Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Raw Cashew Goat Cheese – the experiment

For me the most difficult animal product to eliminate from our diet wasn’t meat, Greek yogurt, European butter, or even heavy cream, it was cheese. I have loved cheese for as long as I can remember. I have been thinking about this recipe since the April issue of the Vegetarian Times came out. However, life got in the way and never found time to make it. Yesterday I decided to make the cheese, but I wanted it to be raw. So I knew it this cheese was going in the dehydrator even without directions as to time.

The original recipe called for tahini, which I omitted. I have tried other “cheese” recipes in the past that called for tahini and found they didn’t really taste like “cheese” to me. Other than that change I followed the recipe, mostly. Here is what I did.

Raw Cashew Goat Cheese – the experiment
Makes approximately 10 ounces


¾ cup raw cashews
2 cups water
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons water
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/4 teaspoon salt


Place the cashews in a jar and cover with water. Allow the cashews to stand overnight. Drain the cashews, rinse and drain again.

Place the remaining ingredients in your food processor or blender and process until completely smooth. Processing took about 2 minutes in my machine.

Cut enough cheesecloth to cover the mixture at least three times. Scrape the cashew cheese into the cheesecloth and roll into a log. Place the cheese log in a wire mesh strainer in a bowl let stand overnight at room temperature. I kept mine in the microwave to keep nosey felines out of the mixture.

In the morning place the cheese in your dehydrator until the cheese is set on the outside but still soft. I left the cheese in the dehydrator for 24 hours.

When the cheese is done remove the cheesecloth and scrape the cheese into a bowl. Then use a fork to fluff the cheese. I did this because the exterior was firmer than the interior and I wanted the consistency to be even throughout.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 127.93
Calories From Fat (87%) - 111.56

Total Fat - 12.81g
Saturated Fat - 1.3g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 262.23mg
Potassium - 60.43mg
Total Carbohydrates - 2.96g
Fiber - 0.29g
Sugar - 0.63g
Protein - 1.47g


The texture of the cheese was quite good. However, the biggest problem I have with this cheese is the amount of salt. We found this cheese to be so salty that I used a tiny amount of it on a cracker, and covered it with Mostarda. Next time I will definitely start with ¼ of the salt when I make this next. The salt issue may be due to the fact that I have reduced our salt intake so much, or it could be that dehydrating was more drying than baking (the method used in the original recipe). Next time I am also going to eliminate adding the 2 tablespoons of water. I don’t think it does anything but add additional water to be removed during draining and baking/drying. There is one good thing about the cheese being too salty. I didn’t use much of it on our cracker reducing both the fat and calories.

I think this was a good experiment, but it does need a bit of modification. When I am happy with the results I will post the final recipe.


  1. Interesting...does it taste like goat's cheese? I was trying to wrack my brain trying to think of what on earth could make something taste like goat cheese. Is it the heating of the ingredients that alter the flavor or similar?

  2. I found giving up cheese so hard as well! I still miss it sometimes. This, however, looks awesome! I love faux cheese. My favorite is a macadamia nut cheese made by blending the macs with water and then "milking" it through a cheese cloth.. This looks great though. I also find that the saltiness increases as I dehydrate. I always seem to forget that though, and wind up with too salty treats! I can't wait to see the final recipe and try it out on a raw dish.. lasagna anyone? Thanks!!

  3. Cashew cheese experimenting is high up on my list of things to try.

  4. What an impressive experiment! Brovo!

    I've made something like this before but I called mine "cashew dip", it was so yummy. I have to make it again very soon, Mmmmm!!!!

  5. Rose,

    I can't tell you whether is tastes like goat cheese because it is so salty that is masking the flavor. Before it went into the dehydrator it reminded me of the almond feta recipe I posted. It was far easier than the almond feta though since you don't have to blanch almonds. I think it has promise, but I will need to play around with it before I will be completely happy.

    Michelle (greenbite),

    Thanks for confirming that the dehydrating adds to the saltiness. I thought that could have been the problem. I would love to see your macadamia nut cheese recipe. Are you going to post that sometime? I hope so.


    I was very happy with the texture of the "cheese", now I need to play around with the flavor a little. It should not take too long to finalize (a few weeks at most). I will post the final recipe as soon as I have it ready.


    I hope you will be posting your cashew dip recipe. Something tells me I am not the only one that would love to see it.

    Thanks for the commenting everyone. I am off to read a few blogs and then do a little yoga before I need to leave for cooking class.


  6. I made the oven-baked version (with a few shortcuts) and just loved it. I also found the original recipe a bit too salty, so I just cut the salt in half. Other than that--delish! (for what it's worth, I don't taste the tahini in it--but that's just my palate!)

  7. Ricki,

    Thanks so much for letting me know it wasn't just me. I found the recipe to be ridiculously salty. Also, I will try it with tahini next time since you say it isn't a dominant flavor.



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