Vegan Pepper-Jack Cashew Cheez and Pomona’s Pectin Giveaway!

It’s Tasty Tuesday and many of you all ready know I have an obsession with cashew cheez. A cheddar version and a moxerella version are all ready on this site. I’ve tried a couple of store bought vegan cheeses and didn’t like the flavors OR the ingredient lists. What you may not know is that I originally got a recipe by email for making pepper-jack cashew cheez from my dear friend Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan. She made the cheez and couldn’t wait to share it with me, just like I can’t wait to share it with you. She made an amazing smoky pesto version here. Her recipe used agar agar, which was amazing, but super pricey.  Coincidentally (I believe in fate) I had the agar agar stored in my pantry right next to a box of Pomona’s Pectin. I glanced at the two of them and saw the agar agar could be used for making vegan jello. Then I looked at the box of Pomona’s Pectin (which is half the price of the agar agar), and saw that it could be used to make a vegan jello too. A light went on in my head, surely they could both be used to make cashew cheez!

 Eureka! The cheez wasn’t as firm as Annie’s version. I originally thought that it was like vegan velveeta or er, cheezeeta. But as I let it firm up more in the fridge I saw that although it was still a bit soft, you could grate it and slice it AND it really, really melts. I use it on pizza, like this nearly famous sriracha bbq tofu and moxeralla pizza, in burritos, enchiladas, in quesadillas and grilled cheez sandwiches. It has literally changed my vegan life and I want to share it with you. This pepper-jack version is hand’s down my favorite and has been tested on my carnivore brother and dad with results that said “This tastes like pepper-jack cheese, how did you make it!?!, It’s made of cashews?!?” My vegan friends swoon over it. Yesterday I thought one vegan friend was going to cry when she tasted it. I have to have it in my fridge at all times. It freezes well too…. So without further ado here is the adapted recipe with my modifications. Thanks Annie, love yer guts!

Pepper-Jack Cashew Cheez

1 box Pomona’s Pectin

(DO NOT USE OTHER BRANDS OF PECTIN, IT WON’T WORK)
2.5 C. water, divided
2 C. raw cashews
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast
2 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 C. jarred jalapenos, diced
1/4 C. jarred diced pimiento

optional: for extra heat add 1 t. red chili flakes. Mmmm.

Method: Lightly oil a 9×5 loaf pan, or for portion control (my favorite, idea from Kristy at keepinitkind.com), a cupcake tin with a 12 cupcake capacity. Put pimento and jalapenos on a paper towel to absorb all excess moisture, set aside. Grind cashews into a fine powder in a food processor or with your Estrogen (Blendtec) or Testosterone (Vitamix) Blender. Do not over process and make nut butter. Put ground cashews in blender (if they aren’t all ready in there) add nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2 cups water til boiling. Pour the boiled water into the power blender, ignoring instructions in your blender manual that say not to use boiling water in it. Add pectin, and blend until smooth and creamy. It’s gonna thicken quickly, so immediately add the calcium water and pulse until all combined. QUICKLY stir in pimiento and jalapeno by hand so they don’t get chopped to bits. Pour the whole mess into the prepared pan(s). Refrigerate uncovered for an hour. Turn cashew cheez(es) out onto a plate (upside down) and let set uncovered for another 4-5 hours. If you use the cupcake tins, 1 serving of cashew cheez is half of one mini round. It’s the perfect amount so this recipe should make 24 servings.

In honor of my beloved cashew cheez, today’s giveaway is a box of Pomona’s Pectin for 2 lucky winners. This contest is also open to international readers.

Rules of Engagement:

1- You must be a follower of this blog, if you don’t know how to do that, there is a “Follow blog via email” button at the top column to the right. This contest is open to all followers, including International Readers.

2- You must like this post (click on the title name of this post, then go to the bottom of the post just above comments and push the like button),

3- You must comment below, telling me what you would make with your cashew cheez!

Winner to be announced Tuesday July 17th, 2012. 

And now for the winner of last Tuesday’s giveaway!

1 bottle of Doterra’s TerraSheild Natural insect repellent: freakenvegan

Winner was selected by using the random.org service. Please email your mailing address to me at goodcleanfoodblog@gmail.com and I will mail you your prize!

See ya on Somer Saturday!

p.s. there is still time to enter my Lululemon giveaway too! Do it!

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70 thoughts on “Vegan Pepper-Jack Cashew Cheez and Pomona’s Pectin Giveaway!

  1. Oh Baby! Love yer guts too!!! Can’t wait to try this as I most miss cheese on top of things like enchiladas. The cheeses in your picture look very cheesy as well. Love to fool people with something healthier 😉

    • Yay! This recipe happens to be super excellent on top of things like enchiladas, but for some reason when you put it inside of enchiladas, it gets lost in all the other flavors. So save it for topping and it will go over smashingly.

      Yes they look cheesy and taste cheesy. It’s a cheesy miracle!

      Thanks for entering!

    • I don’t think it would work 😦 I think it would be too grainy, even if soaked. I’m thinking this because when I make nut milk, the almond milk really needs to be strained, while the cashew milk incorporates completely and requires no straining. Can they have macadamia nuts? That would work….

    • Oh that sounds really lovely! I’m going to have to try it! Congrats on your new vegan status! We are pretty new around here too. Lots of recipes on our recipe page if you need some ideas in the kitchen 😉

      Thanks for entering!

  2. Ooooh! Pepper-jack cheeze! I love it! I’m actually getting ready to make some cashew cheeze today, and we are totally going to use it for quesadillas (the twins love their quesadillas).

    Thank you for the mention, Somer. I hope you are well! xoxo

    • How did we ever live without it? I’m dreaming of this on quesadillas right now!

