Fermented Vegan Cheese BaseUpdated on: 13.12.2020
In this post, you will learn how to make a cultured or fermented vegan cheese base you can use to make various vegan “cheesy” foods, such as vegan cottage cheese, vegan soft cheese spread, or various fermented cheeses such as vegan brie.
The process itself is pretty simple, however, it does require quite a bit of waiting, so it’s not something you can make and eat in 15 minutes.
On the other hand, if you do have the time and motivation to go the extra mile, give this fermented cheese base a try, it’s delicious and also incredibly healthy for your digestive system. You can read all about the benefits of fermented foods here.
What are fermented foods?
Fermented foods are foods that have active microorganisms, which cause the food to ferment. Fermentation happens when the food is exposed to the activity of microbes in an incubated form without oxygen.
A number of factors, such as temperature, time and pH value enable the microorganisms to break down ogranic matter such as sugars.
As the microorganisms multiply and break down organic matter, the food is altered and acquires a different aroma, texture, flavour and bioactive substances such as vitamins and minerals.
Why is fermentation good?
- It helps preserve the food because of its production of acids.
- Fermentation alters and improves the texture, flavor, and aroma of the food.
- It is a source of probiotics that play an important role in the normal functioning of your immune system.
- The food has higher amounts of bioactive substances such as vitamin B, C, and K2.
- The food becomes easier to digest than its pre-fermented form.
- A higher amount of enzymes enables better absorption of nutrients.
- It leads to the removal of some substances such as phytates, which are naturally present in food such as legumes and work as nutrient absorption inhibitors.
How to Make A Vegan Cultured Cheese Base
– Cashew nuts (soaked overnight)
– Rejuvelac (or, alternatively, 2 capsules of vegan probiotic)
*Note: All the utensils and dishes used need to be super clean. After the fermentation agent is introduced into the mixture, do not put it in direct contact with any metal, such as a regular spoon. Use wooden, glass, or plastic materials only.
Total Time: 1 day and 18 hours
Blend the cashews
Add the rejuvelac or vegan probiotic
Add the desired ingredient for fermentation and mix well with a clean wooden spatula to distribute evenly.
Ferment for 36 hours
Leave to ferment the mixture for 36 hours on room temperature. It should be in a glass, plastic or wooden bowl and covered with a clean kitchen cloth or gauze.
Pour into cloth and knead, put in the fridge for 6 hours.
After 36 hours, pour the mixture into a clean cloth, wrap it, and knead it thoroughly with your hands. Put it in the fridge for at least 6 hours before further use.
Further possible steps
a) Mix salt and nutritional yeast into the mixture and place it in the fridge for the flavors to settle in. Form the mixture into balls and roll in whatever you like, for example, various spices, chives, shredded sun-dried tomatoes, or citrus zest.
b) Use it as a base for further creation of cultured vegan cheeses, such as vegan brie, vegan chevre, vegan fermented cottage cheese, or vegan cream cheese.
How the Vegan Fermented Cheese Base Keeps
The cheese base keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.
In the freezer, it keeps up to 4 months.