Every vegan sometimes feels cheesesick, the exception being those who
are vegan from birth and those, who don’t remember the taste. So, why is
everyone so fixated upon cheese? How do you explain epidemic obsession
of millions when it comes to pizza? Can it really be the narcotic influence
of cheese on the human body that Neal Barnard describes in his speech?
By the way, that was
the very video that finalised my intention of going dairy-free.
In any way, I spent a long while satisfying my cravings with ‘made-on-thego’
cashew cheeses, until I stumbled upon a miracle called ‘rejuvelac’.
Here is the link to this secret ingredient that I now use every time I feel
like making cheese.
Basically, rejuvelac is a fermented drink made from sprouted grains. It
contains lactobacteria that are naturally found in the environment around
us. Yes, the ones that provide matured cheese with that inimitable ‘stale
socks’ smell that vegan cheeses are lacking so direly.
Surely, there are more complicated recipes than mine. Some creators even
leave their cheese for months to age. However, aging along with it is not
on my agenda, so re-creating this recipe and making rejuvelac will take no
more than 3 days, 3 hours and 30 minutes. Don’t worry, your presence will
be needed only for 30 minutes of that time. But please don’t expect a soup
of nuts and fermented water to surpass authentic Italian parmesan in taste.
It will do its best to try to, but there’s only so much it has to give.
180 gr raw cashews
1 tsp garlic powder
20 gr white sesame seeds
25 ml lemon juice
2 tsp salt
15 ml apple cider vinegar
80 ml rejuvelac
20 gr coconut oil + 5 gr for greasing (put separately)
1) Pre-heat your oven to 80 C
2) Put all ingredients into the blender and run it for 2 min on the highest
speed until the mixture is homogenous and silky. Salt more to taste if
you want to.
3) Grease the pan with coconut oil, put cashew mixture there and level it.
4) Transfer the pan to hot oven and bake for 2 hours. When ready,
remove from the oven and let cool completely. When parmesan
reaches room temperature, carefully take it out of the pan, put into a
food container and leave in the fridge for one hour.
5) Slice chilled parmesan to serve on top of bruschettas, bake it on pizza
or use for risotto! It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks if
kept in an air-proof container.