Tag Archives: cheeze

THIS WEEK’S CHEEZE: Trying out a sunflower cheeze

Posted on August 18, 2013by 

Two nights ago, I set a sunflower cheeze to ferment (I usually do cashew cheezes, but I wanted to try something a little different – I mean, the stuff I add in is usually going to be the same no matter what I am making)

Instead of grinding the sunflower seeds into powder, the way I used to do, I soaked them overnight.

In the morning, I added salt and put it all into the Cuisinart, reduced it to mush, and then put it in a nutmilk bag, set it in a colander on a bowl with a jar full of water as a weight on top.  (All of these things are different from my usual sunflower seed recipe)

I set it in the corner of the kitchen, and waited for 2 days. Tonight I opened it up and, although it tasted okay, something was missing.  I went ahead and added in the garlic and onion and oil-cured kalamata olives, and prepared to let it set up in the refrigerator. Then I checked, and my body memory doesn’t have me putting in the probiotics. Should I or not? I decided to add probiotics at that point, and I am glad that I did. I put the first cheeze round in the food processor with a capful of probiotics, and, when I took it out, I could smell the difference! 

So, now, I have decided to leave these very blended cheezes out one more night, and then put them in the refrigerator for another day. 

One is just the garlic, onion, olive version, and the other one was going to be coated with dill, but the dill got mixed in when I added the probiotics. I am expecting good results, regardless.



Tonight’s Fermenters’ Meetup was for fermented nut or seed cheezes.
I made a basic 48-hour-fermented jalapeno/garlic cashew cheeze recipe, coated 1 round with dried dillweed, and mixed cured kalamata olives into the other round (which stopped being a round, and had to travel in a pot.  I thin-sliced two small kohlrabis, shook some black pepper over them, and took them along, as well, so people could make impromptu ravioli, or just have a raw place to hold their cheeze.

Why am I feeling so proud? They scarfed up all of my cheeze (there, I had been thinking I would have at least half as leftovers to use this week!) Then, when we gathered to talk about what we had eaten, my cheezes were the most-often mentioned!
I have been making raw vegan cheeze for a number of years now, but this is the first time that my cheezes were up against other people’s cheezes and were being tasted by people who make raw vegan cheezes.

3 C raw cashews, soaked @8 hrs
1/4 C water
2 capsules New Chapter All Flora probiotics
½ t sea salt

  • Process cashews through a Champion juicer with the blank plate (alternatively, if you have neither a Champion juicer nor a high speed blender, you can grind dry cashews in a coffee grinder – I often use my Magic Bullet grinder blade to reduce nuts and seeds to a fine powder. If you happen to have high speed blender, place all ingredients in the high speed blender and process to a fine paste)
  • Dissolve probiotics in 1/4  C water
  • Process cashew paste, salt,water, and probiotics and process in a food processor to mix thoroughly.
  • Line a colander (placed over a bowl) with cheesecloth, and place cheeze in the colander. Fold the cheesecloth over the cheeze, and leave to ferment for 24-48 hrs (longer is tangier).
  • Place cheeze in a tightly-lidded container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

After I fermented, I ground up 6 garlic cloves and one fairly large jalapeno, then placed all in my food processor to mix well.
Then I folded cheesecloth In the bottom of two containers (I could have used baking parchment, but I had none), placed a round ring form on top of the cheesecloth, and spooned the cheeze into the ring forms, in  hopes that I would get sturdy rounds of cheeze, covered the containers with airtight covers, and put them in the refrigerator for 3 days. It turned out that the rounds did not hold together very well.
I took one, placed it in a container and mixed in about 10 finely chopped oil-cured kalamata olives.  Handling the other very carefully, I sprinkled a lot of dried dillweed all over, top, sides, bottom, and patted it in, then patted the round back into shape and put it in a container.  These were the cheezes I took to the meetup.

I think  I liked the dill-coated one best, although the olive one was very good, and was the most-commented-on.  Folks also liked the kick of the garlic and jalapeno base (as did I).  I have a new staple.


POST #954
I’ve just put a cashew cheeze base to ferment.

Here’s the base recipe:
3 C cashews,soaked for 6 hours
1/4 C water
3 capsules New Chapter All Flora probiotics
1/2 t sea salt

I processed the cashews through my Champion juicer with the blank plate. (this gives a very smooth pate, but… the reason you might want to use a high speed blender, or even a food processor, which is what I have always used before, is that is a bear to clean out all of the parts of the Champion)

Then I emptied the probiotics capsules into the water, added the sea salt, and mixed it well.

Then I put the sea salt/probiotics/water mix into the bowl with the cashew nut paste, and mixed it up well, using the spatula which came with my Cuisinart and is very strong.

