MARVELOUS MACADAMIA CHEESE

Americans usually associate macadamia nuts with Hawaii, but they originally hail from the rainforests of eastern Australia. For thousands of years, they were a delicacy of the area's aborigines, sought after for their high oil content and eaten raw or roasted. The nut first became known to Europeans in 1828 when the macadamia plant was discovered by English explorer and botanist, Allan Cunningham.

To this day, macadamia nuts aren't particularly easy to cultivate, which is why harvest only comes once the fruits naturally fall off the tree. Their slightly elusive nature, coupled with their tastiness, makes them a highly coveted product. But macadamia nuts are extraordinary for many reasons beyond their desirability. They contain at least 72% oil (including omega-9 mono-saturated fatty acid) and are a rich source of vitamin A, E, and B1, magnesium and zinc.

In this recipe for Denise Mari's Marvelous Macadamia Cheese, you get all of the health benefits of this magnificent nut in a vegan cheese spread that is smooth, creamy, and oh so heavenly!

INGREDIENTS

4 cups (1 pound) macadamia nuts

1 3/4 water

1 tablespoon acidophilus powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup minced parsley, chives, or other fresh herb

HOW TO MAKE IT

1. Combine macadamias, water and acidophilus powder in a high-speed blender. Blend until very smooth, stopping the machine every so often to scrape down the sides and resting to keep the mixture from getting too warm. Do this for roughly 5 minutes.

2. Transfer mixture to a stainless-steel or glass container, cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a warm part of the kitchen (like on top of the refrigerator) to ferment for 12 hours.

3. Remove the extra liquid from the mixture by squeezing it through a nut milk bag or double layer of cheesecloth. Return to the bowl, stir in onion powder and salt. Mix in the herbs.

Makes about 3 cups. Cheese can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

This recipe is from Organic Avenue: Recipes for Life, Made with LOVE* by Denise Mari