Blog June 8, 2016
Make Your Vegan Cheeses
Those of you that visited our blog last week on Vegan Cheese Sauces might think I got the cart before the horses by featuring the vegan cheese sauce before the vegan cheese but I wanted you to experience the making of the cheese sauce by using both the Daiya and the nutritional yeast. Now we get into the realm of vegan cheese.
There are more vegan cheeses that are available at our stores but they are limited in flavors. I have found that you can add peppers, nuts, herbs and almost anything you want to discover new flavors. Terra Verde Foods Lavender Pepper and Maple Piper Nigrum worked well. The Plum Chipotle was substituted for some of the liquid for a very nice smoky cheese. Our Peach Pear Apple Ginger Hot Sauce made a delightful smooth in flavor and heat cheese for the summer. Chopped Spicy O’s gave the cheese a sweet & hot addition. Just be sure if you experiment with the ingredients, especially liquids, you substitute the other ingredients for what you are adding.
I found many of the vegan cheeses are soy or nut based. I found some that are not. I hope you will enjoy making you very own favorite cheese blends. They can be as different as your imagination with all of the delicious additions you can play with. There is no limit to your specialty cheese.
Do go on line and check out the wonderful recipes these vegans have to offer. They have whipped up some delicious vegan dishes!
Nicole shared a soy based cheese with a slight smoked flavor with the addition of smoked salt & paprika. If you do not care for smoke, use regular salt & paprika. http://vegannomnoms.net
- 16 Oz. soy creamer of choice
- 2 Oz. soy or non-dairy milk of choice
- 3 tsp. agar agar powder
- 1 tsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. smoked salt
- 4 Tbsp. tapioca starch
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- pinch of turmeric (optional, for color)
Note: I found that once the liquids come to a boil things happen fast so I measured and mixed the 2 separate dry ingredients together in bowls and the liquid and tapioca starch and set aside so I would be ready when it was time to add the ingredients.
- Bring the creamer and soy milk to a boil. Do not leave the pot. I heats up fast and stir often.
- Once boiling, remove from the heat briefly to add the agar agar powder, rice vinegar and smoked salt. (1st separate dry ingredients)
- Mix the tapioca starch in a small cup or bowl with a few tablespoons of soy milk and set aside. Make sure there are no lumps and that it is smooth.
- Put mixture in the sauce pan back on the heat, bring to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the tapioca mixture, stirring as you go. (2nd separate dry and liquid ingredients.)
- Cook for 10 or so minutes, make sure it comes to a boil at least once, then remove from heat. Pour in flexible heat resistant plastic containers to set.
- Let it cool on the counter. After it is cool you can store it in the fridge. I usually wrap it in plastic or paper. It should last a little over a week!
Karena Colquhoun has made a mild & creamy cheese that you can add other flavors if you want. You can add more vinegar if you like your cheese tangier, or increase the nutritional yeast or salt content. Once the cheese mixture is blended, you can separate about half a cup & blended some other additions you would like to try. http://www.magicjelly.com.au
- mustard ( Mild English or Dijon, or some mustard powder)
- chopped chives
- crushed dried chilies or peppercorns
- a little tomato paste or chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- chopped green olives
- chopped jalapenos
You can use any non-dairy milk you like to make a soy-free cheese. The milk might not curdle as much when you add the vinegar, but I really don’t think that would matter. Just bear in mind, I have only made this recipe with soy milk so far, so I can’t vouch for any modifications! It is fairly rich, but it’s cheese, & intended to be eaten in small quantities. If you want to cut back on the fat, reduce the margarine content (but leave the coconut oil, as that’s more integral to the texture). It might affect the ability to melt as well.
