This raw and vegan nut cheese will easily be mistaken for its goat cheese cousin. The tangy taste and the smooth texture are so similar to real goat cheese, yet it is not so rich and heavy. This is a delicious dairy-free and raw cheese recipe that I adapted from the basic macadamia cheese recipe by the famous UK raw chef Russell James. I find this kind of vegan cheese much easier (and faster) to prepare than the cashew cream cheese with rejuvelac that I made this winter. The cashew cream cheese was so delicious and the texture divine, but I do prefer this much faster method that I am sharing today.
Do not get scared by the number of hours needed to get the final product. Yes, you will need up to 44 hours from start to finish, but there are truly only a few minutes of actual work. To prepare this cheese, you first need to soak your nuts overnight (see, only 1 minute of prep for 8 hours of soaking, it does not require too much effort so far!). Then you blend them with probiotic to help with the fermentation. I made this cheese with a gluten-free and vegan probiotic called Innovite Probiotics that I found in the health section of my local grocery store. Once the nuts are mixed with probiotics, you let it ferment for a day (2 minutes of prep for 24 hours of waiting!) and you only need to spice it up and get it to firm up in the frige (another minute of prep and a final 12 hours in the fridge) before you can enjoy it on crackers, in salads, on pizza or in sandwiches.
- 2 cups raw macadamia nuts
- ½ cup water
- 2 capsules Probiotic, emptied (I used gluten-free and vegan Lactobacillus capsules from the health food store)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon coarse peppercorn, crushed (I crush it using a mortar and pestle)
- Soak macadamia nuts in water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Rinse the nuts.
- In a high speed blender, blend soaked nuts, water and probiotic powder until you get a smooth consistency. Add a bit of extra water if needed.
- Transfer the mixture into a nut milk bag and using your hands, squeeze out the excess water.
- Place a strainer over a mixing bowl and put the cheese (that is still in a nut milk bag) over the strainer with a weight on it (I use a can or filled water bottle).
- Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let sit for 12-24 hours in a warm place to ferment.
- Once fermented, transfer the cheese into a clean bowl and mx in the seasonning (nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder and sea salt).
- Transfer the cheese onto a piece of parchment paper and roll it into a log shape.
- Sprinkle the crushed peppercorn around the log and roll to embed the pepper into the cheese.
- Refrigerate for 12 hours or more, until the cheese becomes firm.
- Serve on crackers or use it to garnish vegan pizza or other cheezy meals.
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