Vegan Cheese Recipe
So this all started a few weeks ago when one of our amazing regular customers asked if we stocked Agar Agar powder. The blank look on my face said it all, but I said we could look in to getting some and then (out of nosiness) asked what it was for ... "Vegan cheese" they said, and so after a chat and a bit of googling, not only did I want to get some Agar Agar for customers, but also really wanted to make it myself.
So we sourced some from at a wholesaler, caught our breath after finding out how much it cost and ordered it in (we sell it at £1 per 10g, although you only need a tablespoon which is about 7g for the below recipe).
I found a great first time recipe from the loving it vegan website, and made a few tweaks to make it more to my tastes. I put it off for a couple of weeks, but then last Sunday finally took the plunge and was (pleasantly) surprised. You'll need a good blender (we've got a nutri-bullet) but everything else is pretty straight forward.
Here are the ingredients you'll need:
150g Raw Cashew Nuts
5 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 Medium Carrot, peeled and sliced (about 30g)
2 and 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
15g Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Garlic Powder (or flakes)
1 Tbsp Agar Agar Powder
1. Add the cashews, 80ml water, lemon juice, coconut oil, tahini, carrot, salt, paprika, cayenne, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast and garlic powder to the blender and blend until very smooth. Leave the mix in the blender and set aside.
2. Add 240ml water and the agar agar powder to a saucepan and heat, stirring regularly until boiling. Boil it for 1 minute (time it), stirring regularly and after 1 minute remove it from the heat and pour it into the blender on top of the cheese mix.
3. Blend until smooth.
4. Moving quickly, as it will start setting up very fast, pour the mix out into a round dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
5. Put it in the fridge until set. To remove from the bowl, turn upside down onto a plate.
You'll find that it slices well and it even grates. I need to be honest from the start - it doesn't taste like cheese, I mean, how can it. But it is pretty damn tasty and we particularly enjoyed it on crackers.
Store it covered in the fridge (have you got a wax wrap :) ) I can't comment on how long it lasts as it only lasted 3 days in our fridge before it was gone !
I reckon it this recipe costs between £3-£3.50. We were lucky that we already had in tahini, coconut oil and dijon mustard so didn't have to get a new jar of each which would have bump up the initial outlay costs.
If you try it, let us know in the comments how it went.