Fermented Nut Cheese


Oh Nuts!

(Yes, I know that cows are milked and not nuts. You ‎may call it a fermented nut spread if you like.) can be made from a large variety of ‎nuts and seeds. It is a relatively simple process but there are 4-5 stages of ‎preparation.‎

‎1 Soak the nuts‎
‎2 Prepare and age “dough” mixture with probiotics
‎3 Flavor the cheese‎
‎4 Store the cheese in a ring in the refrigerator
‎5 Dehydrate de-ringed cheese

The nuts are soaked to remove phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. The ‎phytic acid will inhibit mineral absorption. Soaking can increase mineral ‎absorbtion tenfold or more. Nuts also have enzyme inhibitors which make ‎digestion difficult; soaking the nuts will “wake up” “hibernating” enzymes ‎which will enhance digestion. The soaking time will vary from nut to nut, ‎seed to seed:‎

Almonds 8-12 hours‎
Brazil Nuts 3-8 hours‎
Cashews 2-6 hours‎
Hazelnuts 8 hours‎
Macadamia Nuts 7-12 hours‎
Pecan Nuts 4-6 hours‎
Pistachio Nuts and Pine Seeds 6 hours‎
Walnuts 4-7 hours‎
Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds 6-8 hours‎

Soak in fresh water. Rinse and strain to complete.‎

Blend or process soaked nuts and seeds in food processor. The trick is to add ‎as little water as possible. The amount of water added will depend upon the ‎mixture of nuts and seeds used. Here are some examples:‎

Add approximately 1 cup of water to 400 grams of macadamia nuts.‎
Add approximately ½ cup of water to 400 grams of cashew.‎

Play around, be adventurous and use mixtures of different nuts and seeds.‎

When the “dough like” mixture has been formed add probiotics. I like to use ‎VLS3 (extremely high quality and price). It can be found behind the counter at ‎your local pharmacist. I use one packet per 400 grams. Alternatively, one could ‎use two capsules of probiotics (discard the casing and use just the powder). ‎The dough should be placed in a cheese bag or cloth diaper on a strainer (with ‎ample holes for ventilation) and covered with kitchen towels. Do not leave the ‎cheese to ferment on a hot window sill. The cheese will ferment for a ‎day and a half to two days.‎ ‎

Remove the cheese from its coverings and kneed it. There will probably be a ‎thin crust which can be dissolved with some good knuckle power. Beware of ‎mold which may be found if the cheese is left too long to ferment or in a hot or ‎humid place.‎

Flavor the cheese.‎
For 400 grams add
‎2-3 t fresh lemon juice (important for preservation)‎
‎3-4 T nutritional yeast
‎1-2 t Himalayan salt

Add flavorings for example:‎
Zatar, olives, dried tomatoes, paprika, sumac, cayenne pepper, oregano, dried ‎fruit, fresh herbs …‎

For a cheddar cheese use a combination of cumin and turmeric.‎

The cheese can be rolled and stored in the refrigerator. The cheese should be ‎wrapped well with wax paper. Another possibility is to use a ring. Fill the ring ‎with cheese and wrap in wax paper and store in the refrigerator for a few ‎hours. The cheese can be removed gently from the ring and served like this.‎

Should you have access to a dehydrator, the de-ringed cheese can be dried ‎for 2-4 hours. This will give the cheese a nice crust. The dried cheese should be ‎wrapped in wax paper and stored in the refrigerator.‎

Bon Appétit!