Magic (Vegan!) Cheese
Prep time: 5 mins cook time; 25 mins assembly; Total time 30 mins
2 cups soy milk, divided (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp agar agar powder
1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch (not the wheat variety)
2 Tbsp. chickpea flour
2 Tbsp. potato starch flour (starch not potato flour, which is different)
1 Tbsp. arrowroot flour
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 Tbsp. refined coconut oil (without a coconut flavor)
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke (optional)
Pour one cup of the soy milk into a small saucepan with the vinegar & let sit for a minute or so until thickened & curdled. Stir agar agar powder into 1/4 cup of the remaining milk until there are no lumps, & set aside. Whisk the cornstarch, chickpea flour, potato starch & arrowroot into the remaining 3/4 cup of soy milk until smooth, & set aside. Note: It’s the blend of these particular flours that gives the cheese its texture, so it is a good idea not to substitute them for other flours!
Stir the agar agar mixture into the soy milk & vinegar in the saucepan, & on a low heat, bring to a gentle simmer while stirring. Make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Bring it to a simmer, add the margarine, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, salt, & liquid smoke (if using).
Allow the mixture to simmer gently for 2-3 minutes, to allow the agar agar to dissolve. Pour in the soy milk combined with the flours. Stir continually as it thickens. Eventually the mixture will begin to come away from the edges of the saucepan, much like a roux. Don’t worry if it appears gloopy, you’re going to blend it!
Taste it & see if it needs anything. Also make sure the flours have thoroughly cooked & there’s no floury taste. At this stage, it looks like a big oozy lump of melted cheese.
Take the saucepan off the heat. Blend the cheese for a minute or two with a stick blender. This is an important step, so don’t leave it out! Blending the mixture will help emulsify it & the cheese will become smooth & glossy, like a fondue. Pour it into a lightly oiled mold or container as soon as possible.
If your cheese sits too long it can separate. You should have enough time to add any nuts, herbs or other flavorings before pouring it into a container. (You could use some soy lecithin or xanthan gum to emulsify/stabilize it, but it’s unnecessary if you work fairly quickly – it’s best to leave out any additives.)
Chill it in the fridge – overnight is best – the more chilled it is, the easier it is to slice or grate.
The batch makes a big block & will keep in the fridge for about a week. You can make smaller blocks with different types of added seasonings. Plan ahead, you do not have much time to figure out the containers at the end of the process.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Prep time – 5 mins; Total time – 5 mins
Losune has shared this vegan Parmesan cheese that is delectable, super easy to make, it lasts a long time and it’s cheaper than traditional Parmesan, in addition, it’s healthier and it’s gluten and dairy-free, so everybody can eat this cheese. http://simpleveganblog.com
You only need 4 ingredients to prepare it (yes, only 4!): cashews, brewer’s or nutritional yeast, fine sea salt and garlic powder. I always use unsalted nuts because they are healthier, but you can also use salted cashews and you won’t need to add salt. You can use brewer’s or nutritional yeast, it tastes quite similar, but nutritional yeast is gluten-free.
This cheese doesn’t melt as the real Parmesan, but it’s perfect for many recipes like pesto. You can also use it as grated cheese with your pastas, appetizers or whatever.
1 cup unsalted cashews (150g) Note: You can substitute any unsalted nut that is skinless.
4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast or brewer’s yeast
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Use a food processor or a grinder to make this recipe, you only need to grind the cashews and mix them with the rest of the ingredients. You can try to make it with a blender too.
If you can’t find cashews, you can use other nuts. Use unsalted and skinless nuts if possible. The other ingredients are necessary to get the cheese flavor.
Serving size: 1 teaspoon Calories: 26 Fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 1.7 g Sodium: 56 mg Protein: 0.9 g
Keep the vegan Parmesan cheese in a glass jar at room temperature. It lasts a long time because all the ingredients are dry. It takes less than 5 minutes and you can use it in so many recipes.
I prefer to make my own vegan cheese because it doesn’t take a great amount of time, it’s cheaper and healthier and I can avoid preservatives and additives. They taste great and you can do so much with them. Plus it keeps me on track with my…
Terra Verde Foods