From oat milk lattes to walnut ‘parmesan’ and vegan cheesecake, plant-based dairy alternatives have become their own delicious food group. Food writer and cookbook author, Kat Odell, recently turned us on to the brand new NYC-based cultured cashew cream cheese from Monty’s .
Monty’s is the brainchild of Lauren Montgomery, a certified health coach who left the world of fashion to train as a chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute and Blue Hill Stone Barns. Combining her great taste with a passion for healing foods, Lauren’s rainbow of vegan cheese offerings is landing on the prettiest cheese plates around town and we’ve got her incredible recipe.
What I Ate: Monty’s nut-based cheeses
Why I Ate It: Aside from the fact that these nut-based cheeses are simply stunning to look at — hello, tie-dye cheese! — they’re both nutritious and super delicious, too.
Why You Need It: I love cheese — mostly because I’m addicted to foods with umami. But I don’t always want to eat traditional cheeses made from dairy. I’ve tried zillions of plant-based cheeses in the past, and even dabbled at making my own. But the absolute most delicious versions I’ve come across are the rainbow of cultured nut-based cheese made by six-month-old Monty’s. Founder Lauren Montgomery ditched a job at Balenciaga to go nuts. She currently sells six flavors of cultured cashew wheels (semi-firm) and three cultured cashew cream cheeses — the perfect vegan bagel topper. She also makes feta and ricotta upon request. Some of my favorite flavors include cultured cashew beet, cultured cashew blue basil majik and mac crac (a tie-dye macadamia cheese).
Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese
4 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
¼ to ½ c water
1 acidophilus capsule
12” cheese cloth
Blend soaked cashews and powder of acidophilus capsule (removing the capsule itself) and slowly add just enough water to create a thick but smooth consistency throughout.
Lay out a piece of cheese cloth on a dehydrator sheet. Pour cheese base onto the cheesecloth and tie at top to secure closure. Place in a dehydrator or oven at 90°F for at least 24 hours.
Remove cultured cashew “cheese” from cheese cloth and flavor with sea salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast or chickpea miso and any and all herbs.
Note: Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.