I often crave a creamy cheese platter rather than a sweet dessert after dinner. But dairy can leave some people feeling weighed down and bloated rather than satisfied. I love this vegan cheese platter served with some organic grapes, sundried tomatoes, home-made crackers and a glass of your favourite tipple. Why not try my Fennel and Poppy Seed Crackers (page 250), Sesame Flat Bread (page 254) or Turmeric Sesame Crackers (page 255)?

Cashew cheese

Makes about 250 g (9 oz)

Note: If you are a vegan, you will of course make this with agar-agar rather than gelatine.

Ingredients

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
  • 112 teaspoons powdered gelatine or agar-agar
  • 50 g (134 oz/13 cup) raw cashews, soaked in filtered water for 2 hours
  • 112 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 112 teaspoons tapioca flour
  • 112 tablespoons lemon juice
  • small pinch of ground turmeric
  • sea salt, to taste

Method

  • Grease a medium (about 400 ml/14 fl oz capacity) ramekin.
  • Pour half of the water into a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatine over and set aside.
  • Drain the cashews and dry them with paper towel. In a food processor, blend the cashews with the nutritional yeast flakes, tapioca flour, lemon juice and turmeric. Add salt to taste and the remaining water to make a smooth paste.
  • Add the cashew mixture to the gelatine and water in the saucepan and bring to the boil over medium–low heat, stirring often, until the mixture has a thick pancake-batter-like consistency.
  • Pour into the prepared ramekin and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until set. Carefully remove the round from the ramekin. The cheese will have a softer consistency than hard cheese, but can be crumbled.
  • It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

This is an extract from Supercharge your Life by Lee Holmes, Murdoch Books, RRP $35.00 Photography by Luisa Brimble.