Raw Vegan Cheese

by Susan on February 4, 2009

cheese

Life got exciting today. I made my raw food recipe for raw cashew cheese and it turned out great! I have been preparing raw food for some time now but the cheese, the ones that you  have to make and set-up for a day, seemed a little daunting. Well, as my friend Michael often says, sometimes you just have to pull the bands back and let them fly. I’m glad I did. A few handfuls of cashews, some rejuvelac, and a little patience turned out a delightful cheese spread that is a welcome addition to any raw diet.

If you are wondering what rejuvelac is, it is a fermented liquid made from sprouting wheat berries that is said to be high in enzymes, friendly bacteria, vitamins and minerals. It is known as a health drink. If you have been following this site,  you know I am sprouting a lot of wheat berries these days. I decided to put some of those sprouted wheat berries to work, make some rejuvelac and then, the cheese.

Rejuvelac

  • 1/2 C sprouted wheat berries (sprouted just until tails start)
  • 4 C filtered water

Place the wheat berries and the water in a jar. Leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours. You will see a little fizz. The liquid should be a little tart but not smell off.

cheese-and-crackers

Cashew Cheese

  • 2 C Cashews
  • 1/2 C rejuvelac

Cover cashews with water and soak overnight. Drain off water. Place cashews in Vitamix and process with rejuvelac until a smooth paste forms. You can add a dash of celtic sea salt. Line a strainer with 2 layers of cheese cloth. Spoon mixture into the cloth. Set in a warm place and let set for 24 hours. Form into the shape you want. I coated the outside with cracked pepper. Put in refrigerator to finish setting. Store in the refrigerator for about a week. Serve with Onion Sunflower Seed Flat Bread.

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{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

wind4me February 4, 2009 at 9:24 pm

you got to figure an APP where we can share the food over Twitter……..pictures tell a thousand stories………one taste of that and I will personally move you to Colorado to make that!!
Nice work!

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Studentoflife February 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm

You need to come to Colorado to share all of the great food you are tormenting us with here on this great site. What do suggest as a pairing with this cheese?

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debbiedoesraw February 5, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Your site looks amazing! love it, come see me at
http://www.debbiedoesraw.blogspot.com
deb

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Eva February 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Susan,
just a quick question. The water that you pour over the wheat berries, is that all rejuvelac or only the top fizzy part? How much water would I need to prepare to have 1/2 cup for the cheese recipe? I don’t have a jar that fits 4 cups and was wondering whether I can just make less wheatberries with less water and still have enough rejuvelac for the cheese.

And will room temperature (it’s summer here currently) be enough for the rejuvelac process to work?
Thanks for your help

Eva

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Sanne May 5, 2009 at 7:50 am

I can’t wait to try this cheese *getting up to prepare the rejuvelac right now*

Thank you so much for this recipe.

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jT. July 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Thanks for proving the link to your site…what a great resource you have here. Can’t wait to try this recipe…looks delicious =)

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Carol July 18, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Once sprouted what do you do with the Wheat berries? I’m very new to all of this.

Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

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Susan July 19, 2009 at 12:01 am

As stated in the recipe…you then take 1/2 C of the wheat berries and 4 cups of water. Combine and let ferment for 24-48 hours to get your rejuvilac.

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Sanne July 31, 2009 at 3:07 am

My cheese has been on the counter overnight, but it still feels like a thick yoghurt. Is it supposed to be like that?

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Susan August 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm

You need to refrigerate it once you have let it sit out.

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Amy Segnit November 20, 2009 at 11:05 am

If one is allergic to wheat, would they also be allergic to sprouted wheatberries? Curious…

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Susan November 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I think it would have to be determined by what exactly you are allergic to concerning wheat and is that present in the sprouted wheat.

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Kevin November 27, 2009 at 8:51 pm

The cheese looks amazing!! I am alergic to milk so this looks like a great alternative however…I am also trying to follow the blood type diet and cashews are not beneficial, have you every tried this with almonds? Do you think it would taste just as good? I see lots of recipes using cashews and I’m imagining substituting almonds, what do you think?

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Susan November 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I will do a little research. The reason people use cashews are because of the texture. Let me see what I can figure out.

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mado December 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm

i saw this and had to lift my jaw off the floor! it looks amazing!! i tried it but it seems too fluffy… almost like a solid cashew mousse (hum… recipe idea here? maybe not… haha!) when setting the mixture in the cloth do you wind it tightly or is it just lightly covered?

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Susan December 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I do wind it. You can also set a plate on top of it. Did you make sure your rejuvelac was fizzy? Did you let it set up long enough?

