Friday, November 18, 2016

Vegan Cashew Cheese

One of these past days an interesting workshop took place in downtown Yangon, on the 27th street where the small community of Yangon City Growers has its own cosy space.

Together with other interested expats and one lovely Myanmar lady I participated in a workshop to learn how to make fermented vegetables and vegan cashew cheese.

Have I roused your curiosity?

In my home country, Romania, we have a long tradition of preparing fermented vegetables during the months of September and October. This is the harvest season when entire families head to the market to buy large quantities of small cucumbers, cauliflower, green tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and even watermelons. 

The recipe of fermenting these vegetables differs from family to family and from region to region. The traditional one is vegetables, together with horseradish, peppercorns, water and salt. You may add dill and other spices, for taste.

I never imagined I would prepare my first-ever jar of fermented vegetables in Yangon. Back home I was sometimes helping my mother to store countless jars of vegetables for winter but I was never paying too much attention to the entire process.

My fermented vegetables; behind - soaked cashews

The fermentation process is much shorter here because of the warm climate and it is best to move your jar in the fridge after a few days of fermentation.

The lady in charge of teaching us was Kate Dixon. She brought different jars of fermented vegetables and we tasted them all. She was experimenting with almost every vegetable. I was amazed by the great taste that ginger, for example, was giving to the vegetable mix.

More interesting for me was to learn how to make the cashew cheese

Let me tell you it tastes amazing. I fell in love with this delicious paste which can easily be spread on slices of bread. It is so easy to make and healthy!

I will copy below Kate's recipe for you to try at home.

"First make some rejuvelac  (sprouted wheat seeds water):
1. Soak sproutable wheat seeds in water for several hours or overnight.
2. Drain, rinse and place in a container to sprout (a glass bowl, a piece of chees cloth, or a strainer).
3. Rinse once or twice a day. Don’t let the grains stay in the water.
4. Once the seeds have sprouted, place them in a glass bottle and top with drinkable water.

5. Place the bottle on a counter or in a cupboard, lightly covered.
6. After a day or two or three the water will become cloudy and bubbles will appear – it’s done!
7. Place in the fridge.

 Then make your cheese:
1. Rinse your cashews in water. Pick off the brownish bits of skin if you wish.
2. Soak the nuts in rejuvelac for several hours.
3. Place cashews and some of the liquid in a blender.
4. Blend until smooth.
5. Scoop into a glass bowl.
6. Place on counter, cover with a cloth and wait 2-3 days.
7. Taste; when the taste is sour you can place the cashews cheese in the fridge."

You can keep it for up to two weeks.

Enjoy! Mahlzeit! Bonne Appétit! Poftă bună!

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