Ah, the Holiday Cheese Ball. When you're standing around snacking on it at a family gathering, you feel like you've got the most coveted spot in the kitchen. If you take this to a real live potluck, you'd better guard it fiercely so it doesn't simply disappear while your back is turned, leaving you cheeseless and forlorn. Luckily, this recipe is ridiculously simple with only about 10 minutes of hands-on time. You can serve the cheeseball with any of your favorite raw vegetables. We even put sliced honeycrisp apples on our tray. The combination of the sweet crisp apples and the piquant cheese was amazing. The cheeseball is also incredibly good with crackers, raw or otherwise.
Extra Sharp Raw Cheddar Cheese Ball [Vegan]
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in purified water for 4-6 hours
- 2 packed tablespoons dry pack sun dried tomatoes, snipped into small pieces with kitchen scissors then soaked in the purified water with the cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
- 1 heaped tablespoon mellow white miso (use chickpea miso if you are sensitive to soy)
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- dash cayenne
- 1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
- Pour the soaking water off the cashews and sun-dried tomatoes and then rinse them with fresh purified water.
- Drain well. Place the cashews and the tomatoes in a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until they start to form a paste, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Add all of the seasonings and pulse until thoroughly combined. Add the coconut oil. Blend or process until the mixture is completely smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. This process takes up to 10 minutes in a food processor and a few minutes in a power blender. Scrape the soft cheese into a container.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until the cheese is quite firm.
- Scrape the cheese out of the container and place onto a clean surface. With your hands, form the cheese into a ball. See note below for topping/variation ideas.
The organic unrefined coconut oil does leave a very slight coconut flavor in the finished product. If you prefer, you can use refined coconut oil for no coconut aftertaste. The cheese ball can be served as is or rolled in any variety of chopped nuts and or herbs. I used sliced almonds, but walnut pieces or pecan pieces with some fresh minced parsley, thyme or sage would be amazing. The cheese ball gets softer as it reaches room temperature, so it's best if it's kept chilled until immediately before use.