Gourmet Vegan Fermented Cheese (#2)
There are numerous reasons to drop the dairy from your diet. A quick google search can outline many of those reasons for you, so rather than belabor the point, how about instead we talk about this delicious, probiotic-filled gourmet vegan cheese featuring one of my favorite ingredients: kombucha! A while ago I shared another recipe for a basic vegan fermented cheese, so here's a second and equally delicious option for you that is also full of digestive benefits.
I love making my own kombucha, it's so much less expensive than shelling out upwards of $5 a bottle to get it from a store. And it has the added benefit of being totally customizable with whatever flavors you want. You also have the satisfaction of taking control of your own food cycle. By making it yourself, you will always know exactly what went into it because you made it!
I personally always seem to make kombucha faster than I can drink it, and the giant scoby farm in my kitchen is a testament to that fact. (If you also have lots of extra scoby's, try my yummy vegan 'bucha sushi recipe.) This is also a good option to use kombucha that you've made that's a little too strong for you to drink (besides using it as the starter tea for your next batches.)
For this gourmet cheese recipe, you can use any flavor of kombucha. I used a combo I made from hibiscus and white rose teas. Given that this gourmet cheese is plant-based, fermented AND delicious (not to mention really easy to make,) you'll want to serve it over and over again. I'd liken the flavor to sharp cheddar cheese. Use it just like you would any other cheese, spread it on crackers, serve with fruit or on a sandwich...you're limited only by your imagination!
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked at least six hours, overnight is better)
- 1/4 cup kombucha
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp fresh herbs (optional, good choices are dill, parsley, rosemary or basil-or a combo of those)
- any additional seasoning you want to try (like paprika, white pepper, etc.-also optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
- Place mixture in cheese cloth, forming it into a ball.
- Place the cheese ball (still in the cloth) in a bowl and drizzle some kombucha over the top of it.
- Cover it with a towel (make sure it's totally covered to keep bugs and dust out) and leave on the counter overnight. Taste it after 24 hours and see if it's to your liking, you can let it continue to ferment or go ahead and eat it if it's to your liking now.
Ready to try your hand at making your own kombucha? Here's my step-by-step directions for homemade kombucha.
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