When it comes to staples, I tend to compare a few recipes and improvise. Taking cues from We Like It Raw, Rawmazing, and Rawxy, I killed two birds with one stone by making milk and cheese at the same time! Our featured varieties, largest to smallest, are Original, Basil-Oregano, Garlic-Paprika, and Cilantro-Mustard.
Soak nuts overnight (skip if you must, but it helps produce a smoother cheese). Drain, then throw in a blender with a bit of fresh water until smooth. Strain through a cheesecloth or BYO bag into a 2-qt jar and fill with water. Add vanilla and agave to taste.
Place nut meal into a bowl. Add liquid until cheese can hold its form. Throw in a probiotic, nutritional yeast, and/or lemon juice to create that tangy cheese flavour. (Ours are made with just the probiotic.) Set in a cool, dark place for 24 hours.
So which nuts are best? Cashews are the most common choice, with macadamia and brazil nuts close behind. We used hazelnuts. I don't think it matters... It amazes me, though, how basically the same recipe can produce different results. From the firmer cheeses linked above, to the ricotta-like spread we made, to cream cheese and cashew cream.
Nuts are easy to over-do on a raw GF vegan diet. They are a versatile alternative, replacing dairy, meat, and flour in many recipes. Remember, everything in moderation.
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