My discovery of homemade vegan cheese turned my perceptions of vegan diet upside down. There are so many reasons to avoid cow milk (I’ve mentioned them in a previous post), and so many reasons to love the taste of dairy cheese…While substituting cow milk with delicious nut milk was not a big deal, eradicating dairy completely from my diet didn’t even cross my mind. But now, I find myself drastically reducing my consumption of “conventional” cheese. And it’s not even a sacrifice for me, but pleasure.
Only a few ingredients and a pinch of imagination and you could create the best cheese you’ve ever tasted. With no cow milk at all.
Cashew Cheese with herbs (spreadable)
Cashew is one ingredient that is employed in most vegan cheese recipes. And the other is nutritional yeast. The first – for its creamy texture, the latter – for its cheesy taste. Another precious ingredient that you’ll often find in dairy-free cheese recipes is agar agar used to thicken the mixture, making the final product sliceable.
Agar agar is an interesting substance, I admit I had never used before and even heard about it. It is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin, obtained from red algae. It is derived from the polysaccharide agarose, which forms the supporting structure in the cell walls of algae. Polysaccharide agarose is released on boiling.
- 1/2 teacup raw cashews
- 1 teacup water
- 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- To taste Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp agar powder
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Herbs/ spices (I’ve also experimented adding chopped red pepper, it’s delicious!)
I used the basic ingredients and principle of this recipe to create the cream for a wonderful fruit-rich cheesecake. Use your imagination and share with us your creations :)!
Homemade Zucchini Cheese
Sounds weird, right? But it exists. I’ve tried this recipe once and, though, I wouldn’t trade my new favorite Cashew cheese for it, I think it deserves spreading the word. Because, as we all know, there are many people allergic to nuts, just like those allergic to cow milk, and this is an interesting vegan cheese substitute containing no major allergens. Besides, if you don’t quite like the pure zucchini cheese you could adjust the recipe with a flavor of your choice – like adding cauliflower, dill, parsley, red pepper. Be free to experiment.
Thanks to the author of this recipe for sharing this secret to the world. I’ve used agar agar instead of gelatin (as it is recommended in the original recipe) because I wanted to make this vegan. It definitely doesn’t set the way it does with gelatin – it is more spreadable and soft, more jelly-like than firm. I’ve also added nutritional yeast but I think its taste prevails too much and does not allow you to feel the richness of other ingredients.
- 1 cups zucchini or summer squash, about 1 small-medium zucchini, peeled and sliced or diced
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsn nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
- 1 Tsp agar agar
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
- 1 dairy-free probiotic capsule (optional)
- 1 carrot, fine diced (optional – if you want ‘cheddar’ color)
Recipe adaptation after:
For more great cheese recipes:
Raw nut cheese