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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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

charlene November 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm

What can other liquid can be used instead of rejuvelac?

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.

keri b November 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

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

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!

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!

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!

Randahl January 10, 2011 at 7:07 am

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

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.

Gayle April 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

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

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

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.

Susan June 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

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

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?

Susan June 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

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

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)

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.

Sandy W August 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm

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

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.

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!!

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.

Portia November 2, 2011 at 4:28 am

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

Amy November 9, 2011 at 12:10 am

Thank you so much for your inspiring recipes Susan. I was so excited to make my cashew cheese today. It tastes amazing, however the consistency is nothing like yours. Mine was goopy and hard to work with. I used organic rye berries to make my rejuvelac and organic raw cashews. Also what warm area do you leave your cheese in for the 24 hours. Do you know where I may have gone wrong? Do you show pictures of what yours looks like step by step in your cook book? Thanks, Amy

Susan November 9, 2011 at 9:06 am

Amy….you need to make sure that it is warm enough. If it is colder in the house, I set it by or on top of the dehydrator. Also, did you refrigerate it to let it set up? If it is still too wet, you can put it in the dehydrator for a bit. I have not had this problem so these are just suggestions. Good luck!

Amy November 9, 2011 at 11:57 am

So you have your dehydrator running when you put the cheese beside it? My house is quite cool so the only warm spot I could think of was my oven. I don’t have a temp guage for my dehydrator so I set the oven to under 100 degrees for a minute then opened the door to let some of the heat out and put the bowl in there to sit. I continued to warm the oven a couple times a day and would take the cheese out when I did so. I also let it set in the fridge. My cheese looked like yours does in the middle, but did not harden on the outside. thanks!

Erika November 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Hi I am willing to givr this a try but I can not tolarate gluten. Are this wheat berries the same as the wheat in well…breads and flours? Or is it like wheatgrass, which doe not have gluten. Can I make Rejuvelac out of something else?

Erika November 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I can not tolarate gluten. Are this wheat berries the same as the wheat in well…breads and flours? Or is it like wheatgrass, which does not have gluten. Can I make Rejuvelac out of something else?

Susan November 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

It is not wheatgrass. It is the actual wheat grain. You can make rejuvelac out of many other grains.

Lizzy November 15, 2011 at 3:18 am

This cheese is so good. My first time making it. I did make it in my cuisinart food processor. No problem very smooth. I followed the instructions and when I finished the cheese I put it in the fridge and got it cold for a day and tried it on a cracker and thought okay whats the big deal even though it acts and looks exactly as cream cheese. Well the big deal is that this cheese taste better and better everday that it sits in the fridge. It taste cheesier! It’s wonderful! I have had it in the fridge for two weeks now and I have half left. It is wrapped in plastic wrap. It doesn’t get watery inside the wrap. And for only two cups of cashews it made a big loaf. Thank you so much Susan for this recipe. I will make this cheese forever.

Liesbeth December 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Hi Suzan,
I find this cheese really wonderful, I make it every 2 days to have always some cheese available. I also make rejuvelac every day, and love it as well. Was wondering if you have any other recipes with rejuvelac, maybe sweet ones even. Would be great if you have some suggestions.

Liesbeth

Jackie January 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm

This is my “Go To Cheese” . I use this for everything. It’s very versatile, just use different herbs and seasonings for the “crust”. Walnuts, cinnamon and raisins added to the mix make a nice dessert cheese. Very yummy with apples. Rejuvelac is started and nuts are soaking!!

Jaime January 31, 2012 at 1:38 pm

If I wanted to use probiotics or bacteria capsules instead of rejuvelac, what type or brand would I use?
THANK YOU!!!:) (new to raw food cooking)

Jim February 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I have recently learned how to make almond milk with great success. I was wondering if the water used to soak the almonds in and then toss down the drain might be useable for making rejuvelac?

misty March 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

is this gluten free? i assume not since its made from wheat berries…?

Susan March 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm

You can make rejuvelac from buckwheat, quinoa or other grains that are gluten free.

lily June 25, 2012 at 1:13 am

hi, can you use kefir instead of rejuvelac to make the cheese?

latrice August 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

THIS lOOKS DELICIOUS!!

carol Prichard August 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Susan the cheese looks fantastic. Where I live every place is warm Hot and humid. Should I make concessions for this?

carol

Manisha September 13, 2012 at 3:10 am

I made cashew cheese following your recipe. It came out great. I made one of my friend, who is not vegan, taste it without telling her what it was. And she said.. hey its cheese. Thank you for sharing this!!

I have one question though. The cheese was not hard cheese. It came out to be somewhere between cheese spread and hard cheese. Any idea how to make it hard other than freezing it?

Susan September 13, 2012 at 10:57 am

This recipe does not make a hard cheese. Cheers!

JL September 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Great recipe thank you- its delicious! My kids love harder cheese that they can cut into pieces. Any suggestions on what I can do to make more of a harder block of cheese? Your advice would be greatly appreciated! :)

Lesley October 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I made the raw cashew cheese with rejuvelac only I used raw almonds instead. It probably wasn’t as creamy as cashews would be but I thought it came out great. I had some on toast and it was delicious.
I’m not vegan, but I use a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes for health reasons and I”m very happy with your recipes. Thank you.

Lina November 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

The final result looks just great on photo. Big BIG thank you!!!
But would be even greater to see all the steps in photographs.

Susan November 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Thank, Lina! As time permits, I will be adding more photos and even video. Cheers!

Robin November 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm

i read that rejuvelac can be made from cabbage. could that then be made into cheese? do different starters for rejuvelac produce different flavors or work differently in recipes?

Sue January 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I have read that you can use the liquid from fermented vegetables instead of the rejuvelac which could be cabbage in the form of sauerkraut. That would have to be home made or unpasturised sauerkraut though as many of the bought ones have been pasturised which kills the cultures required.

Susan January 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm

You can also use probiotics. Would probably be easier. Cheers!

Susan January 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I don’t have any experience making it from cabbage. You would have to refer to the source where you read that. Cheers!

Maya D April 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I made the rejuvelac, but just to make sure, this recipe includes the liquid ONLY right? Not the actual wheatberries… so we would had the liquid the resulted from the rejuvelac making process with the soaked cashews. I didn’t soak cashews but my rejuvelac is ready: what can I do to keep it good for two days from now? Can I just take the rejuvelac liquid and put it in the frige without the wheatberries?
thanks for answering!

Jan Carpenter June 1, 2013 at 1:49 am

For anyone who is interested, I see several comments about rejuvelac and making it. Some of the best rejuvelac comes from quinoa. The cashew cheese is quite good when you make it with quinoa. You might want to try this as a substitute for those of you who are trying to maintain a gluten free diet.

Paul June 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Thank you for the recipe! We’ve been making rejuvilac on a regular basis and the cheese turned out awesome. Now we have a sensible replacement to dairy. So nice! Thank you.

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