Sundried Tomato Nut Cheese

Nut cheeses are a great item to have in your raw food recipe collection. I made my first nut cheese a couple of weeks ago and felt so very accomplished for having done it!  Not sure why other than, it was something that I had wanted to do for years but had been intimidated.  What inspired me to try it was a cooking demo/lunch that I was giving at a retreat.  I wanted to bring something new and good and this simple, easy cheese recipe was all that!!  Being a nutritionist, and someone who focuses on healing the digestive system, I loved that this cheese was cultured with a probiotic powder.

The cheese below is made with macadamias.  Different nuts not only taste different, but also will give different textures. Almonds make a clean tasting cheese that is a little grainy. Macadamias make a beautiful, creamy cheese that develops good firm texture. Cashews make a smooth, easy to flavor cheese that has a bit of a softer texture.

You can easily dress a nut cheese up or down with different herbs and spices.  This sun-dried tomato cheese could also have a little basil added to it.  A softer cashew cheese log could be rolled in some fresh tarragon to add a beautiful flavor.

2 cups raw macadamias, soaked 4 hours (to soften)
1 1/2 cup filtered water
1 tsp Probiotic powder
½ tsp. Real Salt
1tsp Nutritional yeast
½ tsp Lemon Juice
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes**, soaked 2 hours and drained
Basil for garnish
1. Blend the first 3 ingredients in a food processor
2. Place the mixture in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or nut milk bag and place a weight on top heavy enough to gently press liquid out. ( a mason jar filled w/water can do the trick)

3. Leave to ferment for 24-48 hours at room temperature

After fermentation, process in the next 3 ingredients.  Then stir in sun-dried tomatoes.  Spoon into a metal ring.  Refrigerate to firm up over night thenremove ring/mold.

**Sulfite free sun dried tomatoes can be found at Sprouts and other specialty markets.  Most Dried fruits and veggies are processed with sulfites to preserve color and prevent mold.  Unfortunately, many people are allergic to sulfites which can cause an asthmatic reaction as well as digestive problems.

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