Easy homemade cultured turmeric cashew spread (cashew cheese) flavoured with turmeric and black pepper—perfect for any veggie platter or sandwich spread.
Since becoming plant-based, the only thing I miss here and there is cheese. With a wave of nostalgia, I'll long for that grilled cheese at the greasy-spoon diner the morning after, the fried halloumi on the summer patio, and those cheese and crackers come holiday season.
Luckily at this point, as fast as the craving hits, the wave subsides and I'm happy with my veggie alternatives. Like many of you, I've travelled down the vegan cheese rabbit hole on only find most of it disappointing and costly (with the exception of Miyoko's mozzarella which is actually worthwhile).
I typically find that vegan alternatives to milk, yoghurt, and ice cream far exceed their dairy cousins. Yet, there is something lacking in vegan cheese. As hard as it tries, vegan cheese just isn't cheese—but that's okay.
- raw cashews
- probiotic pill
- turmeric powder
- lemon juice
- sea salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- nutritional yeast
Vegan Cheese Alternatives
I've read a lot of articles which claim that vegan alternatives should just embrace what they are, and halt the masquerading of being anything more. In contrast, when it comes to "cheese", I agree.
This post is purposefully titled ‘cultured cashew spread’ for this very reason. A lot of the dissatisfaction with vegan cheese stems for the fact it just can’t fill the same void that other plant-based substitutions do.
When you remove the comparison to cheese, these plant and nut-based spreads, dips, loaves, and curds all stand up on their own strengths, with their own unique character.
Although this turmeric cashew spread could be called a ‘dip’, it is much more than that thanks to the use of probiotic cultures to turn cashew cream into a fermented mix of good bacteria.
The natural tang of the fermentation along with fresh lemon juice and dried turmeric make it a mouthwatering accompaniment to any snack board, a perfect base for lux avocado toast, or a perfect spread to be smeared in your favourite wrap along with some sprouts and grated carrot.
Combine soaked cashews in a high-speed blender along with the 1/2 cup filtered water and the powder from one probiotic (you can discard the gel-cap).
Once the mixture is smooth, transfer it to a covered ceramic bowl and either
- let sit on the counter for around 24 hours or until soured or
- place in a food dehydrator or yogurt maker on the lowest setting for 8-12 hours.
After the time has passed, taste for sourness. You can let it continue to sour for a few more hours, but I wouldn't let it go beyond 30 hours.
Next, combine the fermented cashew base with the turmeric, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, yeast, and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Chill for a few hours before serving. This cashew spread should last in the fridge for around 5-7 days.
Tips + Notes
This spread can be made ahead of time and will last in the fridge for approximately 5 days. If you don't want it to taste of turmeric, try omitting it and adding some other flavours like dried dill, chives, or keeping the cashew spread plain like a cream cheese. It would even be great made into a cream cheese icing for a carrot cake.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 8 hours and drained
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 1 probiotic pill (20 billion CFU or higher)
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- Fresh fruit, raw sunflower seed crackers (found in the free e-book), radishes, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and endive.
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Combine them in a high-speed blender along with the 1/2 cup filtered water and the powder from one probiotic (you can discard the gel-cap).
- Once the mixture is smooth, transfer it to a covered ceramic bowl and either 1) let sit on the counter for around 24 hours or until soured, or 2) place in a food dehydrator or yogurt maker on the lowest setting for 8-12 hours.
- After the time has passed, taste for sourness. You can let it continue to sour for a few more hours, but I wouldn't let it go beyond 30 hours.
- Next, combine the fermented cashew base with the turmeric, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, yeast, and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Chill for a few hours before serving.This spread should last in the fridge for around 5-7 days.
Weekend Links + Loves
- I made this desserty granola a few weeks ago and can't get enough. It's filled the void of cookies, graced coconut yoghurt, and even makes a mean ice cream garnish. So, if you crave Oreos then this is your jam.
- Veganizing this recipe is a must for me next time friends come around for dinner. I mean, just take a look at that filling!
- The article everyone's been talking about this week. 50% fascinating while simultaneously being 50% disturbing. Nevertheless, it's a worthy read.
- Gena put me onto this article. As someone who has close family members who work night shifts, I find the science of sleep to be something very close to my everyday life.
- I love this concept of finding joy in missing out. An approach to summer living we should all adopt.
- I get super excited when I seed medicinal herbs in mainstream publications like this.
- This week I'm craving Em's scramble wraps, Sherrie's milkshake, Sarah's vibrant salad, and Heidi's trippy looking wraps.
- Finally, a little July playlist inspired by late-night summer drive.