Harvest and Food as medicine

It's been a busy week this week.  As well as many of my usual things, I started two new "Food as Medicine" groups this week, AND we harvested our Godello grapes in the vineyard! More on the harvest soon.


The two new "Food as Medicine" groups were on Tuesday and Thursday. Each group consists of 9 women, and we will meet once a month.  This month we looked at some of the benefits of eating a whole foods plant-based diet, with a focus on the benefits of avoiding dairy in our diets.

After some time in discussion, we donned our aprons in the kitchen and went about making and tasting the following:

  • almond milk
  • brown rice milk
  • oat milk
  • cashew cream
  • whipped coconut cream
  • soft cashew cheese
  • cheese sprinkles
  • cheese cake
all without any dairy or animal products in sight!


Sadly we were so involved, I forgot to take any photos!  

The recipes for the milks are already on this blog, as is the recipe for the cashew nut cheese.

The cheese sprinkles were a great hit.  They are a non-dairy alternative to parmesan cheese or other types of cheese that you may sprinkle on caesar salad, vegetables, or pasta or....  The recipe came from the book "Let them eat vegan" and here is a link to the vegan parmesan cheese recipe by Dreena Burton.


The cheesecake went down very well, so I'll have to make that again and take some photos to share with you.

I really enjoyed our time together, and hope they all did too.  Looking forward to next month already.
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Making Nut Cheese

I don't eat dairy, so this week I thought I'd tried my hand at making some cheese using nuts instead of dairy.  It was a soft cheese and I am really pleased with how it turned out.


The cheese was made from cashew nuts - and I did two types - one which I dehydrated to form a rind, and the other which I didn't dehydrate (the dehydrated one is at the back of the photo below).



The recipe I used was one I found on the blog Golubka.  I hadn't seen her blog before until I started searching for nut cheese recipes.  But now I've found it - I really like it.  Hope you'll take a look.

The cheese really is simple to make and includes Bio-K probiotics, so you can feel good about eating cheese  as it is providing lots of healthy bugs for digestion.  Here is the recipe with slight modifications to my tastes:

Ingredients
3/4 cup of cashews
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons of Bio-K probiotics - non-dairy
1 teaspoon raw honey
Dash of Spike or No-salt (salt alternative)

1. Soak the cashews in water overnight.  Drain. They will swell to be 1 cup full.


2. Blend all the ingredients together in a Vitamix/Blendtec or powerful blender until smooth.


3. Put into a stainless steel ring former* on parchment paper and either refrigerate overnight or dehydrate overnight.



4. After a couple of hours dehydrating, I removed the ring former so that the sides of the cheese would also form a rind.


*A ring former can be a cookie cutter or muffin ring or something like this ring former.  Basically it just shapes the cheese but you can alternatively just have it free form.


I actually prefer the taste and texture of the un-dehydrated cheese.  It reminds me of boursin cheese in it's texture.  I love cheese with raw honey and fruit.  You can see I added chopped chives to one of the cheeses...you could also mix in or use as a garnish any of the following: garlic, dill, edible flowers, ginger, dried cranberries, figs, or.....So many options. I'll definitely be making it again.  Hmmm, I think I might try dried lemon peel next time......


Let me know if you give it a go.  Thanks Golubka.
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