We call this stuff “chezee”, since it’s not cheese, but it’s a vegan version! It’s comparable to a fresh, soft goat cheeze, mixed with herbs and can be used in recipes in place of it.
This is really easy to make, since the nuts can soak on the counter and once that’s done, it only takes a few minutes in the blender. But, if you don’t have a Vitamix, you may want to peek at the notes, first!
Here’s the setup.
high speed blender
2 cups raw cashews
1 tbsp olive oil
1⁄4 cup Nutritional yeast
1 tsp dry thyme
1⁄2 tsp Greek oregano
1⁄4 tsp ground rosemary
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
Soak cashews in enough filtered water to cover, plus some to allow for expansion for 12 to 24 hours.
Drain cashews, reserving the soaking liquid.
Put the cashews, the oil, and 8 tablespoons of the soaking water in the blender.
Blend at high speed, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender occasionally, until mixture is very smooth and creamy.
Add the dry ingredients and blend until they are thoroughly incorporated.
Store in refrigerator in a non reactive (glass) container, covered, up to 10 days.
Yield: 2 cups.
You can add more of the soaking water, as needed, to get the mixture to move properly in the blender.
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can put just the nuts in a food processor, and get them as smooth as you can by processing first. Then put them in the blender jar and proceed from there.
The longer you soak the nuts, the softer they will get. Soaking up to 24 hours is fine. Soft cashews make for a really creamy mix, and your blender won’t have to work as hard!
You can adjust the herbs to suit your own taste. This just happens to be the combination I like.
For a nuttier, milder taste, you can skip the nutritional yeast.
You can use a mixture of 1 cup of cashews and one cup of pine nuts or almonds if you prefer.
You can spread this on crostini, crackers or bagel slices for a yummy snack!
You may notice in the setup picture that I actually used a mixture of pine nuts and cashews for this demo. DH said he liked this better than all cashews.