Cashew Cheddar Cheese
- 1 1/4 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (available in health food stores)
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3 1/2 cups plain soy milk
- 1 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) agar flakes (a vegetarian gelatin, available in health food stores)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup yellow miso (fermented soybeans, available in health food stores)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Using the pulse button, finely grind the cashews in a food processor (do not allow the cashews to turn into a paste). Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse 3 more times to blend in the spices.
Combine the milk, agar, and oil in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the agar is dissolved.
With the food processor running, gradually pour the milk mixture through the feed tube and into the cashew mixture. Blend for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is very smooth and creamy. Blend in the miso and lemon juice.
For grated or sliced cheese: Transfer the cheese to a container then cover and refrigerate until it is very firm, about 4 hours.
Once it is firm, grate or slice the cheese as desired.
For melted cheese: Use the cheese immediately as melted cheese. To make the cheese in advance, cover and refrigerate it. When ready to use, melt it in a saucepan over medium heat until it is smooth and creamy, stirring frequently and adding more soymilk to the melted cheese to thin, if necessary.