3 Great Vegan Fermented Foods to Make at Home

I’m a fermented foods addict. I love the delicious flavors that fermentation adds to foods. I love the wide range of foods that can be fermented. And, I love the many health benefits fermented foods offer.

I always tell people that fermenting food turns an ordinary food into a superfood. Here is a sampling of my favorite vegan, gluten-free fermented food recipes from my new book The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.

World's Easiest Yogurt photo: Michelle Schoffro Cook

World’s Easiest Yogurt photo: Michelle Schoffro Cook

World’s Easiest Yogurt

One day while I was busy straining whey from a batch of homemade dairy-free yogurt, and waiting for what seemed like way too much time, I said to myself “there must be a better way.”  I knew that yogurt had been made this way for hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of years, but that was when yogurt was made from cow’s, goat’s or camel’s milk.  With the substitution of cashews in place of milk, I set to work to find a better, no muss and no-fuss method for making dairy-free yogurt.

Realizing that the culturing time can only be sped up so much (after all, the little beneficial bacteria need time to work their magic), I figured that the best way to improve yogurt-making was to remove the straining curds from whey process, which is not only time-consuming, and somewhat labor-intensive, it is also messy.  After a few tries, I discovered that it is possible to make delicious, cultured yogurt without all of the fuss (or mess) of straining curds from whey.  While it still takes several hours for the probiotics to proliferate, which gives yogurt its signature tangy taste, in a mere few minutes of actual prep time you can make your own yogurt. And, of course, you can set the probiotics to work while you sleep, thereby greatly reducing the seeming wait-time for your fresh-yogurt.  Not only is this yogurt delicious, it tends to have a larger diversity of probiotic strains than commercial yogurt…and you know from the taste whether it actually contains live cultures, which is hard to know from commercial varieties that often contain many additives.

Additionally, this recipe contains all of the fiber (most unflavored yogurt contains none) and is naturally thick like Greek yogurt.  It even thickens up even more overnight, making it the perfect base for sauces, salad dressings and marinades.

Makes approximately 1 quart/Liter of yogurt

  • 3 cups raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 probiotic capsule or ½ teaspoon probiotic powder
  1. In a medium-sized glass bowl with a lid, place the cashews, water, and empty the contents of the probiotic capsule. Discard the empty capsule shell.
  2. Stir ingredients together until combined.  Cover and let sit for 8 to 24 hours depending on how tangy you like your yogurt.
  3. Puree the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Return to the bowl. Serve or refrigerate for up to four days.
Macadamia Cream Cheese photo credit: Michelle Schoffro Cook

Macadamia Cream Cheese photo credit: Michelle Schoffro Cook

Macadamia Cream Cheese

Makes one block.

If you just have to spread cream cheese on bagels or toast, you’ll love this dairy-free, fermented version that has all the flavor and loads of probiotics to give your health a boost.  This delicious and creamy dairy-free cream cheese has a delicate macadamia nut flavor. Unlike dairy-based cream cheeses this cheese is packed with health-promoting beneficial bacteria. It’s simple to make but does need about 12 hours to culture and a couple of hours to set. I culture the nuts overnight so it’s ready soon after I awake.

  • ½ cup raw unsalted macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup raw unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup water+3 tablespoons water
  • 1 probiotic capsule or ¼ teaspoon probiotic powder (use whatever brand you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (don’t used iodized salt since it destroys beneficial bacteria)
  • 3 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  1. Combine the macadamia nuts, ½ cup water and probiotic capsule.  Stir until mixed.  Cover and allow to sit overnight for twelve hours.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the dates with the remaining 3 tablespoons water and cover.  Let sit while the macadamia nuts culture overnight.
  3. In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. You may need to push the ingredients down with a spatula a few times to ensure a creamy, smooth consistency. Pour into a cheese-cloth lined dish or mold.  Refrigerate for one to two hours or until set.
  4. Stores in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Blackberry Cheesecake photo credit: Michelle Schoffro Cook

Blackberry Cheesecake

Makes one 12” cheesecake

This dairy-free, no-bake cheesecake is creamy, delicious and has the cream-cheese-like texture you want in a cheesecake. It takes only about 30 minutes to make but does require a little planning time (one to two days) to allow the cashews to ferment and four to six hours for the cheesecake to set in the fridge.


  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  1. Process all ingredients together in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Press into a 12” springform pan until firm.


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 probiotic capsule
  • 5 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup lecithin
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2-1/2 cups fresh blackberries (if using frozen, allow to thaw before making cheesecake)
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add the cashews, water and the contents of the probiotic capsule. Stir until combined. Cover. Let sit for 24 to 48 hours to culture.
  2. In a blender blend the cashew mixture with the honey or maple syrup, vanilla powder, coconut oil, lecithin and almond milk until smooth. Add the blackberries and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake base.  Refrigerate for four to six hours or until set. Serve. Lasts approximately four days in the refrigerator, in a covered container.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.


William T
William T23 days ago

thank you for posting

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson24 days ago


Emma L
Past Member 25 days ago

Thank you

Richard B
Richard Babout a month ago

thanks for posting

Beth S
Barbara Sabout a month ago


Carla G
Past Member about a month ago

Thanks very much

Alice L
Past Member 2 months ago

Thank you

Tabot T
Tabot T2 months ago

Thanks for sharing!

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Dennis H2 months ago


Vincent T
William T2 months ago

thanks for sharing