Softening the cashews first helps them blend. If you have a high-powered blender you may be able to skip this step, but if not, this step is important to get a smooth cheese. You can either boil or soak the cashews. To boil the cashews (the fast method): add the cashews to a small pot, cover with water, and boil for about 10 minutes until the cashews are very tender. To soak the cashews: add the cashews to a bowl, and cover with water. Let soak for 4 hours or overnight until tender. Drain and rinse cashews before using.
To make the vegan mozzarella:
Add the cashews along with the 1 cup of water and all the remaining ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth. It will be very watery.
Pour into a small saucepan and put over medium-high heat. Continually stir. The cheese will start forming clumps, keep stirring and it will continue clumping until the mixture turns from watery to a thicker melty cheese sauce. This takes about 5 minutes. Serve hot or allow to cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. The cheese will get thicker as it cools but will stay in a melty state.
*Tapioca starch is essential for this recipe. It's what gives the cheese it’s gooey and stretchy texture. Any other starch or flour will not get the same result. *If you want to return the cold mozzarella back to dipping consistency, reheat over medium heat while stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. Once it is hot and bubbling it might have thickened up too much. You can thin it out by adding a splash of water at a time, stirring it in until desired consistency is reached. *To ensure a smooth cheese, you may also want to pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth before cooking to remove any cashew bits that didn't grind up. This will ensure a smooth cheese texture.