Herbed Macadamia-Almond Cheese
Makes 2 cups
A pivotal moment for raw foods chef Cherie Soria came when she realized she could re-create a favorite food she’d given up long ago: cheese. “I devised a technique that allowed me to combine nuts and culture them in such a way as to create real cultured cheeses,” she says. The secret ingredient: probiotic powder. In 1998 Soria, who’s now 67, founded the Living Light Culinary Institute in Fort Bragg, Calif., America’s first raw cooking school. She’s the de facto emissary for the raw foods movement, and raw vegan cheese is her calling card. “It shows that you don’t have to think of raw foods as just shoots and roots,” she says.
- 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- ¼ tsp. probiotic powder
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 Tbs. chopped chives
- 2 Tbs. chopped dill
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1. To make Cheese Base: Soak macadamia nuts and almonds in filtered water 6 to 8 hours. Drain.
2. Blend soaked nuts with 1 cup
fresh filtered water and probiotic powder in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary.
3. Line small colander with damp cheesecloth, allowing several inches of cloth to drape over sides. Set colander over dish to catch liquid, and pour creamy nut mixture into cheesecloth.
4. Fold excess cheesecloth over top of nut mixture, and place in a warm (not hot) location to ferment. After 2 hours, place a can or cup filled with grains or seeds on top of cheese bundle to help press out excess liquid. Let ferment 8 to 12 hours more; check every 2 to 3 hours, and drain off excess liquid collecting in dish.
5. Transfer Cheese Base to bowl, and stir in all Add-Ins. Cover, and store in refrigerator up to 1 week.