20.5.11

As cheesy as it gets

I'm a nut, you're a nut, he's a nut, she's a nut. We're all nuts.
All joking aside nuts should definitely be a part of you're daily diet, or maybe I'm advising it because they are a huge sum of mine. They provide important fatty acids, vitamin E, protein, and minerals. Nuts are the best dietary source for arginine which is an amino acid that helps wound healing, detoxification reactions, immune functions, and promotes the secretion of hormones. For someone with a vegan diet, nuts and seeds provide those much needed protein and nutrients. I'm not a vegan. I love Greek yogurt and pizza too much. You'll notice the majority of the food I make is pretty close to vegan though because I strive to eat a plant-based diet. Hence the nuttiness.
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I've had cashew cheese on my recipe board for way too long and as I filled up in the bulk aisle at Sunflower I decided to buy the darn cashews. I soaked them overnight in salted water. The following day the nuts were blended with some of the salted water. I wrapped the ricotta like mush in a cheesecloth and hung to strain for 4 hours, then chilled it overnight. This morning I had to work at 10 so I woke up at 7 to bake it and take pictures. Dedication. 
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Soaking the cashews overnight.
When I was doing a lot of research about raw food diet I read that soaking nuts before you eat them is really important. I never do it but by soaking them they release the enzyme inhibitors that help the nut grow into a plant. When these enzyme inhibitors are neutralized our bodies can absorb more vitamins from them, they're easier to digest, and the phytic acid which makes it hard to absorb vital minerals is reduced. If you're interested check out Raw Food Living where you'll find tons of info and charts about soaking times.
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The result is a soft spreadable cashew cheese that tastes nutty but not in an overwhelming way. Surprisingly it tastes a lot like nutritional yeast. I think it's really delicious and I can't wait to spread it on these crackers that I'm going to make tomorrow. 
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Cashew Cheese
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
Salted soaking water
1/2 tsp salt
You'll need:
Cheesecloth - about 15x15
wooden spoon
bucket, pitcher, or deep bowl

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