Recipes

Get the Recipes: Vegan Cheese Pantry Staples

Nut Parmesan

Ingredients:
1 cup pine nuts, almonds or walnuts
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:
Place all ingredients into food processor, process until thoroughly combined and texture is granular.

Storage:
In a covered, refrigerated container this ‘cheese’ will keep for 6 – 8 weeks.

Notes: 
If using walnuts, be careful not to over-process, as it can quickly turn to nut butter.

Almond Ricotta

Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almonds, activated (soaked in water, then drained) for 8-12 hours
1 cup water
salt

Method:
Place all ingredients in blender, process until light, fluffy and fairly creamy, but nor perfectly smooth.
Stop occasionally to scrape the mixture down the blender jar towards the blades.
Taste and stir in more salt if desired.

Storage:
Keep covered in a refrigerated container for up to one week.

Notes:
Use raw almonds with skins – after soaking, the skins will slip off easily between your thumb and index finger when squeezed. To blanche almonds pour boiling water over the nuts and let them soak for 1 – 2 minutes. Drain and remove skins once cool enough to handle.

Tofu Ricotta

Ingredients:
2 cups tofu (medium-firm style)
1/4 cup plain unsweetened vegan yoghurt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt

Method:
Place all ingredients in a medium bowl, mash with a fork until the mixture is fully combined and the tofu pieces are small similar to the texture of a dairy-based ricotta.

Storage:
Keep covered in a refrigerated container for up to two days.

Notes:
For a delicious pizza topping add 3-4 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup of lightly packed, chopped fresh basil leaves and 2-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Cashew Cream Cheese / Mascarpone

Ingredients:
2 cups raw, activated cashews (soaked in for 8 hours then drained)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons plain non-dairy yoghurt
pinch salt

Method:
Place all ingredients into a blender. Process until smooth and creamy, occasionally stopping to scrape down the blender jar and move mixture evenly towards the blade.

Culture:
Transfer into a clean glass bowl or container, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 24 – 48 hours, depending on how sharp a flavour you want and the ambient temperature. (Culturing will proceed more quickly at warmer temperatures.) Cover and refrigerate, cheese will firm up as it chills.

Storage:
Keep covered in a refrigerated container for up to 2 weeks

Notes:
Mascarpone – is typically softer than cream cheese, to adapt this recipe for mascarpone, just allow it to culture for 12 – 24 hours , it will just thicken and develop some flavour, but will taste milder and sweeter than the cream cheese version.

Extra Firm Cashew Cheese – to make a firmer, block style cream cheese press the cheese after it has cultured. Line a small sieve or colander with a double layer of cheese cloth, large enough to dangle over the sides. Place the cheese in the cloth and wrap the ends of the cheese  cloth across the top. Put a plate on top then weight the plate down with a 3 – 6 kg weight (eg rock, container filled with water, cast iron pan). Let the cheese stand at room temperature for around 24 hours. (Discard the liquid once fully pressed.)

Creamy Yoghurt Cheese

Ingredients:
4 cups plain, unsweetened non-dairy yoghurt

Method:
Using a cheese bag: pour the yoghurt into the bag and hang it over a bowl or tie it over the kitchen tap so that the excess liquid drains into the sink. Let the yoghurt drain at room temperature for 24 hours or more until there is no longer liquid draining from the bag and the cheese is very thick. (no more than 1 1/2 cups of solid cheese should remain)

Using a sieve or colander: line a sieve or colander with a double layer of cheese cloth, large enough to dangle over the sides. Place the cheese in the cloth and wrap the ends of the cheese cloth across the top. Place the sieve over a bowl and pour in the yoghurt. Cover loosely with the cheesecloth and let the yoghurt drain at room temperature for at least 12 hours until somewhat thick, but still soft. (approx. 2 cups of solids) At this point you can transfer it to the fridge and use as a crème fraiche or sour cream style ingredient. Alternatively you can gather the four corners of the cheesecloth and tie a knot to form a bag. hang this bag over a bowl or in the sink from the tap and drain for another 12 – 24 hours until the cheese reaches the desired consistency.

Storage:
In a covered, refrigerated container this ‘cheese’ will keep for 2 weeks.

Notes:
To make a flavoured version: add 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt into a bowl with the finished cheese and mix well. Refrigerate again until firm. (up to 8 hours)

 

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