Labneh is a tangy, silky cheese spread that can be served as a dip with pita bread or smeared on a toasted bagel. If you have the time make your own pita bread, do so, it is well worth it. The Labneh takes about 24 hours inactive time for soaking and draining but only a total of about 30 minutes active overall. If you have a Vitamix or other high speed blender you can cut the process down by 6-7 hours.
Soak the cashews in the water for for 8 hours or overnight. Speedy hack: If you have a high speed blender then you can blend the heck out of the cashews and water and let them sit for an hour and blend them again for a few minutes. Until smooth. This shortcut does not work with regular blenders!
After 8 hours, puree the cashews and soaking water in a blender until totally smooth. Rub a little between your fingers and if it is coarse then blend some more.
Heat up your cashew mixture in a saucepan until quite hot to the touch but not boiling or bubbling at all. Remember to stir as you don't want the cashew concoction to scorch!
Remove from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice, vinegar and salt. Allow to sit undisturbed for 20 minutes.
Line a sieve with cheese cloth or do what I do and use an unbleached white cotton t-shirt that I have cut up. Place the cloth lined sieve over a bowl to catch the whey. Gently pour the cashew curds into the waiting sieve.
Place the whole contraption into the fridge for 8 hours. Lightly weighted.
Now you should have something that is as thick as greek yoghurt. Pour out any whey that has gathered in the bottom bowl. Place a bowl on top of the curds to gently press out more liquid. 6-8 hours later you should be good to go.
Remove your curds from the cheese cloth, place in a bowl and add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, minced garlic, mustard and salt to taste. Whiz it with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender) until completely smooth.
You can now store it in the fridge or roll it into balls and the coat in finely chopped herbs. The flavors mellow after a couple of hours in the fridge.
I like to spread it in a shallow dish like you would hummus. Splash some really good olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with za'ater and fresh black pepper.