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Cashew Cheese and Flaxseed Crackers

March 9, 2014

I’ve really been wanting to try my hand at making cheese at home. Ricotta keeps calling me – it’s simple and looks wonderful. BUT. It involves a quart of whole milk and I know that Novio and I will devour it fairly soon after I make it. I also know it’ll be absolutely delicious going down the hatch but I don’t really want to be around to witness all the bloaty- why-did-I-just-do-that-to-myself after-effects.

My Food Bloggers group celebrated healthy food at the start of the year. One of the offerings, created quite a buzz and flew off the table. The perfect antidote to my little cheese dilemma. Cathy Arkle, of She Paused for Thought, brought cashew cheese with flaxseed crackers. A cheese alternative made from cashew nuts!  And homemade crackers that were not only delicious but vegan and gluten-free too.  This would be perfect for our next gathering. Yes, I like to try new things on unsuspecting friends. If it didn’t work out, I’d roast the rest of the cashews and call it a day.

I discovered that real men (and women) do indeed eat cheese alternatives …. that is, if you don’t tell them ahead of time. This what I got:

Try this, Frank. You’ll love it. It’s a cheese alternative. He grabbed a cracker. He dipped. He paused. “Ehhhh….?, he quizzically responded. What do you mean, ehhh? I took a cracker and dipped into the cheese.  It’s delicious.

Cathy, you’re right. Readers, take note. If you’re going to do this, put it out first. Explain later.

So without further ado, I present to you Cathy Arkle’s Cashew Cheese and Flaxseed Crackers. And to delight your senses, be sure to visit her website, She Paused for Thought.

Click on the links below to see Cathy’s posts and admire her photography:

For the cheese, I soaked raw cashews in water overnight. Then, I drained them and added a bit of olive oil, garlic, sea salt and lemon juice. That’s it. No fooling.

drained cashews and seasoningsI pulled out the old Cuisinart food processor and gave it all a whirl.

Cashews in the CuisinartAnd kept whirling until it looked like this.

cashew cheese in processorThen I pulled out the cheesecloth. I’ve had cheesecloth in the drawer in my kitchen for years. Sometimes I use it to make a little herb bundle or bouquet garni for my soup. But mostly, it just sits there. Here was an opportunity to use it. I happily pulled it out and cut a nice piece of it.  At last!

plop cheese in cheeseclothPlop cheese in cheesecloth

drained cheeseTie it up with twine and give it twime to drain

(sorry, couldn’t help it)

Cashew Cheese

Cashew Cheese

from Cathy Arkle’s She Paused for Thought

Ingredients:
1 c. whole blanched cashews
¼ c. lemon juice
3 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, diced
1 t. sea salt
Directions:
Place cashews in medium bowl, and cover with 3 inches cold water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse cashews under cold running water, and drain again.
Purée cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and ½ cup cold water in food processor 6 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy.
Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Scoop cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together, and twist around cheese, forming into orange-size ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine. Chill 12 hours, or overnight. Discard excess liquid.

Makes about 1 ½ cups.

**********

The crackers are made with flax seeds and chia seeds.

whole flaxseeds and chia seedsNo, Lulu- we are not making a chia pet. We are no longer in the 70’s.

spread mixture in panSpread the seed and water mixture in lined pan.

Bake until dry and the edges curl.

whole baked cracker

homemade crackersHave fun breaking up your homemade crackers.

OK, Break it up, I said, Break it up!

Flaxseed Crackers

Flaxseed Crackers

from Cathy Arkle’s She Paused for Thought

Ingredients:
1 c. flax seeds
3 T. chia seeds
1 c. water
½ t. sea salt
½ t.cumin
½ t. coriander
1/4 t.freshly ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, soak flax and chia seeds in water for 20 minutes.
Add the rest of the seasonings to the seeds and mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and for an hour and a half. Flip it over and bake for another hour and a half.
Turn the heat off and let it cool inside the oven.
Once cooled, break it into free-form pieces.

PS There was no cashew cheese left and only a few crumbs remained of the flaxseed crackers.I think I’ll be doing this again. And again and again.

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3 Comments
  1. Cheese made from nuts is so interesting to me and I cannot even imagine what it tastes like. I missed that meeting, so I may never know (my daughter has a severe tree nut allergy, so I won’t be making any anytime soon). How nice of you to make Cathy’s recipe, I’m sure she’s honored!

  2. Great job Judy! I am so thrilled that you and your guests liked it. I do love healthy alternatives. Thank you so much for recreating this wonderful recipe.

  3. hsimpsongrossman permalink

    OK, I checked and we have flax seeds in the health section of my supermarket! those crackers look so crunchy! I must try them but will wait until after Pessach as I’m trying to empty pantry, cupboards and freezer first.
    XOXO

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