Spicy Pepper-Jack

This cheese alternative is lightly fermented for a more authentic flavor and texture. Experiment with using different nuts. Try almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts for some or all of the macadamia or Brazil nuts. Use more or fewer minced peppers for a milder or more potent cheese.

Photo: devrim_pinar - stock.adobe.com

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

This recipe originally appeared on our sister site, BetterNutrition.com


  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts1/2 cup raw Brazil nuts
  • 1-1/2 cups water

  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, very finely minced

  • 1 small Fresno pepper, very finely minced

  • 2 probiotics capsules

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Soak nuts in filtered water to cover. Drain and rinse cashews and macadamias after 3-4 hours. Drain and rinse Brazil nuts after 8 hours.
  2. Transfer nuts to food processor. Add water and purée until creamy and smooth.
  3. Add jalapeño and Fresno peppers, and pulse to blend. Open probiotic capsules and empty contents into nut mixture. Pulse to mix.
  4. Transfer mixture to cheesecloth-lined strainer. Place strainer in shallow bowl, and let stand 24 hours. Empty liquid that accumulates in bottom. (You can keep this to make Creamy Cheese Sauce, below, or discard.)
  5. Purée fermented cheese with melted coconut oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Serve immediately as a soft, crumbly cheese to top tacos or burritos. Or pack into small dish or ramekin lined with
    plastic; cover; and refrigerate until firm.
  6. To serve, invert dish or ramekin over plate to release cheese, and remove plastic. Serve with crackers or on sandwiches. Refrigerate remainder for up to one week.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 322
  • Carbohydrate Content 8 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 31 g
  • Fiber Content 3 g
  • Protein Content 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 15 g
  • Sodium Content 295 mg
  • Sugar Content 2 g