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Homemade Creamy Cashew Nut Cheese

Making homemade cashew nut cheese is incredible for gut health because it's rich in bacteria. It is surprisingly easy to make and incredibly rewarding when you get to eat it!
Jul 16, 2018 | Joy McCarthy

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.


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!).

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  • 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
  • Probiotics (30 billion)
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary for garnish
  • Optional: 2 heaping tsp nutritional yeast
  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. Add probiotics. 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.


*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.

If you can't find probiotics that have 30 billion CFU per capsule, you can just use 10 billion capsules X 3. Just crack open the capsule and pour it in. There are also brands of probiotics you can purchase that aren't in a capsule form, like Genestra HMF Powder.

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 digestibility 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 than not, when I get an email that the yogurt didn't work out, it's because someone used a cheap probiotic.

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


Depending on 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 as 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 creamy cashew nut cheese!

Lactofermented foods are incredible for gut health.

They help to proliferate the microbiome with beneficial bacteria. Good bacteria help 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!


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?


Rachel M.   •   July 17, 2018

So yummy! Can't wait to try this!


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.

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!

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

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! :)

Joy McCarthy   •   July 18, 2018

Christine   •   July 18, 2018

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

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?

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!

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...

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)

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?

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

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!

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!

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 :-)

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

Joy McCarthy   •   December 7, 2018

Megan   •   February 7, 2019

Hello! I made your cheese 24 hours ago and left it in my oven - I can already smell the cheese in my kitchen ( good smells, but strong!) and I'm wondering if mine just fermented fast? Should I put it into the fridge already or wait for it to harden more because it's still really soft!

Joy McCarthy   •   February 7, 2019

Lynell   •   February 14, 2019

Hi Joy, just wondering if fresh herbs can be used in the cheese or would they go off in the fermintation process? Thanks Lynell

Joy McCarthy   •   February 14, 2019

Katz   •   February 20, 2019

Can you use walnuts in stead of cashews?

Joy McCarthy   •   February 20, 2019

Maggie   •   March 20, 2019

Hi Joyous, i have a few questions 1. If you don’t leave it in a wired mesh strainer where do you put it? Can I leave it in a bowl? 2. Since I don’t have a filter can I use bottled water? 3. Do I have to wash my cheese cloth if they are brand new? 4. Does the apple cider vinegar have to be organic? Thank you so much!

Joy McCarthy   •   March 21, 2019

Roy W.   •   April 2, 2019

Wonderful recipe. Works well in filing Portabello Mushrooms too. If you only have a cheap blender like my Kitchen Aid, it is still possible to make this cheese and have it completely smooth. Just add double or even triple the quantity of water until the mixture runs down the sides of the jar easily. When completely smooth, transfer to a non-stick frying pan and heat gently to reduce the moisture until it is the exact consistency you want. When it has cooled down to below body temperature, add the Probiotics and stir well. Then complete the process as per the recipe.


Jess   •   April 6, 2019

Is it 2 cups cashews after soaking or 2 cups before you soak?

Joy McCarthy   •   April 8, 2019

maggie   •   April 13, 2019

Hi Joy, thank you for your comment! I made the cheese but i waited for a week it still tasted a little too acidic (it has a big apple cider vinegar taste) i wonder if it's because the temperature in my house wasn't warm enough? Anyway i put them in my fridge but i wonder what could i have done wrong?

Joy McCarthy   •   April 13, 2019

Silva shapir   •   April 26, 2019

Hi Joy. Thank you for your instructions. But l want to ask you about using the vinegar. I heard that vinegar kills all the bacteria. Even the good ones. So how is it possible to ferment with vinegar?

Joy McCarthy   •   April 26, 2019

Shelley Miedema   •   May 10, 2019

what should the cheese like look like? mine cheese is extremely creamy and doesn't look like cheese although looks like there was a crust beginning to form. Should i just leave it . i made the cheese 2 days ago going int the third day but it looks like it did the i put it in the bag. our health food store didn't have 15x2 per billion 30 in total for the probiotic so i used i 1x 16 per billion which s 45 probiotic should this matter? also can you over mix the cheese too much and cause it not to work. Thankyou. For now i will leave it in the oven for the remainder of the week and see what happens. some how i think this first batch didn't turn out for me. um made cheese on Wednesday MAY 8 2019

Joy McCarthy   •   May 13, 2019

Jessie Davis   •   May 10, 2019

Hey! I just made this cashew cheese last night and it is sitting in the oven now aging away! How do I know when my cheese has become cheese? You said it could take up to 2

Joy McCarthy   •   May 13, 2019

Stephanie M.   •   May 19, 2019

Hi Joy, I am currently letting my cheese ferment and can't wait to try it! I do have a friend who is has cashews as an allergen to her body (as well as peanuts). Is there another type of nut she can try this with?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 19, 2019

Joanna   •   May 24, 2019

Thank you for your recipe! I want to try it out. Is putting it into a cheesecloth necessary? Could I leave it in a bowl without cheesecloth? Thank you!

