Paleo Spicy Cashew ‘Cheese’
The only reason why this “cheese” is not vegan, is because I used gelatin, which is made from bones, skin and connective tissue of animals. Gelatin is a natural animal protein, it is a scientifically proven fact that gelatin has a number of positive effects on the skin, joints and bones. It has many uses, in cooking, industry, cosmetics and photography. In the pharma industry, gelatin is used to make hard and soft gelatin capsules, tablets, syrups.
It is possible to substitute with agar-agar (obtained from red algae) but it does not give the same creamy texture you get with gelatin, it will be firmer. You have to pay attention to the quantity if you want to replace gelatin, because agar-agar is more powerful. 1 teaspoon agar powder is equivalent to 8 teaspoon gelatin powder. Follow the instruction exactly on the label if you want to change, this recipe is not agar based.
Many variations can be made from this “cheese”, depending on what your favorite spices and culinary herbs. I made it with smoked paprika powder, a pinch of chili and dried ramsons. Ramsons are also known as wild garlic. It is a relative of onion, native to Europe and Asia, where it grows in moist woodland. The fundamental and important difference between ramsons and garlic, is that the leaves are edible, not only the bulb. I like it because it’s a bit garlicky but the taste is not overly strong it doesn’t suppress other spices’ flavors, and blends well with smoked paprika in this “cheese”.
I used nutritional yeast, which is called brewer’s yeast too, but it is not the same with it. It is similar to the yeast what we use in baking, but it undergoes a heating and drying process that renders it inactive. It has a savory, nutty, or cheesy flavor, it makes this paleo “cheese” better.
It’s popular in vegan cuisine as a cheese-alternative, and autoimmune protocol (AIP) compliant. Check the label every time and choose one that does not contain unwanted ingredients.
Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, high quality protein, contains B3, potassium, calcium, irons. Nutritional yeast has positive benefits, like boosting energy, promoting skin, hair and nail health.
Paleo Spicy Cashew 'Cheese'
- 150 g cashew nut
- 6 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 15 g nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika powder
- ½ tsp ramsons aka wild garlic dried (or your favorite dried culinary herb)
- 2 pinches chili flakes
- 1½ tbsp gelatin powder
- Soak cashew in cold water for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain and transfer to a food processor bowl with 4 tbsp water and blend it for 5 minutes until creamy and smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.
- Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika powder into creamy cashew and blend it for 2 minutes.
- Put the mixture into a bowl.
- Add dried ramsons (or your favorite dried culinary herb), chili flakes and mix them with a spoon or spatula. Taste it and add more salt and herbs if needed.
- Put 1½ tbsp gelatin into a small bowl, add 2 tbsp water and mix them.
- Heat it very gently, stir constantly until gelatin dissolved completely.
- Put dissolved gelatin into cashew mixture and mix them very well with a spoon or spatula.
- Line a small (300 ml) pot with cling film that should be large enough to be folded back.
- Place “cheese” mixture into the lined pot and smooth the top.
- Fold over the top with cling film and put it into the fridge for minimum 4 hours.
- Serve with paleo roll, fresh radish, tomato and paprika.