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Homemade Creamy Cashew Cheese

—  found in  Food  —

The other day my hubs opened up the oven and said "Joy, that stinks"! I knew I was on to some good cheese making by his comment! But just to be clear, you do not heat this cheese in the oven. The oven stays OFF. It is the perfect warm place for this cheese to ferment like a champ. 

Ever since I had my first taste of cashew cheese a few years ago at Tori's Bakeshop, I've been wanting to make my own cashew cheese. Not just because it's tasty, but also because soaked and fermented nuts like this cheese, are easy to digest, making the nutrients easier to absorb. 

But to be honest, I was quite intimidated by the idea of making it myself. It seemed somewhat of a mystery. Every recipe I looked up had a slightly different formula so I knew I would have to play around before I nailed it. 

I'm pleased to tell you, I've nailed it and this cheese is absolutely wonderful. It has a creamy texture that is consistent throughout. You could totally trick a dairy-cheese lover into thinking it was a dairy-based cheese. I might just try this on my dad, he he he.

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Whether you avoid dairy cheese or not, this cheese is for EVERYONE! 

The texture is somewhere between goat cheese and cream cheese.

There is a slight bit of a rind, but it's so soft you can eat right through it. 

Here's the full recipe and then be sure to read my tips below (including a step by step video!).

Salad & Snacks
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours or overnight
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 capsules Genuine Health x 15 billion probiotics
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary for garnish
  • Optional: 2 heaping tsp nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. After cashews have soaked, drain the water and give them a quick rinse.
  2. Place cashews in a high power blender and add garlic, apple cider vinegar, water, dried rosemary, sea salt and nutritional yeast if using. Blend until smooth and creamy. See my NOTE about blending!
  3. Open up two probiotic capsules of 15 billion. Sprinkle into blender and blend again.
  4. Scrape out the mixture on to a cheese cloth and place in a medium size bowl. Let sit on counter for 24 to 72 hours. Or place in a warm place like the oven, with the oven OFF.

Notes

I used two capsules of Genuine Health Advanced Gut Probiotics, but this cheese would work with only one capsule of 15 billion.

*NOTE: The key to get it super creamy is making sure you blend it really really well. It should be almost like cream when it's finished blending. I don't think it would work in a food processor, you need a high power blender like a Blendtec or a Vitamix.

This cashew cheese is everything you'd want it to be. Creamy, flavourful, dairy-free , gut health friendly and deeeelish! Now for a few more tips for perfect cheese making!

You need to make sure you soak your cashews for several hours; the longer the better, so if you soak them overnight, that's ideal. Soaking cashews makes them nice and soft for blending but also, you will be improving the digestability and the bioavailability of the nutrients. You also reduce the phytic acid which can otherwise bind with minerals and prevent their absorption, so reducing the amount of phytic acid in foods is a good thing. 

It is imperative you use high quality probiotics, or else it won't work; just like in my Homemade Coconut Yogurt which is one of my most popular recipes of all time! More often then not, when I get an email that the yogurt didn't work out, it's because someone used a cheap probiotic.

Even though the package you see in the photo is for 50 billion, I used two capsules of 15 billion for a total of 30 billion. However, I'm pretty certain one capsule would work just as well.

You can find Genuine Health's probiotics at most health food stores or you can order it online here.  They are my favourite brand because they are a multi-strain probiotic which is important for gut health, as your gut has more than just one strain of benefical bactiera. In fact, there are around 1000 different strains of bacteria that colonize your gut and this cheese is seriously gut lovin' so you will be able to proliferate your gut with even more!

If you are sensitive to dairy and experience digestive upset or skin irritations (including eczema ), I would recommend going dairy-free and also make this creamy dairy-free nut cheese!

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Depending what kind of blender you're using, you may need to scrape the sides of your blender down as you're making it or use the wand to help it blend like I did.

Once it's been blended, pour it into cheesecloth or a nutbag like I did and tie a knot at the top.

Then leave it somewhere warm for 48 to 72 hours. I left it for 2.5 days before I put it in the fridge. I had to travel with it actually because we had a friend's wedding to go to this weekend!

I didn't leave it in the wire mesh strainer because after doing more research I read that metal can inhibit the fermentation process. Even though it was in this strainer for around 12 hours, it didn't make a difference. 

And just in case you still need some clarification on this whole nut cheese making thing, you can watch my step by step video where I take you through the process of making your own own creamy cashew nut cheese!