      Hope you are well too! I have been thinking about you, more in an email soon! xoxo

  3. G’day Somer I will make this today, but I do not think I can get the Pamona’s Pectin, I will have to get a similar product from the health store. On the other hand up say that no other brand of pectin would work ? Can you tell me what I have to look for so I can find a match ? Thank you for the post 🙂

    • Bummer, since Pamona’s Pectin is unavailable, I wouldn’t risk using another type. I tried and it didn’t work, at all. I would however, try the agar agar if you can source it. You need one ounce. Increase the water to 3 cups and follow the directions on the link to Annie’s site at anunrefinedvegan.com above.

    • oh, the reason that other pectins won’t work is that they require sugars in order to jell. This particular pectin uses calcium to jell. I don’t understand how it works, but it’s amazing.

      Thanks for entering and I have to say this is the first time I wish I had cases of this stuff and a bucket-load of money so I could send this to all the international followers.

    • Hey Thom, I just got a comment on this post from Pamona’s Pectin. Apparently you can order their product and have it shipped to you in Oz. Here are the deets:

      We sell internationally on our website: http://www.pomonapectin.com. Click on the order tab, click international, and you will see the choices we can offer. Anyone who lives in the U.K. can buy from this website: http://www.creamsupplies.co.uk/pomona-39-s-universal-pectin/prod_5699.html?category=

      Happy cheezemaking!

  4. queso queso ques-o! I made it with Annie’s cheese the other day and some corn salsa. I been using up my agar cheeze so I can try the pectin cheeze. Just in time lady.

    • Woot Woot, did I all ready tell you I missed you?!? Your recipe and the corn salsa sounds FAB! I’m totally gross, I opened a can of Amy’s vegan chili the other day, microwaved it and added a block of cashew cheez. Vegan chili cheez queso junk food at it’s finest. So gross and so good all at the same time. And no, I’m not posting it 😉 I have to pretend to be healthy all the time. Shhh.

  5. Yum. Cheeze. I just need to get a huge stash of raw cashews- I am clear out. Then I will suck it up, get over my anxiety of messing up new recipes and DO IT.

    • Thanks Anne! I have made raw cashew cheese or cashew cheez spread and I don’t think I will ever go back! There could be endless combinations, sun-dried tomato and kalamata olives, pesto, cracked peppercorn, etc.!

      I have been in contact with Annie as recently as 5 minutes ago. I will send her your love.

  6. Hi Somer, I’m one of the partners in Pomona’s Pectin. This is an amazing idea you have made into reality! I would just like to make a couple of comments.

    For Thombeed, the most likely place he will find Pomona’s Pectin is in a health food or natural food store or a food co-op. It is also carried in most Whole Foods stores at a good price.

    Also, in your recipe you say 2.5 cups of water, divided. You use 1/2 cup for the calcium water and then say 2.5 cups to boil for the pectin. Was wondering if you actually used 3 cups of water? And did you use the whole box of pectin and the whole packet of calcium?

    Might have to give this recipe a try. I’m not a vegan but have looked at vegan cheese at the store and didn’t like the ingredients at all. Your ingredients are so much better!

    • Yay! Mary Lou, thanks for commenting!

      The reader, Thombeed, lives and resides in Australia (we have lots of international readers) So how do we get Pamona’s Pectin to them?

      Also, thanks for catching my error on the water. It is 2.5 cups total. The boiled water should read 2 Cups. I will update it in the post. And yes, I did use the whole box of pectin and all of the calcium as well. It was an experiment, but worked amazingly!

      Are there any vegans who work at Pamona’s? You really should have them sample this recipe. I would love it to take off and have vegans have healthier cheez options! Thanks for making such an incredible product to make it possible.

      -Somer

    • Great info, I notified Thombeed (above) with your instructions for international purchasing.

      It’s awesome that you guys are such a small company, and it makes me want to support you even more!

      Looked at the jelled vegan salad. It looks delicious! As you can imagine, I don’t use gelatin, but as I live in the jello capital of the world (Utah) it’s only a matter of time before someone asks me to bring a jello salad to an picnic or funeral 😉

  7. Well..I am reviewing the soon to be out “Jam On” book that uses Pomonapectin in like nearly all the recipes – so I have some on hand! Now I need to make yer cheeze to go with my soon-to-be made jams! I think I may be busy this week 😉

  8. love this idea and am excited to give it a try! i have been wanting to make a roasted veggie pizza with cashew cheese for weeks now! thanks for sharing this and for being so supportive of my blog as well!

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  14. Somer sent me here from Vedgedout. My son loves pepper-jack cheese – this looks like a great recipe! I’ve bookmarked and now must find some of this Pomona’s Pectin that’s required (which I don’t have)…

      • Hey Somer! I found the Pectin and will make this weekend. (I did not get to the choco cake – rats! – so I may do that as well.) Wish me luck on my first time ever nut-cheese-making journey. I’m assuming that this “cheese” can be shredded easily. It looks to be a firm cake. Cheers and Happy Friday to you.

      • Shannon! Glad you found it. The cheez does firm up, but it’s almost like a firm velveeta (sorry for the gross comparison) It does shred, but it’s still a bit soft. The key for getting it the firmest is to turn it out after it’s set for an hour, then to continue to let it set uncovered for several hours more.If you do that, I’ll be great. We adore it on quesadillas and grilled cheez sandwiches. Best of luck! Oh, and I often plan to make things, then take the easy route, there’s only so much time in the day 😉 xx

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  18. hi, could i use the agar flakes, since you said the pectin makes for a softer cheese? I would love a firmer one, if so could you help me know how much, please and thanks

    • you know, I don’t know, but I do know that the pectin makes as pretty study cheese. off probably use both…starting with the prescribed amount of pectin and maybe adding 1 tablespoon of the agar. good luck. let us know what you think.

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