Outstanding Non-dairy Cheese

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October 14, 2017

Ingredients

For the Cheese

1 1/2 cups raw nuts, (cashews, brazil nuts, or macadamias)

1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan salt

4 cups iltered water, or enough to cover nuts, room temperature

2 capsules of probiotics (I have used probiotics by Raw Primal Defense and Progressive, but other brands should work too)

1/2-3/4 cups rejuvelac* (recipe follows)

For the Rejuvelac

1 cup wheatberries

4 cups water

Directions

1Soak the nuts for 8-12 hours in 4-6 cups of room temperature filtered water and a teaspoon of salt. Strain and rinse the nuts and place in a high-speed blender. Discard the soaking liquid. (A Vitamix, or equivalent blender works really well here as it has enough power to make the nuts completely smooth).

2Pull the probiotic capsules apart over the blender, and add the powder to the blender with 1/2 cup rejuvelac to start. Blend the nuts until smooth, adding more rejuvelac as necessary. You may not need all of the rejuvelac. You just want the mixture wet enough for the blender to do its job and blend the nuts until completely smooth. There should be no visible or textural remnants of nuts when done.

3Place a nut-bag or double layer of cheesecloth in a sieve and place the sieve over a bowl. Using a spatula, scrape the nut mixture from the blender into the lined sieve. Fold the cheesecloth or nut-bag over the top of the mixture to enclose and then weigh it down with a can of beans or something heavy resting on top of a plate. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm place to ripen for 12-14 hours.

4After 12-14 hours, the “cheese” will have thickened a little and formed a crust on the top. The crust formation is normal. Scrape the cheese into a bowl, and using a whisk, beat the crust back into the cheese mixture. It won’t taste like much at this stage. (At this point you can divide the mixture in half and flavour each one all differently). Whisk in the lemon juice and salt. Then add seasonings. Adjust to taste.

5To shape the cheese using a mold, line your mold with plastic wrap or a non-stick liner and spoon in the cheese. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula and cover with a piece of waxed or parchment paper, or loosely cover with the overhanging edges on the saran wrap. Smooth the surface of the cheese and tap the cheese firmly on the counter several times to remove any air pockets.

6Leave the cheeses to set overnight. The cheese will continue to firm up as it rests in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, uncover the mold and flip it over onto a flat board or serving plate. Carefully remove the silicone liner or plastic wrap. Cheese keeps well in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days.

Making the Rejuvelac

1First, sprout the wheat berries. Place the wheat berries in a large bowl with at least double the amount of water. Stir well and leave to soak 12 hours or overnight.

2Strain the wheat berries and discard the soaking water. Refill the bowl with fresh water; stir vigorously and strain the wheat berries again. Continue rinsing and straining until the water runs clear. After straining the wheat berries for the last time, cover the bowl of wheat berries with cheesecloth and leave at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. The wheat berries should be sitting in only the water that clings to them.

3Repeat the step above (rinsing and straining) 2-3 times a day for the next one or two days, until tiny tails begin to sprout on the ends of the wheat berries. The wheat berries are ready to use when the tails are ¼-inch long – they do not need to be longer.

4Add 4 cups (I litre) of water to the sprouted wheat berries in a large jar or pitcher, cover loosely with cheesecloth and place in a warm place out of direct sunlight. As the wheat berries ferment, rejuvelac becomes cloudy and the colour of pale straw.You may notice tiny bubbles on the surface of the liquid – this is normal. Leave for 12-36 hours. Rejuvelac is ready to drink or use in recipes when the aroma is mildly sour and earthy. The flavor will be faintly tangy with a hint of lemon. It won’t be unpleasant.

Notes

1Rejuvelac is a non-alcoholic fermented liquid made from sprouted grains; such as, wheat berries, oats, rye, quinoa, barley, millet, and buckwheat. Rejuvelac is considered a digestive aid because it is a live food containing beneficial bacteria and active enzymes. Rejuvelac can be used as a starter culture for other fermented foods such as raw nut and seed yoghurts, cheeses, sauces and Essene Breads. It is possible to make a second batch of rejuvelac from the same sprouted grains, and if you do, the second batch will take less time to ferment.

2Rejuvelac recipe makes more than you’ll need for this batch of cheese, even if you double the recipe above. Rejuvelac lasts for 3-4 days refrigerated, but it can be frozen too. If you are making a second batch using the same sprouted wheat berries, discard them after the second use.

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