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mado December 9, 2009 at 5:59 pm

the rejuvelac was fizzy, though i forgot to mention that the mousse texture was before i put it in the fridge to set. it is much firmer now and tastes pretty good!

what do you do with your left over wheat berries?

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Susan December 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm

You can use the wheat berries in breads, etc.

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alice December 9, 2009 at 11:19 pm

To Kevin: I think mac nuts would be another option if you are allergic to cashews.
To Susan: I applaud you, your recipes are beautiful!

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Alexandra December 31, 2009 at 11:40 am

Once you’ve used the wheatberries for rejuvelac, you should discard them, according to Ann Wigmore at least. They get a very special taste/smell after using them to prepare rejuvelac, which might be something to keep in mind.

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Susan December 31, 2009 at 12:07 pm

You are correct…the sprouted wheat that is used in the rejuvelac should be discarded. I believe that I was referring to sprouted wheat berries in general, not the ones used in the rejubelac. Thanks for making that clear.

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Andrew January 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

How long should the cheese set in the fridge? And how long till the cheese is ready to eat?

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Susan January 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Long enough so it firms up. It will take at least 5 hours. It is ready to eat right away.

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Katja January 31, 2010 at 5:24 am

Sorry for this question- English isn`t my first language. Is wheat berry the same as a wheat grain or seed? If not, what is it?
Thank you. By the way- I love this homepage ! The information, the pictures- everything! You are doing a great job. Thank you!

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Susan January 31, 2010 at 9:10 am

Yes…it is the wheat grain. :-)

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Denise Walden February 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I am so very new to the raw diet and I have stumbled across this site…… I am learning and going to try and make a few things here……… Thank you for sharing.

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Cindi February 25, 2010 at 11:01 pm

I am also trying the “Eat Right For Your BloodType” while trying to maintain a mostly vegan/raw diet. Cashews are used in lots of my recipes. I was wondering if you had researched a cashew substitution as yet?

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Susan February 26, 2010 at 7:57 am

You could try Brazil nuts?

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durangowit03 March 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm

my mom makes adds olive pimentos to her cashew cheese, really tasty but i’m wondering if they are raw- aren’t they just pickled with the olive?

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Susan March 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm

The Pimento comes from pimento peppers. I believe that they are just pickled along with the olives.

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Angie March 25, 2010 at 8:08 am

I’m purely amazed at what you do, you could write a book of your own with all your pretty pictures !
BTW, do you have a Flickr or some place you keep them ? I find them uber inspiring :))

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France April 18, 2010 at 11:37 am

I was wondering, is there a way of making a hard raw cheese? Something you could possibly shave onto a salad, instead of crumble. Or would you more or less have to make, say a ‘parmesan tuile’ type cheese shard in the dehydrator to mimic shaved cheese?

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Susan April 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I do not have a recipe as it would require special aging and equipment that I don’t have. You can order it here: http://www.dr-cow.com/

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Cathy June 16, 2010 at 7:20 am

Wow, fab ! Been looking for a firm cheeze for some time ! Looking forward to giving this a go !

Many thanx :-)

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Rawfully Tempting June 29, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Susan,

Which wheat berries are you using for this? Aren’t there Spring and Winter? Whole foods only had the Winter…could not find the Spring. I thought Rejuvelac was supposed to be made with the softer Spring variety? Do you know? Does it matter?

Thanks so much,

Barbara

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Jac July 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

Are the cashews blended while still wet from soaking or do they need to be redehydrated before hand??…thanks ;)

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Doris July 5, 2010 at 10:16 am

This raw cheese is the best!! 4 REAL!!!

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Doris July 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

I added some chopped nuts and stuffed jumbo olives with this cheese for an event I did and people are emailing me, calling me, sending telegrams, smoke signals and the likes asking “what was in those olives?” : )

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Debbie July 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I have celiac disease…..can you make rejuvelac with something other than wheat berries?

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Susan July 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I believe you can use buckwheat.

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Ben August 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I just had this in Vancouver at Radha, and I’m excited to try making it. I’ve got the Rejuvelac setting up now.

Debbie: Rejuvelac is prepared using whole wheat, rye, quinoa, oats, barley, millet, buckwheat, rice and other types of grain (according to WikiPedia).

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Phyllis Williams September 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Hi Susan…I love this site…so much info…thank you for your dedication and generosity…you inspire me…ok..re: cashew cheese…I started my mixture with the cashews and half cup of rejuvelac but my mixture was so dry that I added more…I didn’t squeeze the cheese mixture while it was straining…wondering if its possible to use too much rejuvelac?

Thanks

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Susan September 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Did you soak your cashews? There should have been plenty of moisture. And yes, you can add too much. Cheeses are tricky.

