Christmas Cranberry Cashew Cheese
Cheese and crackers are the standard at any gathering but you can amaze your friends with your own homemade cashew cheese.This nut cheese can be rolled into a log like goat cheese, shaped into a ball or served in mason jars, or served on a table with a basket of crackers and some Persian cucumber medallions.Crown your cheese with a sparkly cranberry pomegranate topping
for a regal look. Cashew cheese makes an excellent gift!
Delight your friends with a new take on old favorites.Remember the presentation affects the senses as much as the actual food or drink. Cranberry cashew cheese in a mason jar makes and excellent gift!
I first came across a my inspiration for this recipe in of all things, a raw vegan lasagna. I was baffled as it tasted just like homemade ricotta. Growing up Italian practically made me a cheese expert. Since I gave up dairy, I missed ricotta and goat cheese. I was determined
to figure this out from the ingredients listed on the package.
I have come up with so many versions to mimic my old loves and came up with many new loves. This version of the recipe is themost pure as not to overpower or conflict with the sweet topping.
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1 lb raw cashews
juice of 2 lemons about 1/2 cup
Himalayan salt to taste
8 oz package or fresh cranberries
2/3 c. sugar & 2/3 c. water
Soak cashews at room temperature in preferably filtered water about 4-6 hours. To stop the germination process you can always put in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the cheese. Do not let it sit too long on your counter or it may smell bad or turn grayish.
Making nut cheese is almost as easy as making a smoothie. I have used a high speed blenders like Vitamix, Blendtec You may also use a food processor with S-blade. Add juice of 2 lemons, salt
and some soaking water or or additional lemon to allow it to process. More water may be needed as you move to high speed to keep blender from overheating. Be patient. Stop, check and stir then start again a few times. Use less water and less blending for the desired goat cheese consistency. If you want it creamier, that is easy actually easier. to do. Just add more water and blend longer till it is very creamy. Taste before final processing to see if you want to add more salt. Refrigerate an hour or two before forming into shapes or serving. Cashew cheese will last in the refrigerator for 4 days but can be frozen for at least 3 months.
Rinse cranberries, boil sugar and water 5 minutes then stir in the cranberries and simmer until they all pop about 10 minutes. Let cool on counter and later solidify in refrigerator. Top cheese by the spoonful and use leftover topping for toast, bagels etc.