CASHEW CHEESE SLICES
1 Cup Raw Cashews soaked overnight and water drained off
1 whole lemon, juice only, strain out seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Everglades all purpose seasoning, (or your favorite all purpose seasoning)
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
3 T nutritional yeast (more or less according to your taste)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1.5 T **AGAR POWDER (this ingredient is crucial to the recipe...do not use the flakes. I found it at my local health food store). Use more powder for a firmer cheese, less powder for a softer more spreadable cheese.
3/4 cup water
Combine all top ingredients starting with the cashews and milk for a couple minutes then the remainder of the top ingredients in high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth, take the time to scrape the sides several times. This took about 4-6 minutes in my food processor. Set aside
Put the Agar powder in with the COLD tap water in a pan, and whisk well, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat and continue stirring constantly for 4-5 min. (Important step to cook for this period of time) It will really thicken up. Then just pour the agar mixture into the blender with your other ingredients and blend for a couple minutes until well blended. Immediately pour into a plastic container, and smooth out top. DO NOT COVER UNTIL COMPLETELY COOLED AND SET. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but better overnight, then turn out onto cutting board and slice up. It is firm enough to slice well, and soft enough to spread This is great served with crackers and green olives, but try on a sandwich and however else you would normally use cheese. It does melt, maybe not like regular cheese, but tastes great melted. I LOVE it melted on my Crunchy Vegan Burger! The Italian seasoning gives this a really good flavor that will go with many things. It's a keeper!
This makes 6 servings, approx 131 calories ea.
**One very important note, when you make the agar it will thicken as soon as it starts to boil, you will be tempted to remove it from the burner, but do not. Turn down the heat and continue to simmer for another 4-5 minutes, it takes that long to really activate the agar, it simply will not set up properly if you don't cook it long enough.
This recipe can be changed up in so many ways. Use this as the base recipe and add your favorite flavors, a couple drops of liquid smoke perhaps, or smoked paprika, maybe some hot chili peppers, or add some pimento or roasted red pepper. Throw a dozen pickled jalapeno slices into the blender with it for a little kick! Use your imagination, but if you prefer a mild cheese like mozzarella, I would make it as shown