Whenever I’ve over indulged in food and alcohol or my gut feels particularly sensitive after having eaten too much dairy, I take probiotics to restore and maintain a healthy gut. Recently, I’ve been including goat’s milk cheese into my diet, as an alternative to cow’s milk as it doesn’t trigger the same sensitivity and intolerance levels I have with cow’s milk – a horrendous situation as I love ALL cheese fondly.
A colleague recently contacted me asking what she could use as a substitute for mascarpone in my Raw Chestnut Cheesecake recipe, as she is milk protein intolerant.
Her question did get me thinking. I’m familiar with some of the cheese alternatives on the market but in all honesty these products leave me cold. Other alternatives are silken tofu or cashew cheese. I’ve only recently discovered cashew cheese and was intrigued by the hype surrounding this dairy alternative, so I thought I would make a batch and compare it to the real thing.
Although this dairy alternative will never be found on my traditional cheese platter of eyes, cheddars and blues, the Cashew Nut Cheese is one of the closest in texture and flavour for fresh and cream cheese available and will make a perfect substitute in recipes calling for mascarpone or ricotta cheese. It’s neutral on the palate and absorbs flavours extremely well. You could also use this cream cheese as a basis for a dip.
Cashew Nut Cheese is a perfect substitute for recipes calling for cream cheese, it's suitable for people who have dairy and lactose sensitivities and intolerance.
Preparation Time: 24 Hour Process
Makes: 2 x 425g Jars
Ingredients ½ Cup Coconut Cream
2 Cups Raw Cashews
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Acidophilus Powder Pinch of Salt
Soak the raw cashews in water for 10-12 hours.
After soaking the cashews, rinse and place in a food processor.
Soak cashews for 10-12 hours then place into a food processor.
Add the coconut cream, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and acidophilus powder and process for approximately 10 minutes.
Add the coconut cream, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and acidophilus powder to the cashews and process until smooth.
When you have achieved a smooth and creamy texture, transfer the cheese into a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Wrap the bowl in a blanket or a couple of towels.
Leave the covered bowl in a warm area of the kitchen to allow the probiotics to activate and ferment for 12 hours. The Cashew Nut Cheese will have a consistency similar to Mascarpone.
Transfer the cheese to a bowl and cover with cling wrap then cover with a couple of towels. Leave to ferment in a warm place for up to 12 hours. The Cashew Nut Cheese will have a similar consistency to cream cheese such as mascarpone.
Transfer the Cashew Nut Cheese into a jar or container that can be sealed and store in the refrigerator, it will keep for approximately 4-5 days.
Use the Cashew Nut Cheese as an alternative to soft cream cheese or butter. Spread on toast, crackers, use as a thick dip with crudités, or use as a cheese substitute when a recipe requires cream cheese. This cheese is suitable for vegans and people who have lactose and dairy sensitivities and intolerance.
You can eat the cheese immediately, but I would suggest allowing the cheese to ferment for extra flavour. You can also add garlic for additional flavouring.
Notes I use Ethical Nutrients Inner Health Plus Dairy Free, Acidophilus Capsules as a probiotic supplement. Three capsules equals one teaspoon of Acidophilus Powder.
Cashew Nut Cheese can be used as an alternative to soft cream cheese or butter.