I lined my colander with two layers of cheesecloth, put the cashew mix in, and folded the cheesecloth over it. I put the colander over a bowl in the corner of what was the stove top, which is now where I place ferments – it’s the darkest part of my kitchen, and, possibly, the coolest, but definitely not cold (I’d guess that, right about now, the temperature there is @80 degrees)

I plan to ferment this cheeze for 48 hours before I season it, form it, and refrigerate it.

Yesterday, at Broadway Panhandler, I picked up some steel rings, which said they were for cutting pastry, but which will do nicely for forming the cheeze (and were about $10 less than a spring form). I’ll use them to form the cheeze into nice rounds, which I will refrigerate, after I’ve seasoned the cheeze – I’m thinking of making one jalapeno mushroom cheeze, and one garlic dill cheeze, but anything can happen between now and then.

DINNER TONIGHT: Squash soup and cashew/spinach cheeze on campari tomatoes

I had the spinach and the kale from the CSA share last week, and I had the new supply of cashews, in addition to a leftover butternut squash and a couple of apples.  What to do for dinner?

I decided I wanted to save the kale for our Thanksgiving dinner, so it was time to experiment with a spinach/cashew cheeze — something I have considered, but never gotten around to.

With the squash and the apples, I made soup.

2 C spinach
1 C cashews
2 lg cloves garlic
1/4 C hot sesame oil
pinch sea salt
1/2 t apple cider vinegar
Campari tomatoes

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process to smooth (you could use a VitaMix – I would have, but mine is broken)
  • Slice tomatoes about 1/4. thick.
  • Spread cheeze on tomatoes and arrange on plate.

Note: I use campari tomatoes because they are small and give only 2 or 3 forkfuls.  You could use roma tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes.  (I have even used grape tomatoes – hollowing them out and stuffing them, but that was more work than I want to do again – although it did look cute)

2/3 med. butternut squash, chopped
2 med. apples, chopped
1/2 C cashews
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T hot sesame oil
1 t Spike (or other salt-free seasoning)
1 t black pepper
pinch sea salt
warm water as needed to make a thick creamy soup

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy.
  • Add water as needed to obtain desired consistency.



1 large tomato, sliced thickly
1 C cashews, soaked and rinsed
2 C kale, chopped fine
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 C onion, chopped
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

  • In the food processor, process all ingredients, except tomato, to a fine consistency.
  • Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper over tomato slices.
  • Spread kale/cashew cheeze thickly onto tomato slices.

Wahoo!  Today is a day of good things! First, somebody who had told me something about cellphones, which I had forgotten and written asking for the info again, refused to tell me by email (hey! I don’t have a phone!)  Totally cool!  I get to find out what I do remember about what he said and try to trick the seller into a good deal all by myself!  A big thank you to my  reluctant enabler!

I made a sunflower seed  cheeze the other day, and, after the first 24 hrs. of it aging in a colander (and giving off whey all over the place), I decided to see what would happen if I put a weight on it and aged it another 24 hrs. When I went after it, there was a lot more whey in the drain bowl, but it was not a solid cheeze and it smelled really strong.  I was a little concerned, but, still, that was 2 C of sunflower seeds, so, after I ate about 2 teaspoons of it,  I decided to put it in the refrigerator and check it out later. The next day (yesterday, I tasted it again (still not sure), and swallowed about a tablespoon worth of it.  RESULT: I did not die!

Tonight, I went back to it again.  I decided to include it into my recent favorite sandwich (the sunflower/sesame seed bread with thinly sliced cucumbers, mature green peppers*, red onions, and a thick slice of tomato.  I spread the aged sunflower seed cheeze on one slice, topped it with all the vegetables, and spread some of the fermented cashew/jalapeno cheeze I had left.   YUMMM!!!!!!!!!

Okay, I am really really happy because this was an invention, and, also, because I wasn’t really sure about the “sharpness”, until I had let it sit in the refrigerator for a day (although I kept trying to see if it would cause a digestive upset) This aged cheeze, made with probiotics, tastes good (if you like “sharp” or “smelly” cheeze, and it works well with the digestive system.


CHEEZE as MAYONNAISE – you decide! Jalapeno Cheeze, fresh and fermented

I made up my smoked jalapeno cashew cheeze again tonight, and I realized some things that I had not thought about before when I was working with this and similar recipes… or, shall we say, I paid attention to how I use the things I make, once they are made.

2 C cashews
2 jalapenos (or to taste)
1/4 – 1/2 C water (or rejuvelac)
1 t sea salt

Put all ingredients in VitaMix and process to a smooth consistency.

Tonight, I added two large cloves of garlic to the blender mix before processing.

I have made this recipe before, as is, and totally enjoyed it added to sandwich combos. 

