Monday, January 25, 2010
Cultured Macadamia Nut Cheese
This is the “nut cheese” I made this past weekend as a trial run of the method used in "The Conscious Cook". I think the probiotic powder adds a little tang in the background. But I will need to make this with almonds to be certain since that is the nut cheese that I typically prepare. Here is my adaptation of the recipe from "The Conscious Cook".
Cultured Macadamia Nut Cheese
Adapted from “The Conscious Cook”
Makes approximately 18 ounces
2 cups macadamia nuts
4 cups filtered water to soak nuts
1 cup warm filtered water (approximately body temp)
1 teaspoon probiotic powder (used All Flora)
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1 pinch garlic powder
Place the macadamia nuts in water in a covered container and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. I soaked mine for 24 hours. Drain the nuts and rinse them with warm water.
Combine the warm water and probiotic powder and stir to dissolve the powder in the water. Place the probiotic water and drained macadamia nuts in your blender and process until completely smooth. You may need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides to get the nuts to blend completely. In my Vitamix the nuts were smooth in about a minute.
Line a wire colander with either three layers of damp cheesecloth or one layer of damp paper towel. I tested the paper towel inside the cheesecloth to see how it works, and it was easy to remove after culturing.
Cover the nut cheese completely in the cheesecloth/paper towel. Place another container on top of the nut cheese and add a can to the container for weight. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 16 hours. Remove the cheesecloth and paper towel and place the cheese into a container for storage. Add flavorings until it tastes right to you. I added a little nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder and stir to combine.
Refrigerate the cheese in a covered container until needed. The flavorings will integrate through the dish as it sits overnight. Start with a light hand so the added flavors don't overwhelm the final product.
Nutritional Information (assumes 18 servings):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 107.82
Calories From Fat (88%) - 95.05
Total Fat - 11.29g
Saturated Fat - 1.8g
Cholesterol - 0.02mg
Sodium - 65.93mg
Potassium - 55.89mg
Total Carbohydrates - 2.1g
Fiber - 1.28g
Sugar - 0.69g
Protein - 1.2g
What does the cheese taste like? The first thing I taste when the cheese is plain (eaten from a spoon), is macadamia nut. When the cheese is eaten on pizza or off cucumber rounds the nut flavor is not prominent. The macadamia nuts that I used might have been roasted and that could have altered the flavor. When I test this recipe again with macadamia nuts that are definitely raw I will let you know if that makes a difference in the flavor. The texture of this cheese is somewhere between drained ricotta and fresh goat cheese.
Probiotic powder does seem to add a cheesy tang to the finished product. This weekend I am going to make this technique again using the almond feta recipe and see how than changes the flavor. Then I will be able to tell you if it makes sense to spend $30 dollars on a little bottle of probiotic powder.
We need to be moving early tomorrow morning since the hubby is on an early flight. I will be back tomorrow with the pizza recipe from Sunday. I hope you all had a great day!