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Susan September 26, 2010 at 10:44 am

You can actually use all different kinds of grains for rejuvelac. :-)

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Liisa October 18, 2010 at 7:05 am

Hi,

I’m about to make this for the weekend. How long will the cheese last before it goes off if kept in a fridge – providing it’s not all eaten at once?

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Susan October 18, 2010 at 8:16 am

In my experience, the nut cheeses do not have a very long shelf life. It is best when used within a few days.

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Yulia October 20, 2010 at 11:42 am

i am happy i made this cheese:) thank you for recipe. this is the picture of my cheese: http://rawdessertrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/10/almond-and-cashew-cheese.html

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Liisa November 5, 2010 at 6:53 am

Have you tried freezing it?

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Susan November 5, 2010 at 7:04 am

I have not frozen this one….

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charlene November 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm

What can other liquid can be used instead of rejuvelac?

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Susan November 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Rejuvelac is what this recipe is based on. There are other cheese recipes out there that use probiotics. You might want to look up one of those.

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keri b November 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

i tried to make rejuvelac twice and I got mold..any suggestions?

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Vegan Traveler December 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

This recipe is perfect and just inspired me to make a batch. It’s been awhile. For those wondering about the quantities. 2 Cups of cashews is a great size for the vitamix. I use the plunger in it and with fewer cashews you might need to stop it often and push them down. I also soak my “raw” cashews in water the day before but I don’t think that is necessary. Thanks
I’m off to try your flatbread recipe!

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Nashi December 27, 2010 at 4:37 am

Wow, the texture looks very brie/camembert i love it.
What is the taste like? is it close to the brie or camembert?
I’m excited to try this one!

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Randahl January 10, 2011 at 7:05 am

@ Keri B:
Mold only grows where there are mold spores present, so my guess is either you have mold present in your environment, or you need to try getting a new batch of wheat. A way to help the rejuvelac along would be to add some friendly bacteria eg probiotics or perhaps some unpasteurized miso. That’s the nice thing about friendly bacteria: once they’re there, they help crowd out less helpful bacteria, not only in recipes, but in our environment and bodies too!

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Randahl January 10, 2011 at 7:07 am

Oops: they’ll help crowd out mold too (which is a fungus)

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Nashi January 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I’m making this as we speak, but when i went to drain my cashews the water was thick and smelled off.
I rinsed the cashews and proceeded, i thought it might meant to smell like that.

But i was just wondering can cashews go off? Do you think i should still eat this cheese i make if it smells bad?

Thank you :)
I hope my cheese turns out as beautiful as yours.

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Gayle April 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

I have made this a few times. It is wonderful!

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Anne June 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Kerri B. I was looking up how to make Rejuvelac. My first time too… here the link maybe help your quesiton. Enjoy. :) http://www.ehow.com/how_2320602_make-rejuvelac.html

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Anna Helvie June 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Hi, I do not have a vitamix (and am not likely to get one in the foreseeable future) — could I make this in my food processor? It’s new and fairly powerful.

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Susan June 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

You could try but it won’t be as smooth. :-)

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Tracy June 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm

“Place the wheat berries and the water in a jar.” Should the jar be covered with a lid or open?

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Susan June 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Just put it in a jar. No lid. It is going to be fermenting.

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nadine July 20, 2011 at 12:24 am

what kind of flavor does this have? it looks like cheese but does it taste like cheese? I am new to this raw foods diet. Thanks. :o)

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Susan July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

It does not taste exactly like cheese. But…there are hundreds of types of cheese out there and they all taste different. It is a nut cheese with a very good flavor. It has the consistency of a spreadable cheese.

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Sandy W August 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I have an intolerance to wheat. What other ingredients would suggest to substitute?

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earthlings August 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm

You can use rye kernels, unhulled millet, other grains and even brown rice to make rejuvelac instead of wheat.

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sjaan September 4, 2011 at 3:32 am

Hello Susan,

Ooooh the cheese is giving me a hard time! :-) tried to make rejuvelac several times, but it smelled rank so threw it away. Now i think the rejuvelac is fine but the cheese will not get firm. Stayed outside fridge for a day or so and almost a day in the fridge now too. Is it possible that de rejuvelac was not fermented enough? I also found a recipe for cashew cheese without rejuvelac. Isn’t that strange? Well… also thanks for your blog, very interesting and helpful!!

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Susan September 4, 2011 at 8:54 am

It can be tricky. You can make many cheeses without rejuvelac. The cheese never gets firm like a hard cheese, it gets like a good ripe soft cheese. There are quite a few “cheese” recipes on this site that don’t require the rejuvelac.

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Portia November 2, 2011 at 4:28 am

Hi
Are wheat seeds the same as wheat berries?
Thanx, Blessed day further :)

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