So dairy seems to be the hardest thing for people to ‘give up’ when they want to eat a plant based, vegan diet. Cheese is undoubtedly addictive, even I will admit that as a vegetarian in my early teens I ate so much cheese, before I understood how bad it is for our bodies and for the environment, and especially for the cows it comes from.
When I transitioned to a vegan diet I cut cheese out completely, no vegan substitutes for me, as I find soy quite hard to digest and have never really been a fan of replacing meat/fish with soy protein. I struggled to think of ideas for sandwich fillers, and definitely missed having toasties!
Being a chef now, it’s so much easier for me to create recipes, or even modify recipes to fit my taste and satisfy my cravings. Vegan cheese can be awful, tasteless stuff. I promise you this is not, so creamy and delicious and you can modify it to your own preference.
This recipe made one ‘block’
75g raw cashew nuts/ blanched almonds/macadamias (not the salted kind) I didn’t soak mine so they were still a bit textured, I’d recommend soaking them overnight for smooth cheese
3tbs oats- ground to a very fine powder in a processor or use ground almonds if you prefer
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2/3 tbs of oil of choice- olive/ rapeseed works best, coconut tastes a bit too strong
3/4tbs of agar agar flakes
2tbs miso paste of choice (rice miso if you want soy free cheese)
1/4 vegetable stock cube crumbled
375ml unsweetened dairy free mylk of choice – I used rice milk, if you like soy use it for a creamier cheese
All these spices can be modified to suit your taste;
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast- roughly 8g (it’s very light)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
High speed blender
Tupperware container or ceramic dish of choice, whatever shape you want to mold your cheese into
Blitz the oats/ almond meal to a very fine powder first
Then add all of the ingredients except the agar agar flakes to a high speed blender and mix until smooth
Pour the mix into the saucepan, add the agar flakes, bring the mix to the boil on a high heat, stirring to prevent the edges sticking and to fully dissolve the agar flakes into the mix.
Once boiling lower down to a simmer, and stir continuously for 5-8 minutes until the mixture thickens to a consistency like this-
Once thickened pour into your mold quickly (it will begin to set once off the heat)
Smooth out, and place into the fridge for 1-2 hours to fully set, or overnight if you have time!
Tip out onto a plate, serve with crackers, compote and grapes… Enjoy.. 😉