Lactofermented foods are incredible for gut health.

They help to proliferate the microbiome with beneficial bacteria. Good bacteria helps to crowd out the bad bacteria and yeast that can contribute to gas, bloating , parasites and yeast overgrowth. 

We enjoyed this cashew cheese with some crackers, dried apricots, sliced apple, carrots and radish.

There you have it! Have you been making your own nut cheeses for a while? Hopefully I'm not the only nut cheese virgin here, lol.

Tell me some of your favourite nut cheese flavour combinations, or what flavour you are dreaming up for your nut cheese!

Have a joyous day!

Joy

This post was created in partnership with Genuine Health, however all opinions are always my own. Read more about partnership ethos here.

32 Comments
Claire   •   July 17, 2018

Hi I'm 4 months pregnant and have started taking optiBac probiotics for pregnant women and children, they contain 3 strains of bacteria but there's only 3 billion live cultures per sachet, I'd like to make this cheese for me and my daughter 21months to eat.can I just add a couple of sachets or would you recommend the higher does of 30mil?

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Rachel M.   •   July 17, 2018

So yummy! Can't wait to try this!

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Marion   •   July 17, 2018

Thank you Joy for you’re ipe for creamy cashew cheese. As a vegetarian for 73 of my 87 years, I can’t wait to try it. I use recipes from your 2 cookbooks every day and look forward to your next one.

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 17, 2018

Lara Frendjian   •   July 17, 2018

Looks great!!! I’ve been experimenting with cash and almond cheese the last few months and I’m now hooked. Will definitely try your version. Yum!

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 17, 2018

Lisa   •   July 17, 2018

Dejavu.. I just bought some at farmers market! Was so yummy! First time try. Will try to make next time . Was a bit pricey but so fresh tasting.. thanks for recipe. Will let ya know how it turns out! Have a lovely day🌻Lisa

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 18, 2018

Ruth   •   July 17, 2018

Thank you so very much for this recipe. Mine is fermenting on the kitchen counter and is already smelling wonderfully stinky! :)

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 18, 2018

Christine   •   July 18, 2018

Joy, could you use 1x50 billion Genuine Health probiotic instead of 2x15 billion?

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   July 18, 2018

Christine M.   •   July 18, 2018

Joy, could you use 1 x 50 billion Genuine Health probiotic instead of 2 x 15 billion?

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Rachel Molenda   •   August 20, 2018

Cass   •   July 23, 2018

Hi Joy, love your blog and your cookbooks can't wait for the new one to come out! Just so I'm clear - you need to add probiotics to the recipe right? If I left that out it wouldn't ferment? Just double checking as I'll need to pick some up if so. Thanks!

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Joy McCarthy   •   July 24, 2018

Liza   •   August 4, 2018

How do you know when it has fermented enough? Mine has been in the oven for 1.5 days and it does not look like much has happened...

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 4, 2018

Jen   •   August 25, 2018

Hi joy , Just wondering, did you use the dry blade vitamin container? I used the wet blade container and it wouldn’t mix after awhile (it’s too dry to mix)

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 29, 2018

Jen W.   •   August 27, 2018

Hi joy, I tasted my cheese and taste a little sour. Is it suppose to? I left my cheese in my oven for 48 hours. Is that too long?

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 29, 2018

angela hohban   •   September 21, 2018

Hi Joy, Made the cream cheese and it was delicious. How long will it keep in frig. angela

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Joy McCarthy   •   September 22, 2018

Sandy   •   October 11, 2018

My favourite combo is Boursin cranberry and pepper. I will need to try this with your recipe Joy! So much healthier :) Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 11, 2018

Julia   •   November 12, 2018

Trying this recipe for the first time! I'm 24h in! Is the colour of the cheese meant to be more yellow or off-white? How do you get it more white, like the final product shown in your video? Also, will it firm up as it ferments? Thanks!

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Joy McCarthy   •   November 12, 2018

Janet   •   December 5, 2018

This was super yum! I did have to soak my jelly bag in a vinegar bath to get out the garlic and Italian spices smell though :-)

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Joy McCarthy   •   December 5, 2018

Heather   •   December 7, 2018

I just made this cheese, put in the fridge for a day, now trying it. Soo very yummy!!! Loving it. Can’t wait to share with others. Looking forward to your macadamia cheese soon!!! Thank you

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   December 7, 2018

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