Monday, September 19, 2011

Glorious Vegan Nut Cheese

Back in my pre-vegan days, I loved cheese. On any given day, there would be a wedge of cheese in the refrigerator- a creamy reblochon or a sharp shropshire blue or a simple piece of edam or soft-spreadable Alouette. Once I gained the full knowledge of the horrors & cruelty & pure heartbreak of dairy production, no piece of dairy cheese could ever taste delicious again.

Of course, there are amazing vegan substitutes for cheese like Daiya nowadays, but sometimes I crave a little wedge...

So what's a former cheese-lover to do? The answer is pretty damn simple. Make your own fabulous cultured nut cheeze! Guess this was always somewhere on my to-do list, along with making vegan kimchi and once I conquered that I was on the fast-track to fermentation. And once my Vita-Mix arrived, I had the tools to make my own glorious vegan cheeze. I found some adapted recipes from The Sunny Raw Kitchen and voilĂ !

Here they are just flavored:
Peppercorn & himalayan sea salt being molded:
I varied the recipes a bit with extra probiotics instead of rejuvelac, but definitely want to try that next time. These were all cashew nut based- one with peppercorn, the paprika one based more on an Alouette flavoring with added white wine and one herb flavored. They fermented in a warm spot above the 'fridge for about 16hours and then the real fun begins- adding all the yummy flavors. The hardest part of all- was waiting for the cheeze to really firm up in the 'fridge. Had to wait about three weeks, though they were definitely ready for snacking in about two days as a soft spread...The beauty of fermented food is the pungent taste but also added health bonus of probiotics. I have all kinds of nutty cheezy plans dancing through my head...apparently cashew based will always be softer, plan on experimenting with pecans soon!

Finished product three weeks later:


Do yourself a favor and make some cultured nut cheeze now!

10 comments:

Roxee said...

Sounds and looks delicious but have to wait for my vitamix, and that won't happen until november... but I have been saving recipes!

JL Goes Vegan said...

Oh, girl, you outdid yourself! All of it looks perfectly gorgeous and delicious! I made two nut-based cultured cheese months ago and loved the process and ultimately the cheese. I need to do it again. Thanks for the nudge!

VeggieGirl said...

WOW! Beautiful and sounds delicious.

Leinana Two Moons said...

Wow, those look amazing! You are really inspiring me... you may have to come over & give me a Nut Cheese 101 crash course! ;)

FrankandMary said...

Ugh, I still love cheese, not that I eat it...just long for it. I've not found a really "cheesy" vegan cheese, but ok, I'll try.~Mary

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I have never had any luck with homemade cultured nut cheese, but oh, how I LOVE it in restaurants! Your cheese is GORGEOUS. Please mail some to me, kthx!

blessedmama said...

Your cheeses look amazing. I like that they can be soft serve in the beginning, and then harden up later. Perfect for whatever mood you're in. Great job.

Farrah P said...

Oh I appreciate this post as a former cheese addict. Wine and cheese just went hand in hand till I found out about all the horrible things cheese can do to your body. Not to mention the horrific dairy industry! Thanks...looking forward to trying some of these.

VeggieGirl said...

Hope everything is okay!!

mcnappy said...

That cheese is freaking beautiful. Maybe I can kick the cheezy-crack habit!

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