Vegan Garlic Lemon and Herb Cheese Ball




2 cups raw cashews

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp garlic powder (plus more to taste)

1 medium lemon, zested

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2-2/3 cup water

4 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp avocado oil

2 Tbsp finely minced fresh dill


Place cashews in a bowl and cover with boil water.Cover with plastic wrap and let set for 30 minutes. Once soaked, drain cashews thoroughly and add to the food processor. Add minced garlic, garlic powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, water (starting with the lesser end of range), nutritional yeast, salt and avocado oil. Process until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides and adding additional water as needed. Then taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest for tartness, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, garlic for zing, or salt for flavor + balance.
Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a large mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of cheesecloth (or a clean, fine, absorbent towel). Use a spatula to scoop all cheese over the cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a “disc.” Secure with a rubber band.
Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours, preferably 12, or until excess moisture has been wicked away, and it holds its form when released from the cheesecloth. The longer it sits in the fridge the more it will firm up.
To serve, unwrap from cheesecloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Reform with hands or cheesecloth as needed, then coat with chopped herbs and a bit more lemon zest (optional). It is fragile, so handle gently. Enjoy chilled with crackers or vegetables. Cheese will hold its form for 1-2 hours out of the refrigerator, but best when chilled. Leftovers are kept well covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days