I have found variations of this recipe in countless cookbooks and all over the web. I never would have given it a try, though, if my mom hadn’t bought me some Agar Agar when she went on a trip. Thanks, mom!
Disclaimer: it’s a process
1 cup quinoa
6 cups water
2 cups raw cashews – soaked over night
2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 fermented quinoa water
4 tsp miso
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp agar agar powder
The first “step” takes 4 – 6 days. Good things come to those who wait?
- Soak the quinoa in a bowl with 2 cups water for 8-12 hours. Drain, rinse twice and transfer to a mason jar. Cover with cheese cloth and place out of the sun at room temperature.
- For the next few days, rinse the quinoa two or three times per day until the grains sprout – little roots start emerging.
- Add 4 cups of water, cover with the cheese cloth and let sit for another 2 days.
- Strain, discard the sprouted quinoa, and store the liquid in the fridge.
Now for the fun!
- Soak the cashews in a bowl of water overnight.
- Combine the remaining ingredients except the agar agar powder in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer the smooth mixture to a glass bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 24-72 hours with a cheese cloth over top.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and stir in agar agar powder on medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Transfer into a squared glass container to form a small block. Smooth out the top.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until somewhat firm. The longer you let it age (1-2 weeks) the sharper the “cheddar” flavour will be.
sigh. It seems like a lot of effort, but this is far better than any store bought non-dairy cheese you can buy in a store. Plus, the actual time you are involved in making the cheese is rather minimal. One just has to be patient…