1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cool water. Soak overnight or for at least 6 hours.
2. Once soaked, drain cashews thoroughly and add to your food processor (or a blender - though it's a little tougher to blend as there's not that much liquid added).
3. Add minced garlic, garlic powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and olive oil. Blend until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest for tartness, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, garlic for zing, salt for saltiness, paprika for smokiness, or cayenne for heat. I added a bit more salt, lemon zest and smoked paprika. You want this to be super flavorful, so go for it !!
5. Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a medium mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of cheesecloth.
6. Use a spatula to scoop all of the cheese over the cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a "ball ." Secure with a rubber band.
7. Place in refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours, preferably 12-24, or until semi-firm to the touch. There likely won't be any liquid in the bowl, but the cheesecloth absorbs excess moisture and the cheese hardens in the refrigerator.
8. To serve, unwrap from cheesecloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Reform with hands or cheesecloth as needed.
9. To make coating (optional), mix together nuts and spices and use hands to gently roll the ball around until coated. It is fragile, so handle gently. I did one with nuts and one with Zahtar.
10. Enjoy immediately with glutenfree crackers or vegetables . I love cheese and crackers☺️
11. Cheese will hold its form for 1-2 hours out of the refrigerator, but best when chilled. Leftovers keep well covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days.