Joy McCarthy   •   May 24, 2019

Felicia   •   June 21, 2019

I’m a big sauerkraut maker , can I use some brine instead of probiotic capsule?

Joy McCarthy   •   June 23, 2019

Elle   •   July 2, 2019

I made the cashew cheese and left it to ferment in the oven for 48 hours. I took it out and although it smells amazing, there is white fuzzy mold on a couple of spots on my nut bag (I have not taken out the cheese from the bag). Is the cheese still ok to eat?

Joy McCarthy   •   July 2, 2019

Susan   •   October 30, 2019

I made your cheese on Sunday afternoon and its now Wednesday but I don't smell the cheese at all. Not sure if i did anything wrong.......

Joy McCarthy   •   October 31, 2019

Elaine   •   December 13, 2019

This morning I’ve decide to give this recipe a try (since it’s so expensive to buy). I even bought the probiotic and thought I was ok.... I would like to know if I didn’t use raw cashews (I took what I had) if I might be sick or have other problems ? I was so anxious to try it that I should have checked before making it but now it’s in my oven “on off” waiting patiently 🙄! Please tell me it’s ok but next time I will buy the right cashews. Thanks

Elaine   •   December 13, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   December 14, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   December 16, 2019

Hélène   •   December 14, 2019

Thank you so much for answering me ! Yes it was clean .... and I can’t wait to taste it, but I’m gonna give it all the time needed :)

Joy McCarthy   •   December 16, 2019

Elaine   •   December 16, 2019

I've decided after 3 long waiting days to get it out of the bag :) It didn't look quite like yours but I think it might be my cotton bag that kept the moisture in more than it would have been another bag ... but I had some this morning and it's very good. I might try next time another spice, less garlic since I'm looking for something to put on my toast in the morning besides butter (peanut, almond, etc ....). I'm not giving up !!

Joy McCarthy   •   December 16, 2019

Ellen   •   December 18, 2019

I tried the recipe from your cashew cheeze.. It really worked fine and tasted delicious.. Thanks.

Joy McCarthy   •   December 19, 2019

Elaine   •   December 27, 2019

I have to share my experience with your recipe ... I'm so proud of myself :) It was a success and I intend not to buy any since I'm looking for new ideas (which I'm not good at). Are you willing to help me out ? Since it's all gone and that I thought it would give me time to make some more I bought some yesterday (yurk ... not what I was looking for) ! If I was to replace some ingredients, would it be o.k. and would I get the same texture ? Here is where I need some help ! What could I replace the garlic clove, the vinegar and the rosemary ? Do I need to replace them or a few of them or could I try without ? I'm a fan of this cheese :)

Joy McCarthy   •   December 27, 2019

Elaine   •   December 27, 2019

Very nice to know (I love all the herbs you've mentioned so I will give them a try :) I do like garlic but I'm interested to learn more about cheese and fauxmage recipes . Could I use another vinegar like Rice Vinegar ? It was a real success this Xmas so I guess all those questions will be helpful for next time (which could be this week-end) !


Nancy   •   February 19, 2020

Hello! Just tried your recipe 2 1/2 days ago. Took it out of the nutmilk bag today. It had developed a firm darker crust on the outside, the inside is creamy and looks like yours and it is all delicious. I noticed yours doesn't seem to have a firm dark crust. Anything that sits out for awhile would form a crust I think. Did yours do this? Did you take it off before wrapping it up? If not, how do you think yours stayed soft and white on the outside? Any ideas? Thanks for the recipe! (also I added pickled jalapenos to mine, really yummy!)

Joy McCarthy   •   February 20, 2020

Phyllis Jean Fulton   •   May 13, 2020

If I opt to use sauerkraut juice or kambucha, would I replace it for the water?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 13, 2020

Stephanie Gagliano   •   May 20, 2020

You mentioned in video adding saukuat water, komucha or coconut water kefir. How much can I add instead of probotic pills.

Joy McCarthy   •   May 20, 2020

Marlee   •   November 24, 2020

My flavour is fabulous! It was hard to get out of my cheese cloth. Should I have put it in the fridge first before trying to take it out? Mine is a lot softer than Joy’s! Maybe it needed more fermentation? So many questions! Now to experiment 🔬

Joy McCarthy   •   December 1, 2020

Natasha   •   April 3, 2021

You mentioned that you can use kombucha instead of the probiotics. If I used raw unflavoured kombucha how much would I use to make this? Thank you!


Suzanne   •   August 13, 2022

How did you get it to stay hard? Mine was kinda mushy. Like more dip or creme cheesy. But it looked the same texture as yours when it came out of the blender. What should I try differently? It needed that bit of water to blend. And I only added a tiny bit at a time - like you said. Love this recipe though! It tastes soooo yummy. And love you! Because you are so darn fantastic! Suz

Joy McCarthy   •   August 23, 2022

Carrie   •   February 3, 2023

Keep the light on in the oven and the warmth will help culture your cheese faster.

Joy McCarthy   •   February 6, 2023

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