I know I had previously wished for winter's early demise, but 24C in March is unsettling. I tried to take advantage though—I went for my first run of the season yesterday(!), turned soil and de-pooped my garden, and planted a few flats of seeds. Hopefully my garden will be more successful than last year...chicken wire is definitely going up before my dogs have a chance to pee my plants to death.
I'm still working on a raw change-over of certain dietary staples. Yogurt seemed like the logical next step, after milk, so, a few weeks ago, I made my first batch of cashew yogurt. It was awful...rawful. It tasted like cardboard. I almost gave up on the idea after that one batch. Fortunately, I tried again and realized my mistake—I soaked the cashews for hours before blending, thinking it would soften them and make the yogurt smoother. It might have done that, but the water also apparently leached out all of the cashew's flavour.
So, I made it again and the difference was incredible. It doesn't taste like dairy yogurt, but it does have that soured flavour. Mostly, it tastes like cashews. I find it too rich on its own, so I always mix just a few tablespoons with 100 grams of berries—yum. My favourite part is that it's even simpler to make than dairy yogurt
(adapted from Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook)
(makes nearly 2 cups)
- 150 grams raw cashews
- 225 grams (about 1 cup) water (give or take)
1. In a blender, crush cashews to a fine powder.
2. Slowly add water, scraping down sides if needed, until you reach a consistency of a heavy cream. Keep blending until the mixture is absolutely smooth.
3. Poor into a glass container (I use two 1 cup mason jars), cover (I use a jelly a bag) and place in a warm area, between 90-100F. There never seems to be room in my dehydrator, so I usually just place my yogurt on top while the dehydrator is running at 115F.
4. Fermentation can take anywhere from 6-24 hours, depending on temperature. It's done when it has a pleasant sour smell, small bubbles are visible and the whey has separated at the bottom (the last one is not always so obvious). I usually ferment mine at least 15 hours.
5. Store in refrigerator. Stir whey back into yogurt before serving.