In the world of plant-based recipes, raw or vegan cheeses are a delicacy you must try. And what’s even better is that they are very easy to make.
Ricotta de almendras
In the world of vegan cheeses – those not made from milk but rather from plant-based ingredients – seeds play a key role. In this case, activated almonds are used (soaked for at least 24 hours in high-quality filtered water). But why? So they become easier to digest and process. In addition to nutritional yeast, which provides that cheese-like flavor. Here’s what you will need:
-1 cup peeled almonds, activated
-Half a lemon, juiced
-1 tbsp nutritional yeast
-50 ml of filtered water
-1/2 tsp sea salt
Blend everything in a blender or with an immersion blender, adjust salt and consistency (for a more spreadable cheese, you can add a bit more water), and enjoy! This almond ricotta goes really well as a spread on crackers or as a vegetable dip… It also pairs very nicely with Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc.
Cashew cheese with herbs
The interesting thing about vegan cheeses is that you can experiment with different ingredients. In this case, cashews work very well because once they are activated, they take on a different, flavorful consistency that you can enhance by adding herbs. Here’s what you will need:
-250 g raw cashews (not toasted), activated
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-1 garlic clove (can be roasted to soften its flavor)
-Half a lemon, juiced
-1 tsp sea salt
-Herbs (parsley, dill, etc.)
-optional: green onion
Again, you need to blend everything together, except the herbs, until you achieve the desired consistency (you can add 1/3 cup of filtered water to bind the mixture). Chop the herbs and green onion separately, and gently fold them in using a spoon. Another option is to make cheese balls and coat them in herbs. Store in a sealed container to keep fresh for up to a week in the fridge. You can spread it on toast, sandwiches, add it to salads, and, of course, enjoy it with a glass of Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc.
Ripened sunflower seed cheese
Sunflower seeds are another highly nutritious ingredient commonly used for preparing raw cheeses. In this case, the cheese is aged for two weeks before consuming to intensify its flavor. Here’s what you will need:
-200 g sunflower seeds, activated
-1 tsp white miso paste (unpasteurized)
-1 tbsp nutritional yeast
-One lemon, juiced
-1/2 tsp of onion powder
-1 pinch of black pepper
Process all the ingredients (except the herbs) until a creamy paste forms. Place in a cheesecloth bag and let sit for at least 12 hours to drain liquids and ferment. Afterwards, take the cheese out of the bag, shape it into a round form with your hands, coat it with fresh herbs to your liking, and let it dry for one to two weeks in a dry, well-ventilated place, turning it every 12 hours. When you achieve the desired consistency, you can slice and enjoy. Ideally serve on a platter with apple or pear slices to offset its salty flavor, or with sourdough bread. Due to its stronger flavor and herbal aromas, you can also pair it with Gran Reserva Carmenère.
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