Leek and Herb Nut Cheese

by Callie England on August 10, 2010

The two things I love most about raw food cooking:

1) I can’t burn myself
2) Using everyday ingredients in a way one wouldn’t normally use – i.e., being super creative!

Seriously, ‘normal’ cooking mildly boars me – cheese is cheese and milk is milk… nuff said. However, with raw foods, cheese is not cheese and milk is not milk… At all. Instead, it’s a collective mix of eclectic ingredients brought together in one creative dish (think: mad science). A great example of this, is fermented nut cheese – I mean, how many cooks do you know who are fermenting nuts with probiotics? My guess would be, not too many…

Besides the creative process, I love fermenting foods because it provides the body with probiotics that help with digestion and offer protection from harmful bacteria. In short, fermented foods are the healthier alternative to traditional dairy yogurt.

Probiotics can help:

treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
reduce bladder cancer recurrence
speed treatment of certain intestinal infections
prevent and treat eczema
prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flus

Ok, so you get the point, right? Probiotics = yes, please.

Back to fermenting cheeses.

After purchasing some leeks at the farmers market this weekend, I decided to create a herb and leek cheese. While it is a fairly lengthy process due to the fermenting, it’s not hard at all – promise. Plus, it so delicious that it totally makes up for the time.

Leek and Herb Nut Cheese

for the base

1 C cashews
1 C brazil nuts (I use half and half, because of the selenium that brazil nuts provide)
2 acidophilus tablets (if you don’t have a high speed blender, use capsule pills that you can break open)
1 C of water

In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Place an adequate amount of cheese cloth in a mason jar, and secure with outer ring lid (takes a bit of force). Scoop mixture into cheese cloth and let sit in a warm/dark place for 24-48 hours – I use my microwave to store the jar.

After 24-48 hours, the excess liquid will have drained from the nut cheese (see above).

Scoop out fermented cheese and place in bowl. Above, you can see how the cheese will shrink during fermentation.

Mmmm, fluffly goodness!

Leek and Herb mixture

1/2 C of chopped leeks
1 T fresh basil (chopped)
1 T fresh mint (chopped)
1 T fresh parsley (chopped)
.5 t sea salt
.5 t lemon juice
.5 t garlic powder
3 t nutritional yeast

Fold all ingredients in fermented cheese. Mix well by hand.

Using a ring mold, scoop mixture into ring and place in freezer for about 10 minutes. Once set, remove ring, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs.

Served with my herbed Italian flax crackers, this stuff is amazing… Kind of reminds me of an upscale onion spread – just lovely.

Hello, new favorite food! This is awesome with just about anything… Dirt, anyone? I’ve been eating it with plain ‘ol carrots and it’s super tasty… and, ridiculously addicting.

Any who, hope you enjoy – I’m off to bed now, as I’ve got an early appointment with the gym tomorrow morning.

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  • http://rawcandy.wordpress.com/ Camille (Raw Candy)

    This looks incredible, Callie! I love your photos.

  • http://gingeristhenewpink.blogspot.com Lauren

    This looks beautiful! I’m so impressed! :)

  • Brunita

    You are amazing. That looks fabulous!

  • http://shaylapn.blogspot.com/ Shayla

    Your photos are incredible and the recipe sounds easy. I MUST give this a try.

    • Callie England

      Thanks, Shayla! I promise it’s worth the time to make!

  • jean folchi

    ok just made this and it’s in the fermenting stage in my microwave. Wish me luck, making it for a family dinner on Friday. If it drains quicker? Thanks!

  • jean folchi

    Can I leave it in the fridge if it drains quicker is what I meant? Thanks

    • Callie England

      Hey Jean – So glad you’re giving this a try! Ok- it just needs to ferment for at least 24 hours in a dark place (around 90 degrees), after which, you’ll want to place it in the fridge to stop the fermentation. It will stay good for at least a few days – Good luck, can’t wait to hear the outcome!

  • flowerchildforever

    wow, I have a teeny kitchen and never thought of using the micro space for sheltering fermenting things. I would not dream of actually USING the micro for anything except the hot packs I put on my shoulder muscles so this suggestion really helps me a lot because here in FL I am plagued with fruit flies. Namaste..

    • Callie England

      Exactly – Teeny kitchen + fruit flies =’s microwave as the perfect housing space! I definitely feel ya!

  • http://real-meal.ru/index.files/cook_book_english. Yulia

    it looks so good:)
    Callie, i have a question: can i use anything else instead of acidophilus?

    • Callie England

      Thanks, Yulia! Well, in order for it to truly ferment, you would need a probiotic of some sort. However, I have heard of people using this same method, except replacing the probiotic with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice – before leaving out for 24 hours. It won’t be as tart as it would with the probiotic, but it will still be somewhat tart with the lemon. Hope that helps!

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  • Colleen

    All of those recipes look so yummy, will try. C

  • Katie

    Would this work to make a creamy sauce for pasta by adding it to tomatoes, tomato sauce etc?

    • Callie England

      Hey Katie, Sorry for the delay! Yes, you could use this as a sauce – However, I wouldn’t ferment the cheese as it may not be the taste that you are looking for in a pasta sauce. Instead, I would leave out the fermentation process and just blend as is. Hope that helps!

  • Linuxgrl

    Um I LOVE YOU! I mean I love your cheese recipe. The presentation is beautiful as well. Bookmarked and will be lurking daily! Curious, what size ring form are you using?

    • Rawxy

      haha -So glad you enjoy the recipe! It’s SO good :) I used a 2″ ring form for the above. 

  • Divalotus

    I don’t have probiotic capsules but i do have probiotic powder.  How much should i use when measuring this.  Thanks

    • Rawxy

      A tsp should work well! 

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  • Pneuma

    wow..thank you. I like the way you use the mason jar. That is much simpler and easier then other methods I have seen. I also have that exact same bottle of acidophilus tablets. I thought I’d have to find some special probiotics meant for making nut cheese before I could try it. Now I can’t wait to get home and get started!

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