I’ve been experimenting with cultured cashew and macadamia nut based cheeze for the last few years and love LOVE them, so naturally I was curious to try my friends Barbara’s technique for to making dairy-free ‘uncheese’. One of the main differences between the two is that she uses agar-agar (a sea vegetable that acts as a natural thickener) and therefore a lot less nuts. While the agar is heated on the stove in order to be activated, all of the other ingredients are raw.
The cheeze’s texture was really impressive! After only one hour of chilling it was so firm that you could slice it with a knife! The blend of onion, dill and horseradish also made for a super tasty cheeze. I have since played around with this basic idea and created several variations of this wonderful vegan cheeze.
From The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 5 tablespoons agar flakes or 1 1/2 tablespoons agar powder
- 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini (or sesame seeds)
- 2 tablespoons white horseradish powder
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1. Set aside a 2 Cup plastic storage container.
2. In a high-power blender such as the Omni V 3HP blender add the cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tahini, horseradish powder, mustard, onion powder, and garlic powder.
3. Bring water to boil. Slowly add the agar stirring with whisk. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking often, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until completely dissolved.
4. Slowly pour a little into blender and pulse. Working quickly. Scrape sides. Put cover on blender and remove cover center – slowly pour rest of hot agar mixture into center of blender. Process several minutes until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary.
5. Pour in the onion flakes and dill weed and mix by hand or pulse quickly – being sure not to over blend – this is to be slightly chunky.
6. Pour into container and cool uncovered in the refrigerator.
7. When completely cool, cover and chill several hours. To serve, turn out of the container and slice.
8. Store covered in refrigerator. Will keep 5 to 7 days.