Two weeks ago, I made it with probiotics, and aged it for 24 hours (wow!)
I added 1 T of probiotic powder to the mix and hung it in cheesecloth over a bowl, to let it age for 24 hours.

Today, I made a fresh batch, and, when I went to use a little of it, I  realized that it works like mayonnaise.  I had a lovely sesame/sunflower seed bread sandwich with tomato, onion, and cucumber, using the jalapeno cashew cheeze as a mayonnaise).  Yumm!


SANDWICH FOR LUNCH TODAY: Sunflower/sesame/flax seed bread with kale/cashew cheeze

I made the sunflower/sesame seed bread last night for a client request, and then I took some of the extra with me to work today for lunch.  I had some leftover cashew/kale cheeze, and some orange bell pepper, so I took that along.  I did not make up the sandwich before I left, because, in my experience, the bread gets soggy very fast, and then you just have glop after 4 hours.

Anyway, I spread the cashew/kale cheeze on the bread (see below), thinly sliced the orange bell pepper and placed it all over the the sandwich, and put on the other slice, and enjoyed a lovely, delicious very filling and lasting sandwich.  (Even though I have been doing raw food for a long time, I am always amazed at how some things have staying power, and, with others, you want to eat again in a couple of hours.  Sandwiches on this bread are my favorite on long days.)   Yum!.

This recipe is based on a recipe from Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen

1 C ground flax seeds
1/3 C w hole flax seeds
½ t sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T onion, chopped
1-1/3 C water
2/3 C sunflower seeds
1/4 C black sesame seeds


  • Mix first six ingredients. Add sunflower and sesame seeds and mix well.
  • Use the back of a spoon to spread batter evenly on one a teflex sheet over a dehydrator tray (I find it easier to put the mesh sheet between the teflex sheet and the tray)
  • Score batter on trays into 9 slices, using the back end of a spatula.
  • Dry at 110 degrees F for 3 hours.
  • Remove the tray from the dehydrator.  Place a mesh dehydrator sheet on top, and a dehydrator on top of that, then flip the assembly.  Remove the top dehydrator tray and carefully peel off the teflex sheet.
  • Dehydrate another hour or two (depends on your atmospheric conditions – it is very humid here, so I ended up dehydrating for 2 more hours this morning)  before serving

The bread will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days. Frozen, it will keep for a month.

This bread  is fast enough to make that you can make it whenever you want it – the only thing is that you need to be around (and awake) for 5 hours to get it out of the dehydrator before it gets hard. (Or you could eat it hard).

1 C cashews, soaked and rinsed
2 C kale, chopped fine
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 C onion, chopped
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste (I don’t use it)


  • Thoroughly combine ingredients in the food processor and process fine.


Last night, I decided to experiment with the KALE CHIPS.   using  my CASHEW CHEDDAR CHEESE recipe.

I made the recipe according to the original instructions, but, instead of the extravagant 2 C cashew recipe, I used my cashew cheeze recipe, which did just as well.  I had a huge bunch of kale from Fairway, for $1.99 (about 3 bunches from any other market), and I broke it all up into the large mixing bowl I use for making crackers, and then I poured on the cashew cheddar cheeze mixture and mixed it all around until all of the pieces were covered front and back.  As I went to put each kale piece on the dehydrator sheet, I added a little more cheddar cheeze mixture, to make sure it was well coated.

I ended up needing all 5 trays of my dehydrator.  The only problem is that I only have 4 teflex sheets.  The last kale pieces had to go on straight onto a mesh sheet.  In the morning, I turned all of the kale pieces which were on teflex sheets onto their mesh sheets.  I just left the pieces which had been on the mesh sheet all night.  When I came home, and tried the kale chips, I found that the ones which had been on the mesh sheet all the while were much crunchier than the others (so I put them all  to dehydrate for a few more hours, becasue crunchier is better).  Next time, I will put all of the kale chips directly onto the mesh sheets – they don’t drip, so there is not need for the teflex sheets.

I will be experimenting with other flavors now… I think the next choice is the jalapeno cheeze, and then I am going to figure out a Thai curry version.  Stay tuned … (I have a forced week of vacation coming up soon, so the recipes will be flowing.)


Here is my version of the famous cheddar cheeze recipe I learned from Tommie — this is the first cheeze I ever made, and it is still my favorite (easy, fast, delicious!)

1 C raw cashews, soaked 1 – 2 hrs., and drained
1/3 lg orange (or red) bell pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 t onion powder
1/2 t sea salt
1 T chili seasoning, or to taste (optional)
Water to just cover cashews

  • Combine all ingredients in the VitaMix (or a high-speed blender) and process until smooth.
  • Refrigerate for up to 1 week.