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Cashews 101: Vegan Yogurt & Cheese Recipes

Cashews 101: Vegan Yogurt & Cheese Recipes

As some of you may know, I’m back to my vegan roots and have been kicking the cheese habit – again (27 days, but who’s counting?). Whether you are a vegan, vegan wannabe, vegetarian or are an omnivore and love delicious food, you might appreciate the power of the mighty cashew and it’s amazing versatility.

Did you know these yummy kidney-shaped nuts are actually the seeds of the cashew apple that grow on the cashew tree? The tree is indigenous to coastal Brazil, but of course made its way to Asia and Africa where they are now also cultivated – thanks to some 16th-century Portuguese explorers. While we don’t eat the cashew apple, it is considered a delicacy in Brazil and in some Caribbean island countries.

Cashews are potent little beasts, sometimes referred to as “nature’s vitamin pill.”  They are lower in fat than most nuts, but of the monounsaturated fat, it contains oleic acid, which is the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil. Cashews are touted to be very heart-healthy, high in antioxidants, good for weight loss, and can help reduce risk of diabetes. Wow. These things are also supposed to help reduce risk of gallstones and according to OrganicCashewNuts.com, the “chemicals in cashew nuts kill gram positive bacteria, a pervasive mouth affliction that causes tooth decay, acne, tuberculosis and leprosy.” Wow x 2! There’s even more information about the health benefits this website about healthy foods.

Now, I’ve been in love with cashews before ever seeing all this interesting information. One reason is that when I was doing a raw food, vegan type thing back in the 80s, I learned how to make cashew yogurt from my friend Steve Meyerowitz (aka Sproutman). I forgot that we used to make nut cheeses too. So, last week I made a fairly decent nut cheese that was close to what we used to make. The thing I remember from back then, was that you could get pretty creative with flavorings.

So, I decided to focus on cashews last week in the Green Divas Test Kitchen.

Four cashew recipes from the Green Diva test kitchen!

Cashew Yogurt - Healthy Creamy Vegan Goodness

This stuff is divine. Can be used in place of yogurt, cream or sour cream with great results in many recipes. My daughter eats it plain and LOVES it. There are a variety of recipes, but this is how I was taught by Sproutman, and it worked, so I’ve stuck with it all these years.

Ingredients
1/4 c. organic millet

2 c. filtered water
1 c. raw organic unsalted cashews (pieces are fine)

Soak the millet in the water (preferably in a glass container w/ a loose lid or cloth covering) for about 8 hours (or until kind of foamy at the top) – should be done in the most humid-place possible (if it isn’t a hot humid day out, I put mine near the washer & dryer). This makes rejuvelac, a grain-based healthy liquid loaded with all kinds of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Rejuvelac can be made from a variety of grains, but I found I liked millet. To test your rejuvelac, according to Anne Wigmores Hippocrates Health Drink recipe, ‘rejuvelac should have a pleasant yeasty smell with a lemon-like flavor’.

Once you’ve achieved rejuvelac, place the cashews in a good blender and strain the rejuvelac and add the fluid to just cover the cashews. blend to a nice smooth, even consistency. Sometimes you have to add either rejuvelac or cashews to get it right. Put early stage cashew yogurt in another glass container with a loose covering – again, humid placement is good. Let stand for at least another 8 hours. It should be a little bubbly when it is done. Put it in the refrigerator – NOTE: I reserve a little for a couple of tablespoons to use as starter for the next batch.

Please click here for the other three recipes!

Read more: Basics, Eating for Health, Food, Raw, The Green Divas Podcast, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , ,

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51 comments

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10:48AM PDT on Aug 27, 2013

I'm trying hard to go vegan but cheese is my last stumbling block. I'm excited to try vegan cheeses but here's the thing - I hate, and I mean HATE, cashews. It's a life-long dislike. Are there other raw nuts that work? I love most other nuts and legumes.

On the topic in general, vegan cheeses that are intended for melting (pizza, burgers etc) are OK. Not good, but OK. But we often eat cheese plates for dinner (having lived all over Europe) and that's what I can't find replacements for - actual hunks of cheese on a platter. Any ideas?! Thanks!

1:21PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Can you get vegan cheese in store? I went to TESCO and they did not have it. Lovely young man went all over the store spent a good time looking for them for me and finally said "I can't believe we don't stock that!"

4:09PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Thank you, I benefited from knowing more of the value in cashew nuts...

4:07PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

cool, thanks

2:48AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Sadly, dairy milk and cheese is produced through cruel processes. The cow has her tiny calf taken away after only a few days. The calf is slaughtered, the mother cow pines over the loss of her baby and calls for him/her repeatedly. The cow's milk is 'stolen' by humans to feed them rather than the baby, so humans are effectively drinking cow breast milk which is not meant for their systems and is meant for the calf. The cow is repeatedly artificially inseminated each year to ensure she continues to offer milk, while her babies are killed each time. I could not live with his and became Vegan.

2:47AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Sadly, dairy milk and cheese is produced through cruel processes. The cow has her tiny calf taken away after only a few days. The calf is slaughtered, the mother cow pines over the loss of her baby and calls for him/her repeatedly. The cow's milk is 'stolen' by humans to feed them rather than the baby, so humans are effectively drinking cow breast milk which is not meant for their systems and is meant for the calf. The cow is repeatedly artificially inseminated each year to ensure she continues to offer milk, while her babies are killed each time. I could not live with his and became Vegan.

2:43AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Looks good, I also have the ULTIMATE VEGAN UNCHEESE COOKBOOK, WHICH IS GREAT FOR CHEESE LIKE RECIPES USING VEGAN INGREDIENTS.

11:56PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thank you

7:59AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

So great! Thank you. And thank you for going Vegan!

4:43AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

Noted...Thanks...

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