I tried many experiments with nut cheeses. It was hard to get a satisfying texture or taste. I finally found the perfect easy recipe! Let me show you step by step how to make your own vegan fermented cheeses and you won’t believe it’s actually vegan! You can finally get over your milk cheese cravings, go cruelty free and save a lot of money instead of buying expensive ones in markets.
Making a nut milk
You can use any kind of nuts you like. Possibilities are endless and you can experiment with it. Soak your nuts overnight or for 8 to 12 hours. To make the milk use around 1 cup of nuts for 1 cups of water in a Vitamix or a high speed blender. Blend until smooth for about 3 minutes. If the texture is too thick add water until you see a vortex forming in top of your blender.
Do not filter the milk, put the mixture directly in a glass jar (preferably boiled for 5 minutes to sterilize).
Allow some space in the jar, the mixture will grow as it ferments.
There is a lot of methods to ferment your cheeses with healthy bacterias. You can simply buy probiotic capsules and put in your mixture. You can also make rejuvelac OR in my opinion the best and cheapest way to do it is with water Kefir! If you make your own Kefir, use a a little bit of your water Kefir from the first fermentation in your nut milk.
I use about 1/4 of a cup of Kefir for two cups of nuts. Add the water Kefir to your jar of nut milk and add about 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt or himalayan salt and half a lemon juice to stimulate the probiotic to grow.
Mix well and cover with a cloth. Let it ferment for 36 to 48h at room temperature. The mixture is supposed to grow and you should see the water deposit in the bottom.
After 36 to 48h, boil some cheese cloths, a mason jar and a plastic net for few minutes. Put two layers of cheesecloths in the sterilized net. ( I found that the best nets for this process are simple strawberry plastic net ).
Pour the net in a bowl and put your mixture in the cheesecloth.
Twist your cheesecloth, make a little pocket and try to remove most of the liquid by squeezing and hand-pressing it.
(I suggest you keep the liquid in a jar and use it for any kind of recipe that needs water).
Put it back in the net and fold the cheesecloth over the mixture. Fill the sterilized mason jar with water close it well and put it on top of the net containing the mixture. Then put the net inside a small bowl that fits so that it doesn’t touch the bottom. The excess water from the pressure will slowly fall in this bowl. Let it ferment at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or until texture and taste is as you desire. The amount of water in your mixture will influence the texture. The more there is liquid the more soft it’ll be. I suggest you go check everyday and taste, you will see how it progresses. If you desire a harder cheese, you can either put more weight or hand-press it more. The more you let it ferment, the more it will have a pronounced taste.
A dark crust might also form the more you wait. Don’t worry, this is totally normal.
Now it’s time to be creative. I like to spice my cheeses with chives, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, if you like a smoky flavour you might add some liquid smoke. It’s up to you and there is no specific way to do it. Trust your taste buds and taste as you season your cheese. That’s the secret. Add your seasonings, mix your cheese and mold it with the shape you want. Put your molded cheese in a plate covered with a cheesecloth and store in the fridge. The cheese will continue to ferment (but slowly) in cold temperature and will also harden. I like to let it create a small crust for a few days in the fridge before consuming. You can also eat it right away. After more than a week in the fridge, you might want to cover completely with a cheese cloth, brown paper or plastic wrap. At this point cheeses are hardly perishable. It stays good for weeks even months the only differences are the hardness and a stronger taste, as long as there is no mold forming. That’s it!
Enjoy your home made cheeses!