Cashew Nut Cheese

Cashew Nut Cheese | She Paused 4 ThoughtNow that the holidays are over and we look towards the New Year I want to get back on track with healthy recipes. I became quite fond of dips and chips over the holidays and wanted to continue the celebration spirit with healthy food. The Super Bowl is shortly upon us and it occurred to me that it would be nice to have something tasty we could enjoy eating that we could also feel good about.

This cashew recipe fit the bill. I originally made this for a party where I wanted an alternative to my homemade Truffle Salt Ricotta for my dairy-free friends.

Commendable Cashews 

  • Cashew nuts have a very high mineral content (magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, potassium, selenium and calcium) and they have a lower fat content than most other nuts.
  • Cashew nuts also contain high fiber, which is so good for digestion.
  • Cashew nuts contains more than 80 nutrients and no cholesterol. They belong to the same family as the mango and pistachio nut. No wonder why I love them so much.
  • Cashew nuts are actually the kidney-shaped seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree.

Cashew Nuts from GOA indiaCashew Nut Cheese - She Paused 4 Thought

I saw cashews being distilled at Sahakari Farms in Goa, India for a spirit produced exclusively in Goa, called Fini. 

Cashew Nut Cheese - She Paused 4 Thought

The name ‘feni’ is protected, much like the name Champagne, which can only be used for the sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France.

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Today’s Recipe:

Sometimes the simplest of ingredients can produce the most rewarding results. This recipe is a perfect example.

Cashew Nut Cheese - She Paused 4 Thought

A few simple ingredients make up this creamy and tasty soft cheese.

Cashew Nut Cheese - She Paused 4 ThoughtCashew Nut Cheese - She Paused 4 Thought

Soak your cashews overnight.  They will become very soft which makes them blend more smoothly. This also increases enzyme activity for greater absorption of the food’s nutrients by the body and increased digestibility. (win, win, win)

Put the nuts, lemon, garlic, olive oil and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. You will need to scrape down the sides during this process. If you are pressed for time you can stop here before adding water and make a great chunky dip.

I picked #3... pretty right on for meI picked #3... pretty right on for me

If you continue on with the full recipe, your efforts will be rewarded. Add the water and blend for another 3 minutes until the cashews are creamy.

I picked #3... pretty right on for meI picked #3... pretty right on for me

Put the cashew mixture in cheesecloth and twist the top and secure with a rubber band. I put it in a 4 cup measuring cup to drain for the next 12 hours in the refrigerator.

cashew nut cheese | She Paused 4 ThoughtCashew Nut Cheese - She Paused 4 Thought

About ¼ cup of liquid should be released. Unwrap the cheese and pat yourself on the back.

flax-seed- She Paused 4 Thought

I served the Cashew Nut Cheese with Flaxseed Crackers. Click Here for recipe.

Cashew Nut Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole blanched cashews
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place cashews in medium bowl, and cover with 3 inches cold water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse cashews under cold running water, and drain again.
  2. Purée cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and ½ cup cold water in food processor 6 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy.
  3. Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Scoop cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together, and twist around cheese, forming into orange-size ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine. Chill 12 hours, or overnight. Discard excess liquid.
Notes
Makes about 1 ½ cups

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times.  Note: Individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating cashews.

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A Healthy Challenge

Make this cheese and crackers for your next party and don’t tell anybody that it is healthy, let alone good for you, or that it happens to be dairy-free, sugar-free, preservative-free or gluten-free.  Don’t mention that is vegan, raw, or Paleo.

It is simply good, the way food should be.
…and then, she paused 4 thought. 

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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29 Responses to Cashew Nut Cheese

  1. Nan January 20, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    My heart be still! Yum! Looks like a winning combination.
    By the way, what does “Feni” taste like? Is it sparkling? Have you ever seen it for sale in the US?

    • Cathy January 20, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      I didn’t try Feni when I was in Goa. As for flavor, they say it’s a bit like unsophisticated fire-water and definitely an acquired taste. If you really want to try this drink, here is where to order it from: http://www.goafeni.com/index.htm

  2. Nan January 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Fire water, phew! I think I’ll pass. 🙂

    • Cathy January 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      My thoughts exactly Nan!

  3. Christina @ChristinasCucina January 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    This is both awesome and really scary to me, given that my daughter is deathly allergic to all tree nuts! Will show this to her as being informed if the best precaution! Thanks, Cathy!

    • Cathy January 21, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      So sorry you daughter has nut allergies Christina.

  4. Cheri Newell January 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    CATH… Now you are talking my language!!! I am a “NUT” freak!!! My tennis team calls me “Le Squirrel” because I always have nuts on hand at all of the matches!!! Now I will definitely make this cheese! Looks awesome and healthy!! Thanks so much for the recipe! Big Kiss!!!

  5. Susan Herrmann January 21, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Dying to try this, Cathy. Your ideas manage always to be light, cheerful, and innovative…. And Cheri (above), you need to get Nuts in the Kitchen. It’s a whole book of nut recipes!!!!

    • Cathy January 21, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      Thanks Susan, I think you will love this recipe.

  6. Lentil Breakdown January 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Wow, this looks fab and so easy and I have wanted to make this type of “cheese” for a while, but I can’t even buy cashews or I will binge. I can’t believe they are the lowest-fat nut as they taste the richest! I did a post last year called “Cashewal Sex” in which I described the sordid details of my addiction. ; )

  7. Alanna January 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    I think we can all agree that this cashew cheese was a big hit at our meeting. Who knew how simple it is to make!

  8. April January 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Love this dip & crackers I had hand it first hand sooo yummy,

    • Cathy January 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

      So happy that you like it April!

  9. april January 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    FYI, I am making this tomorrow.

  10. Kelly at Tasting Page January 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    I just made this recipe last weekend and it was a huge hit. I added a little Sriracha for an added kick. This recipe is a keeper!

    • Cathy January 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

      Kelly, what a great idea adding Sriracha! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  11. Alice Muradyan January 28, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Cathy I love your versatility! I will make this happen 🙂

    • Cathy January 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

      Alice you will love this one! Add your own creative touch.

  12. Fresh Food in a Flash January 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    The cashew cheese was delicious when I tasted it at the FBLA meeting. Great idea for Super Bowl party! Want to know how to make those crackers too.

  13. Priscilla - She's Cookin' February 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

    I must make this cashew cheese asap! Love that it’s free of everything except taste and nuts – off to read Adair’s post 🙂 Great seeing you on Sunday, Cathy!

    • Cathy February 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

      I think you will like this recipe Priscilla. It is a popular favorite at parties for me.

  14. Judy | bumbleberrybreeze.com March 9, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    I loved this and had to try it… I did for a jam session (musical not fruit) at the house. Thank you Cathy… it was a hit and I did a post to spread the word and send people your way! Made the flaxseed crackers also- crunchy and full of flavor!

    • Cathy March 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      Thanks Judy! Glad it was a hit.

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