I – as well as almost any individual in Western society – have always had a very soft spot for cheese and for this reason, I have put myself on a mission for the perfect cheese. And that’s exactly what I have done on this blog post, I have reunited some of my favorite vegan cheeses to share with you.
According to Wikipedia, cheese is one of the most ancient foods known to scientists, as it states: ”Cheese is an ancient food whose origins predate recorded history. There is no conclusive evidence indicating where cheesemaking originated, whether in Europe, Central Asia, or the Middle East, but the practice had spread within Europe prior to Roman times. According to Pliny the Elder, it had become a sophisticated enterprise by the time the Roman Empire came into being.
The earliest evidence of cheesemaking in the archaeological record dates back to 5500 BCE and is found in what is now Kuyavia, Poland, where strainers coated with milk-fat molecules have been found. Early archeological evidence of Egyptian cheese has been found in Egyptian tomb murals, dating to about 2000 BCE. A 2018 scientific paper stated that the world’s oldest cheese, dating to approximately 1200 BCE (3200 years before present), was found in ancient Egyptian tombs. The earliest cheeses were likely quite sour and salty, similar in texture to rustic cottage cheese or feta, a crumbly, flavorful Greek cheese. Cheese produced in Europe, where climates are cooler than the Middle East, required less salt for preservation. The earliest ever discovered preserved cheese was found in the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang, China, dating back as early as 1615 BCE (3600 years before present).’’
Tradition, taste, and even convenience, cheese is present in every household worldwide and as delicious as it is unhealthy and unethical, vegan companies have been making a huge contribution to mimic the taste and texture of animal-derived cheese. And their amazing work and research are proving to work since vegan cheese consumption is exponentially increasing every year!
Great, so we vegan cooks are also on a quest for our homemade vegan cheeses, aren’t we? After all, not all of us have those amazing cheeses available, and sometimes, when they are, prices are a bit salty (no pun intended :)), so here is my contribution to the world of homemade vegan cheeses, and here are a few suggestions for you:
NO NUTRITIONAL YEAST⎜NO SOY⎜GLUTEN FREE
The cheese is appropriately named because it was developed in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England, during the 12th century. After its creation, cheddar cheese became popular with English nobles and made appearances at many royal banquets. In fact, according to the British Cheese Board, King Henry II purchased more than 10,000 pounds of the cheese in 1107, and declared it to be the best in Britain. Henry’s son, Prince John, continued to serve cheddar cheese during royal affairs.
Now, I have discovered a new way to put together a vegan cheese that doesn’t require any tofu, cashews or even nutritional yeast. Yes, that’s correct, for this cheese you wont be needing any of those ingredients, because I have found a legume that on its when, already tastes like cheese and this legume is called Lupin bean. Lupin bean is very common in Portugal, Spain and in the Mediterranean countries and its usually made and sold in a salty brine and served as a starter, along with bread, olive oil and olives. For this recipe, I have chosen to let the lupin bean shine through, and added the legume as the main ingredient, trusting its cheesy taste, bright yellow color and buttery texture.
To make the cheese extra smooth, start by removing the lupin beans skins, put them in a blender, along with the remainder of the ingredients up until the water. Blend it very well. Dissolve the agar agar in a pot with the 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of water, bring it to a boil then simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring. Add the blended cheese to the dissolved agar agar pot; stir for 2 minutes. Add the cheese to a mold, remove the possible air pockets with the help of a skewer, let it cool then put in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, better overnight.
Lasts for up to 10 days in the fridge.
1. About 20% of people who are already allergic to nuts could also be allergic to lupin beans, so be aware of this fact.
2. Lupin beans are very difficult to cook when they are raw, it requires a long cooking process to get rid of the natural toxin they have so if you are not familiar with the lupin beans cooking method, prefer the cooked lupin beans that come in a jar or a can. After the beans are properly cooked they are absolutely safe for consumption.
SOY-FREE, NUT-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE
This cheese is a winner every time I make it. The buttery texture and the delicate flavors are sure unique and quite impressive. For this simple vegan cheese I have chosen to use baked (or boiled) potatoes, the starchy kind, due to its high presence of starches which give this cheese a unique velvety and smooth texture. The combination of spices and makes this cheese extremely close to store-bought cheeses but it sure elevates it to a whole new level due to the presence of both nutritional yeast and olive brine.
Blend the olives, the olive brine, the plant-based milk, and the olive oil until smooth. Set aside.
In a food processor, add the remainder of the ingredients plus the previously blended ingredients, except for the sour starch and the cornstarch; process everything until smooth. Add the sour starch and the cornstarch, process it a little bit, only enough for the starches to get incorporated into the mixture.
Add the processed mixture to a pot on medium heat and stir for 5 minutes. Transfer the cheese mixture into a previously greased mild, cover, let it cool until room temperature then put it in the fridge for 4 hours.
MADE WITH A SUPERFOOD GRAIN PACKED WITH NUTRIENTS AND EASY TO MAKE
Non-dairy cheese originated from China in the 16th century, made with fermented tofu or whole soy. Later homemade vegan cheeses were made from soy flour, margarine, and yeast extract. … Also, soy-free options have since been explored. And for this reason I have decided to put together a cream cheese that’s particularly versatile and extremely healthy.Gluten-free, soy-free, rich, and light at the same time: this cream cheese; made with a superfood grain called millet – full of nutrients and proteins, this vegan cream cheese is versatile, you can use it both in savory dishes as well as desserts, it is easy to make and the flavor is out of this world delicious!
Cook the millet:
Cook millet by simmering it in low heat one part of dry raw millet to 2 (or two and a half) parts of water for 20 -25 minutes. The longer it cooks the softer and smoother the cream cheese will turn out to be.
Make the millet cream cheese:
Blend all the ingredients for the millet cream cheese in a blender until it is smooth and velvety. Add more or less water and/or vegan milk if you would like a thicker or thinner consistency cream cheese. Please bear in mind that it will firm up once it is refrigerated. Lasts for up to 10 days in the fridge.
Legend has it that mozzarella was first made when cheese curds accidently fell into a pail of hot water in a cheese factory near Naples…and soon thereafter the first pizza was made! Actually, new cheeses are often formulated when mistakes happen, so there well may be truth in the tale! Truth or not, we vegans have ditched the caws milk and jumped right into a journey of discoveries and experimentations using plant milks, and in this recipe over here, this couldn’t be any different and the star of the day is the good old soy milk, that combined together with starches, vegan butter and spices, makes this cheese one of my favorites due to the flavor and the simplicity.
Add the agar-agar powder to a small pot with the 3 tablespoons of water, stir and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Add the milk to a pot, dissolve the cornstarch. Add the remainder of the ingredients, the activated agar-agar and stir in low heat until the cheese comes off the bottom of the pot, almost completely, it’ll be around 15 minutes.
Grease a ramekin then add the cheese, cover and let it cool completely, when it reaches room temp, put the cheese in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Lasts for up to 5 days in the fridge.
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