocery stores.
When done right it makes a great topping on nachos, pizza, egg dishes, or you can serve it with a wide assortment of fresh veggies and homemade crackers. I’ve been known to eat it straight out of the jar by itself!
Nut cheese can be made with any white meat nut or seed – cashew, macadamia, acorn, sunflower, etc. When mixed with a variety of herbs and spices the taste profiles are endless. Each nut will offer a slightly different taste and consistency. Try almonds for a mixing with savory herbs, macadamias for a cream cheese, and Cashews for a smooth, easy to flavor option.
My favorite, no fuss recipe is as follows:
2 1/2 cups nuts
2 cups filtered water
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/8 of a red onion
4 probiotic capsules
Step One: Soak nuts overnight.
Step Two: Place nuts, water, lemon juice and red onion in blender or food processor. Blend till smooth, this may take a while so be patient.
Step Three: Break open the probiotic capsules and hand blend into mixture.
Step Three: For a simple nut cheese, pour mixture into glass mason jars. Top jars with cheese cloth. Store in a cool, dark place for 24 to 48 hours – giving the nut cheese time to ferment.
Step Four: Open and taste – if its gone bad you will know right away. Like any fermented product, nut cheese will improve with age and will keep up to three weeks in the fridge when opened.
For fancier options – like rolls, balls and loafs – pour nut cheese into a cheesecloth covered colander. Squeeze excess liquid out. Store in a cool dark place for 24 to 48 hours. Dump out onto plate and pat into a round. Place the nut round in the dehydrator for a few hours to form a rind.
Experiment with adding spices and herbs. One of my favorite combinations is black pepper and rosemary. Another great way to jazz it up is to add juice or layer with whole nuts and fruits. Sprinkling or rolling the nut cheese in herbs makes a beautiful display – especially when entertaining.
Keep in mind – nut cheese is a raw food. If heated it will lose the positive bacteria, so when using in a casserole or on nachos or pizza add the nut cheese after baking or cooking has occurred.