September 26, 2013

Garlic cashew cheese and something to spread it on

Toasted slice with cashew cheese and roasted red pepper.

We recently attended a small, casual dinner that consisted mainly of things spread on bagels. I had a dish to bring from my slow cooker, but at the last minute I decided I wanted a gluten-free bread option to spread stuff on, and asked my husband if he could please pick up a GF bread on his way home.

Click to make the nutrition label bigger.

The bread he brought home was new to me, and not only was it as hard as a brick, it was as heavy as one, too. I glared. He swore it was the only GF bread at Whole Foods. Ha.

The ingredient list was short —  organic buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, organic flax seeds, filtered water, gluten free baking powder, gluten free guar gum, sea salt. The brand name, which appears obscurely on the back of the package, is GluteNull, and it's made at a bakery in Coquitlam, BC, Canada. In the U.S., it's currently only available in a few places in and near Seattle, one of which is our Whole Foods. Yay.


Before we left for the party, I set about slicing the bread in case anyone else wanted some. (You can snicker here, if you'd like.) I was surprised to find the cut slice pleasantly soft, moist, and kind of pretty. Later, while everyone at the party slathered their bagels, I piled toppings onto my buckwheat bread, and took a bite. The slightly gelatinous texture, thanks to the generous amount of flax seeds, was a little off-putting to me, but I ate it anyway. You know the drill.

At home the next day I tried toasting a slice to see if the texture would improve, and yes it did but not enough. So, I toasted it again and voila! It was actually good. Very good.


I was munching a slice coated with homemade jam, when I came across a mofo post on Veganosaurus about fermented cashew garlic cheese. It used only cashews, water, salt and garlic, and since I was needing a savory topping for my new favorite, double-toasted toast, I started some cashews soaking.


Like all fermented cashew cheeses, it takes a bit of time to reach the eating stage, but it requires very little hands-on time. It's very easy.You soak the cashews, drain them, grind them, then set them aside to ferment. It must have been a bit chilly in my kitchen because the fermentation took two days.


My cheese turned out soft and creamy like cream cheese — and is delicious. Perhaps if I'd followed the directions more closely, it would be firmer, like Susmitha's.

The roasted red peppers, by the way, came from our farmers market. A little pricy, spicy, succulent and smoky, they are hard to resist as we walk by the roaster and breathe in the fragrant aroma. They look pretty fabulous, too, and we are weak.

22 comments:

  1. Yum, I've got to try that cashew cheese on my quinoa bread. Thanks for the recipe!!

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    1. I think I need some quinoa bread for my cashew cheese.

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  2. Your cashew cheese on toast looks fabulous! I love that you retoasted the toast :-)

    Courtney

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    1. Not only retoasted, but toasted and retoasted on the darkest setting. Now that's what I call toast!

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  3. Well, damn, I just ate the last of my cashews! Time to buy more, I guess. This looks awesome. I've found that almost all gf bread is so much better toasted. Funny thing.
    The vitamix did a great job getting the cashew cheese so smooth!

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    1. I feel your pain. I'm sure my cheese would have been thicker if I'd had a few more cashews in the jar. I need more, too. Yes to toasting GF bread — actually, toasting makes most bread taste better. The Vitamix is a smooth operator.

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  4. All I can say is that I'm slapsillyhappy that I buy garlic and cashews in bulk...I've got to make this like, now. ;)
    Thanks for the inspiration...cheers!

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    1. Cashews are one of those things that even though I buy them in bulk, I never seem to have enough. The walnuts, on the other hand, seem to last forever.

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  5. I read the whole post, honest, but I'm not sure I retained anything beyond the sentence: "casual dinner that consisted mainly of things spread on bagels." What a great idea!

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    1. Kind of like a group breakfast-for-dinner experience.

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  6. Does this every sound great! I'm a big fan of cashew spreads and can just imagine how good this was paired with roasted red pepper. I'm glad the bread worked out after toasting it for a while!

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    1. The nice thing about the spread was it used such simple, easily available ingredients. The roasted red pepper was perfect on top. I wish I had some more on hand!

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  7. The only gluten free bread at Whole Foods? Uh huh. :D

    It does look like my kind of bread, all seedy and grainy. Now I need to change my personality and stop being antisocial just so I can attend a dinner that consists of things spread on bagels.

    The creamy cashew cheese looks amazing on that slice of toasty bread with the peppers on top. I recently bought a yogurt maker mainly for the purpose of fermenting things at an even temperature, because fermenting things freaks me out and my brain things that if I use an appliance everything is going to be OK.

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    1. I know, right? I'm going to re-buy it, though, because I got very fond of it. Unless I manage to bake some first.

      I thought you were going to make yogurt, but I see where you're going with the yogurt maker. And I understand. The first time I fermented something I was sure I was going to die, but here I still am. :D

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  8. Mmm, this looks lovely. I recently made something very similar from Spabettie's blog. Mine came out a little softer than I anticipated as well. I'm gonna check out this other recipe.

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    1. There are tons of recipes out there for cashew cheese — all very similar to each other, but worth trying the variations to find the one you like best. I usually don't use recipes when I make cashew cheese, but every so often I try one to see if following a recipe makes for a better result.

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  9. See, now Andrea was that glaring necessary? Now if Larry told me I that there was only one GF bread option in WFs I would have said, I bet you didn't bring your glasses did you I was eyeing that cashew creme over at Susmitha's too. Looks like you were the bell of the ball. Is that like bagel and lox? I want it.

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    1. Don't fret. He wasn't wearing his glasses so probably didn't see the glare. Yesterday he came home with a bread he said was the same brand as the other one, but it was a completely different brand. If GF bread with cashew cheese and roasted pepper is the vegan sub for bagels and lox, then yes, I suppose it was. Yep. Exactly the same. Better, actually. :)

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  10. I think the bread looks great! And nothing better to spread on top of bread than chasew cheese!

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    1. The bread slices were a nice surprise — so moist and pretty. Cashew cheese is a great spread, isn't it?

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  11. Your description of that bread was hilarious. I'm surprised no one took you up on an offer to share some of it. ;) I've been curious about Susmitha's cashew cheese ever since I saw her HowDo about it. I look forward to trying it sometime!

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    1. No one wanted to share — so strange. The cheese was very much like the Philadelphia style cream cheese I made using a recipe from Miyoko Schinner from the VegNews cheese issue (Oct. 2012) except Susmitha's recipe only required cashews and water. My memory isn't enough to compare them, I'd need to try them side-by-side to see if adding yogurt made a big difference. But it really does work to just use water.

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