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O Christmas Cheese! O Christmas Cheese! (Vegan)

Learn how to make delicious, creamy, probiotic-rich vegan cheeses perfect for your holiday cheese platter

O Christmas Cheese! O Christmas Cheese! How lovely are your flavors.

O Christmas Cheese! O Christmas Cheese! How silky are your textures.

Not only gluten-free and dairy-free, but also packed with probios.

O Christmas Cheese! O Christmas Cheese!

Thy delicious-ness is astounding!

Okay, it’s not exactly Shakespeare but you get the idea. I wanted to create some cheeses that were perfect for holiday gatherings and parties so I used Chevrew (my own dairy-free, fermented creation that I showcased in my book The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.

Then I gave the cheese the holiday makeover and turned it into two types: Cranberry & Cracked Peppercorn and Rosemary Chevrew. Both cheeses were an absolute hit and everyone who ate them at my recent Christmas gathering loved them! And, unlike most cheeses these ones are packed with plentiful amounts and a wide variety of health-boosting probiotics. So they are all pleasure and no guilt.

Chevrew

Makes two blocks

This creamy, savory cheese is the perfect accompaniment with fruit, crackers, or on a cheese and antipasto platter but it’s so good you’ll likely eat it on its own now and then. I love it atop a mixed green salad with sweet fruits, particularly peaches or figs, and a handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds. You can also serve this cheese with the peach chutney on page xx. This delightful cheese has a soft texture reminiscent of the goat cheese known as chèvre. This cheese is one of my favorites and is packed with health-building probiotics. It’s so good you’ll probably want to eat it every day—like I do.

Makes approximately 1-1/2 cups

2 cups raw, unsalted cashews

1 cup filtered water

2 capsules probiotics or 1 teaspoon of probiotic powder

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted but not hot

1-½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt

Cranberry Cracked Peppercorn Cheese:

1/4 cup dried cranberries + extra for garnish, coarsely chopped

Pinch cracked peppercorns

Rosemary Chevrew:

1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced + extra for garnish

Soak cashews in the water for 8 hours or overnight. Blend the cashews and water together until smooth and creamy. Pour into a small glass dish with a lid. Empty the capsule of probiotics into the cashew mixture and stir together. Discard the empty capsule. Cover with a lid or clean cloth and allow to the mixture to ferment for 24 hours.

Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and add the coconut oil, and sea salt and blend together until smooth. Divide the cheese mixture into 2 bowls.

Photo credit: Michelle Schoffro Cook, All rights reserved.

Cranberry-Peppercorn Cheese

In one bowl add the cranberries and cracked peppercorns and combine until well mixed. Line a small round (approximately 3” across) or rectangular bowl (approximately 2” x 3”) with cheesecloth and sprinkle chopped cranberries across the bottom. Pour the cranberry-peppercorn cheese mixture into the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 6 hours or until the cheese becomes firm. Remove the cheese from the bowl and flip upside-down onto the serving plate or cheese board of your choice. Remove the cheesecloth. Serve immediately with crackers, bread, nuts, celery sticks, fresh figs or mandarin slices. Keep any remaining cheese covered and refrigerated for up to one week.

Photo credit: Michelle Schoffro Cook, All rights reserved

Rosemary Chevrew

Line a small round (approximately 3” across) or rectangular bowl (approximately 2” x 3”) with cheesecloth and sprinkle chopped half of the minced rosemary across the bottom. Pour the plain chevrew mixture into the bowl and sprinkle the remaining rosemary on top. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 6 hours or until the cheese becomes firm. Remove the cheese from the bowl and flip upside-down onto the serving plate or cheese board of your choice. Remove the cheesecloth. Serve immediately with crackers, bread, nuts, celery sticks, fresh figs or mandarin slices. Keep any remaining cheese covered and refrigerated for up to one week.

These cheeses are simple to make, elegant on any holiday cheese platter, and a delicious addition to your festive foods, but they are so good you’ll want to enjoy them all year long.

Photo credit: Michelle Schoffro Cook, All rights reserved.

DR. MICHELLE SCHOFFRO COOK, PhD, DNM is a celebrity nutritionist and international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: THE CULTURED COOK: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight, and Extend Your Life, 60 Seconds to Slim, The Probiotic Promise, and Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds. Her work has been featured in Woman’s World, First for Women, Reader’s Digest Best Health, Health, Huffington Post, Reviews.com, WebMD, ThriveGlobal, and Care2.com. Learn more about her work at CulturedCook.com and DrMichelleCook.com.

Originally published at www.culturedcook.com

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