Soft & Melty “Cheese”
Sick of spending an ass fortune on plant-based cheese? This spreadable cheese is delicious as hell and you can make it for fucking PENNIES (not quite). I’m not going to lie - It’s a bit of a process - but it’s totally worth it - it also makes a ton and freezes well.
Serves: 1 giant-ass block or wheel.
1/2 cup of quinoa or wheat berries
1 cup cashews
1 cup rejuvelac (made from the quinoa already mentioned)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp white, yellow, or chickpea miso
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water
1 tbsp agar powder
2 tbsp tapioca starch
First you have to make rejuvelac. What the hell is that? It’s a liquid with a high-ass level of enzymes, probiotics, and good bacteria. It’s healthy-ass water gunk that helps the cheese ferment…
So to make it you have to take the quinoa or wheat berries and pour them into a mason jar. Cover them with water and let it sit for 8-12 hours, then drain, rinse, put back and refill with clean water. Do this once or twice a day until you start to see sprouts on the grain. Quinoa should sprout after 24 hours, wheat berries take longer.
Now fill the jar with filtered water, cover with a lid, and leave at room temperature in a dark-ass-space and leave it for 2-3 days. You want the water to start getting cloudy and bubbly. Strain out the grains and refrigerate the liquid - it is now your lactic acid-rich rejuvelac.
If you want you can take the sprouted grains and start making more rejuvelac or you can add them to a salad or something. Your rejuvelac will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks - so you can use it for multiple batches. I haven’t tried freezing it but I imagine that would work.
NOW YOU CAN MAKE THE CHEESE
Throw the cashews, rejuvelac, salt, nutritional yeast, and miso into a blender and puree the fuck out of it till it’s smooth. Pour it into a clean container or jar - cover it up - and let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 days until it’s thickened and formed some air pockets and has a tangy smell.
Put 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan with the agar powder. Whisk to mix it up - cover it with a lid, bring to a simmer over low heat. DO NOT LOOK at it for 3-4 minutes. I’m fucking serious. Check to make sure it’s bubbling - if you peak too early it’s going to look like it’s solidifying, just let it do it’s thing. If it is solid when you lift it up just let it keep on going till it liquifies.
When it’s all dissolved together pour in the mixture from the jar and start whisking that shit together as quickly as you can. While it heats dissolve the other 2 tbsp of water with the tapioca and add to everything else.
Keep stirring until the mixture it stretchy and shiny. Pour into a glass container with the shape that you want the cheese - probably a block or a circle. You do you. Stick it in the fridge and let it sit at least 4 hours.
When that shit is done wrap it in wax paper. It’ll store for 2-3 weeks. Try freezing it if you don’t think you’ll eat the whole thing. We find it’s best used as a spread for sandwiches or crackers. You can blob it into pasta too if you wanted, or plop onto pizza like ricotta cheese maybe. Experiment and let me know what you get up to with this magical and delicious stuff!
***I’m going to post a Hard “Cheese” recipe at some point that’s way faster to make and good for grating, etc… stay tuned for that!
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