These recipe posts are long overdue, I’ve so busy I just couldn’t find the time to get them posted for my cheesey crew! My apologies, and in that, I am going to be posting some extra recipes as I’ve now had two events in which I’ve been sharing my passion for making plant-based (vegan) cashew cheese recipes and sharing them with my Whole Food Nutrition Group (which I will soon be re-naming to Kindred Kitchens, my new plant-based food business respectively). My two most recent food-focused events were called ‘Say Vegan Cheese Please’ and they were both a huge success. There was limited space and a waiting list for each event so it’s promising to see that people are interested in learning how to make their own cashew cheese, which might I add, is also cholesterol, lactose and cruelty free. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? The best part is, the cashew cheese recipes are really not all that challenging. The cashews should be soaked for a minimum of 2 hours to make them nice and soft for easy blending… however there are other benefits to soaking nuts as it removes phytic acid and makes them easier to digest. For more info and a great guide on the benefits of soaking and sprouting check out this article ‘That’s Nuts!’ on The Radiant Life Blog. 


I noticed that the cheese was better after it had some time to sit and set in the fridge, especially because it can get heated when in the food processor. I use a Ninja Pro, which has about 1500 Watts and is extremely powerful, once I left my cashews blending too long and the mixture became hot and the fat separated. Not what I was intending but it really did remove a lot of the fat, I’m guessing that when making reduced fat peanut butter protein powder (such as PB2) they must do something similar.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found on Nest and Glow for sliceable cheese and that’s how I discovered Agar Agar (which is a seaweed based gelatin replacement), however I’ve toyed with the recipe several times and still have not been able to make my cheese sliceable like their picture, but the taste was absolutely delicious! One thing I did differently is I soaked my nuts and I did for the reason that it makes them easier to digest and removes phytic acid, however if you have no problem eating regular cashews then you would have no problem eating the un-soaked version of the cashew cheese I would imagine. I think anything in moderation is ok but I happen to be a cashew cheese addict these days. I’ve added and modified a few ingredients but overall I really like using the maple syrup. I actually tried dehydrating the cheese one time, I put it in the dehydrator at 158 degrees and let it sit for 12 hours inside but it still wasn’t sliceable. Once I figure it out, I will update this post. Until then, here is the oh so yummy, maple chipotle cheese recipe:

 

 

Maple Chipotle Cheese

Prep:
Prep Ahead:  (pre-soak cashews) 2-24 hours
Prep: 5 min
Blending: 10 min
Ready in: 15-20 min
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups cashew nuts (raw, unsalted and soaked)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (Braggs)
1 tsp agar agar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp tumaric powder
1/2 tsp chipotle or smoked paprika (or add to desired spice or flavour) 3 drops liquid smoke
1/8 tsp pink himalayan sea salt

Instructions:
Pre-soak cashews to make them soft and more digestable
Strain liquid and add all ingredients into a blender
Every few minutes use a spatula to very carefully lift and mix the cheese in the blender to ensure everything is evenly distributed and can blend to a smooth, creamy texture

Using the spatula, scoop cashew cheese out of blender and into a mould (or a small bowl or recycled dip container lined with parchment paper)
For best results, refrigerate at least one hour to let the cheese set.
Enjoy with friends or alone, it will taste so good you’ll have a big cheesy smile on your beautiful face.

Notes:

If you don’t have a powerful food processor or blender you can still make cheese but it will just require more time and effort. I used to use a coffee grinder to grind up my soaked cashews but it took forever because I had to do such small portions at a time, however if you love cashew cheese as much as I do, it’s worth the extra work, but I’m not going to lie, it’s so much better with my Ninja Pro blender. The cool thing about making your own cheese is that you can get really creative, the night before my second cheese making party, I catered an event and my awesome Kindred Kitchens crew and I created some beautiful festive cheeses to go with the Halloween theme. Check them out, aren’t they just so cute?! If you test out any recipes and create something fun like this please tag me on instagram @angela_argentina or on Facebook.

Garlic & Herb Cashew Cheese

 

Prep:
Prep Ahead:  (pre-soak cashews) 2-24 hours
Prep: 5 min
Blending: 10 min
Ready in: 15-20 min
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups cashew nuts (raw, unsalted and soaked)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic minced (roasted gives it a nice flavour)
3/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 tbs Italian seasonings
2 tbsp Agar Agar
(optional) fresh herbs and sunflower/sesame/hemps seeds or even lemon zest for garnishing

Instructions:
Pre-soak cashews to make them soft and more digestable
Strain liquid and add all ingredients into a blender
Every few minutes use a spatula to very carefully lift and mix the cheese in the blender to ensure everything is evenly distributed and can blend to a smooth, creamy texture
Using the spatula, scoop cashew cheese out of blender and into a mould (or a small bowl or recycled dip container lined with parchment paper)

For best results, refrigerate at least one hour to let the cheese set.

Notes:

If you want to decorate your cheese like I did, I decorate the sides by carefully sprinkling it with the toppings (seeds, herbs, etc) then top it off with something else if you want. I like to choose things that either contrast colours or textures for visual appeal.

Gluten-Free Italian Grissini (by Mariangela Dimatteo)

Ingredients:
2 cups chick pea flour
2 tbsp + 1/2 ground flax seeds
1 cup chopped olives 
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp saffron
himalayan salt
Instructions:
Mix all the ingredients
Split the dough shaping each piece individually into a strip
Place strips on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
Bake until they are golden, about 20 min. 392°F
 

Raw Pumpkin Dip (by Mariangela Dimatteo)

 
Ingredients:
pumpkin
apple vinager
lemon juice
olive oil
Himalayan salt
fresh garlic
fresh sage
fresh ginger
almond
sunflower seeds
Instructions:
Cut pumpkin into thin slices, put them in a bowl and marinate with apple vineger, lemon juice, olive oil, Himalayan salt, fresh garlic, sage (add water to evenly cover the pumpkin).
Let sit for about 12 to 24 hours (the more it sits the best flavour it gets!).
Drain the pumpkin from its liquid and put it in a blender/food processor with almond, sunflower seeds, fresh ginger and blend.
Notes:
Measurements are approximate. Use your own judgement and add to your taste/liking. If you made any changes and you think it made this recipe better, please share!

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce by Tom (Whole Food Nutrition Member)

Ingredients
2 cups vinegar (I use my homemade kombucha vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or other healthy vinegars other than wine vinegar should work)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tamarind concentrate or 6 tbsp lemon juice)
3 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
3 tbsp salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp curry powder
5 cardamom pods, smashed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1″ stick cinnamon
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup sugar
Instructions
Mix all the ingredients other than the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Heat sugar until it caramelizes and becomes an amber syrup.
Mix together with the other ingredients, whisking well.
Cook for 5 minutes more.
Transfer to a container.
Refrigerate for 3 weeks.
Strain out the solids, and then return to the container.
Notes:
This should last in the refrigerator for a long, long, long time. This can also be used in drinks (such as vegan bloody ceasers, as a dip or a marinade). Let us know how you decide to use it!
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