Archive for Sprouting and Fermenting

Truffled Cashew Cheese (Vegan)

A few weeks back, I had to travel to Victoria to give a presentation at Social Media Camp. It was a blast–I love going to Victoria. It’s one of my fave foodie cities. They have the second highest per capita number of restaurants there (second only to San Francisco), and they take their cocktails and brunches very, very seriously.

So it’s no wonder I love going there–it’s charming and beautiful and foodie friendly.

We were flying back to Vancouver via Helijet around noon, but had a little time, so my friend Chantal picked us up for brunch. She took us to Nourish, the cutest little place, housed in a heritage home in James Bay.

Cultured Cashew Cheese Nourish

What I loved about Nourish, besides the fact that it was incredibly charming, is that it was incredibly vegan and gluten-free friendly.

You can read Chantal’s review on Brunchcouver here, but I had this cultured cashew cheese that just knocked my socks off–and I’ve been trying to recreate ever since.

This is not a super challenging recipe, but my first batch left me feeling a little meh. So the second time around, I added everyone’s favorite secret ingredient: truffles. You have to be careful with truffles because they are so strong, they can overwhelm easily.

This is a cultured cashew cheese, as instead of using water, you use liquid that’s been fermented; in this case, either kombucha or the pickling liquid from sauerkraut (or both). Throw in some nooch and miso for umami, and the final result is decadent and creamy. The truffles give it that earthy, unctuous yumminess.

FYI, you really need a good blender for this–your magic bullet isn’t going to cut it. Literally.

Truffled Cashew Cheese

Truffled Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp plain kombucha
  • 1 tbsp sauerkraut pickling liquid (or use two tbsp of just one if that’s all you’ve got)
  • 1/2 tsp truffle salt
  • 1 tsp truffle oil

Method

  1. Place the cashews in a mason jar and top with water. Screw on the top and allow to sit overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the cashews and rinse them. Add them to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high for one minute, stop, scrape down the sides, and blend on high for an additional minute at least. Cheese should be creamy and smooth.
  3. Line a 125ml ramekin with plastic wrap, and scrape the cheese into it. Smooth the top, wrap it up, and place in the fridge to set for 24 hours.
  4. Serve with crackers, bread, and additional sauerkraut.

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How to grow your own Kombucha SCOBY

I really hate kombucha.

It’s true.

So, you might be wondering, why am I writing a post about it, then? Well…

Kombucha is good for you. Similar to other foods, like saurkraut, kimchi, sourdough and miso, kombucha is naturally fermented. Fermented foods are really good for you–they contain good bacteria that help with digestion and also support your immune system.

I’m a big fan of probiotics, and I try to get them into my system every day. Usually I take them in pill form, but I like to try to get other forms through my diet as well.

Grow your own kombucha SCOBY

Which brings us to kombucha.

You see, kombucha is fermented tea, and it has a sharp, vinegar-like flavor that I find hard to swallow (literally). However, I recently had some that I didn’t absolutely hate, and I thought that I’d try to go on a mission to see if I could make myself like it, for health reasons.

I decided to start by trying to brew my own.

Making your own kombucha is actually pretty simple, but it takes time.

The key to kombucha is the “mother” or the SCOBY (which is an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”). Yeah, I know, appealing. But again, really good for you.

There are a few ways to get a SCOBY. If you have a friend who makes kombucha, you can ask them if you can have one of theirs. They reproduce pretty easily. You can actually also buy them online, or try Craigslist.

And, you can grow your own.

Grow your own Kombucha SCOBY

Ingredients:

  • 5 tea bags (green or black)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • water
  • large mason jar
  • 1 bottle plain kombucha (purchased from the store)

Here’s how to do it:

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