How to Make Vegan Cheese

I've always been super skeptical of vegan cheese. For someone who has ventured into a plant based diet because of the health benefits, eating processed vegan cheese just didn't seem like a good alternative and frankly I thought they all tasted like plastic. While researching some of my cooking curiosities I came across so many cool recipes for homemade vegan cheese... and immediately thought "how had I not tried this before?!" 

Cashews are so versatile and I'm finding out that in raw form they can make some really tasty treats. If you are looking for a subsitute for almost any recipe calling for a cream, butter, or cheese - cashews are the way to go. 

I've been experimenting with raw vegan cheese as well and have fallen in love with this version on the Rawmazing blog. Using just raw cashews and rejuvelac (a fermented liquid that you can make by soaking raw wheat berries) you can make an incredible soft cheese. We have been using this for quesadillas, grilled cheese, and pizza sauce. 

This cashew cheese can be totally customizable... adding in herbs, garlic, peppers, seeds, the list goes on. My favorite way to eat this cheese is with Whole Wheat Hippie Crackers and apples. 
Have you ever tried vegan cheese before? 

Vegan Cashew Cheese

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB Braggs 
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 TB miso paste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
5 tsp agar powder
1-2 TB sun dried tomatoes (optional) 

Soak cashews overnight. 
Using a food processor or blender, ground the cashews up into chunks. 
Add rest of ingredients (expect tomatoes, water, and agar) and blend. 
In a saucepan bring water and agar powder to a boil for 5 minutes or until mixture is dissolved. 
Add agar mixture to cashews and blend until creamy. Add in tomatoes and blend just so that the tomatoes are folded in. Pour mixture into a ramekin, loaf, or muffin pan. Put in fridge for a couple hours to set up. 

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