This is an incredibly simple recipe, but when making this, work quickly and without interruptions if possible. The cheese sets fast and needs your complete attention!
How to Make Vegan Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese
- 1/2 package pectin
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 to 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon agar powder (optional, makes for an even firmer cheese)
- Canned green chilis and pimientos, for stirring in before it sets (causes shorter shelf life)
- Lightly oil half (6) of a cupcake tin rounds.
- Use your blender to combine 1/2 package of the dry pectin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons) and the agar powder (optional) with the water and lemon juice.
- Pour water mixture into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring constantly. Set to low heat and let simmer while you grind cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder until very fine in food processor or with your high-speed blender. Do not over-process and make nut butter.
- Mix 1/2 cup water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package and set aside.
- Pour the boiled water mixture over the ground cashew mixture into the power blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. It’s gonna thicken quickly, so immediately add 1/4 cup of the calcium water and the crushed red pepper flakes and pulse until all combined. Immediately pour the hot cheese into the prepared cupcake tin(s).
- Refrigerate uncovered for an hour. Turn mini cashew cheeses out onto a plate (upside down) and let set uncovered in the refrigerator for another 4-5 hours. 1 serving of cashew cheese is half of one mini round, which is the perfect amount for 1 grilled cheese sandwich or 1 quesadilla. This recipe makes 12 servings of cheese. Don't forget to store the rest of your pectin and calcium water for the next batch. Calcium water stores well in the refrigerator and the pectin will store in your pantry indefinitely. Cashew cheese keeps for about a week in the refrigerator and freezes well.