A RAW CHRISTMAS CHEESE PLATTER, WILL IMPRESS MANY!
My Raw Christmas Cheese Platter is my hero!
Whenever I am at a christmas party I find myself with a glass of drink in one hand and the other hand just seems to have a mind of its own….
My hand navigates its way around the many platters of food that is on the christmas table and brings food to my mouth without me even having to think…and unfortunately there never seems to be a Raw Christmas Platter there to indulge in.
Thinking of the unconscious eating I find myself in at these times, makes me feel nervous as the time gets closer and closer to the day. I have in depth discussions with myself about how I am NOT going to eat so much this year, I WILL be a conscious eater this year, I am NOT going to undo all the hard work I have done in regards to my health and body, and I WILL just eat GOOD food……like a Raw Christmas Platter!
Well how do you think I go with all this, each year??
Hmmmm…..it is hard if I do not bring my own.
If you are like me, you see christmas as a time where you do not want to have to worry about anything, other than eating, drinking nice beverages, giving gifts and having a good time with loved ones. You do not want to be counting the calories and watching every little thing that goes in your mouth.
So here is a solution.
Take your own platter or even take TWO! Just to be sure you can let the hand that does not hold the drink do its work without you having to worry too much about what it is going to pick up and the affect it will have on your body. You can enjoy some indulgence without the worry.
Here is a Raw Christmas Cheese Platter that I have put together in the past. It features in my 50 page recipe book that is in my 4 week online health program featured here on pour website. I am feeling that because it is christmas that I will share this recipe with you for free!
It is best to start making the cheese the week before the big day so you have time for it to ferment. So make the time because this is absolutely fabulous and you will be the talk of the party when you put on this spread.
So here goes…..
Nut Cheese Base – The Fermentation Process
Soak nuts chosen by the list below for 7 hours in filtered water at room temperature, to soften for blending, also to aid in neutralising enzyme inhibitors, remove dust and tannins.
Once nuts have soaked, place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Place the mixture in a cheesecloth, and set in a strainer with a weight on top. The weight needs to be heavy enough to gently press the liquid out but not the cheese.
Leave to ferment for at least 24 but no longer than 48hrs.
Nuts To Soak
2 Cups Macadamias, Cashews, or a combination, soaked
To make a firmer cheese add more macadamia nuts
For a softer cheese add more cashews
¼ Cup – ½ Cup water-blend thoroughly, less for cashews
½ Teaspoon Probiotic powder (most organic health food stores will sell you a couple of capsules on their own.)
After the cheese has been fermenting for 24 hours, check on your cheese to see if it is at your desired fermentation level. If you prefer a more sour cheese, you may leave your cheese to ferment longer, but no longer than 48 hours in total.
Is your cheese okay?
Smell your cheese! It should have a slightly sour yet pungent smell to it.
If you open your cheese, and look inside, Your cheese should appear spongey inside you break it open a little.
Check your cheese every 12-24 hours for mould. Look for fuzzy black, blue, or green specks or patches. Simply cut these portions off.
If you see purple in the cheese, it may mean that the nuts were soaked for too long.
This is an indication of spoilage and that portion should be cut away or the entire cheese should be thrown out. If you live in a humid environment you may not be able to ferment your cheese for 24 hours without mould appearing, so be sure to keep a closer watch on your cheese.
Below is a very basic cheese flavouring, you may want to add more salt, lemon juice, or nutritional yeast depending on your desires. A very simple flavour is provided here and you can add to it as you please with different herbs and spices of your choice. Get creative, but slowly and a little at time.
Once fermentation is complete stir in the following ingredients-
¼ Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoon Nutritional yeast
½ Teaspoon Lemon juice
Add your personal herbs of choice at this time. In this recipe we have whole cumin seeds and pistachio nuts.
Transfer the cheese to a ring mould or shape into a square block, press firmly.
For a log or disk shape, spread cheese to desired thickness onto parchment paper and roll into a log shape.
Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or until firm.
If you wish to have a crust on the outside of your cheese, place cheese in a dehydrator for 12-36 hours.
When ready to consume, enjoy! Keep left overs in the fridge in airtight container.
Cheese may last up to 2 weeks, be sure to always check for spoilage.
THE CHUTNEYS & DIPS
A DATE WITH GINGER CHUTNEY
½ cup raisins or sultanas
½ cup pitted dates
1 ½ teaspoon fresh chopped ginger
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons hot water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon curry powder
juice of ½ a lime
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
water as needed
In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and pulse until it is a thick chunky consistency!
Serve immediately. Store left overs in the fridge.
PEANUT SATAY DIP
Place in blender or food processor
3 to 4 cups of raw peanuts- not salted!
half cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 piece of ginger about the size of 2 garlic cloves together
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup water
tbsp of maple or agave syrup or honey
Place all ingredients in blender and blend well! Add more peanuts or water to get the consistency you would like.
This dip thickens up in fridge, so make it a little runny. Add more soy or garlic to your taste.
BASIL AND PESTO
1 and 1/2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil
1 cup pine nuts (or any other nuts can be used)
5 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp himalayan or sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients in food processor until nuts are ground. pesto should still have texture and not be completely smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste. You could also add 1/2 cup of rehydrated sun dried tomatoes.
ADD ONS FOR YOUR PLATTERTo make your platter go further and fill up more bellies be sure to make double the recipe and then simply add onto your platter fresh raw veggies simply cut into strips or sliced into biscuits. Some great RAW ingredients to do this with is:
Sweet potato – I peel mine just before serving (so they don’t go brown) and then slice into very thin round biscuits and use as crackers.
And any other raw veggie that goes CRUNCH in your mouth and you can use as a dipping stick or biscuit. Be the one that brings health as a gift and inspires others to eat healthier even when it is festive time. There is no need to miss out on mouth watering flavours…..you just need to make a little time and be creative.