This vegan cheese alternative is fun – do you know what secret ingredient hides in it? Read on to find out! Did you know that it has no nuts, not gluten, no dairy, and no artificial ingredients? Yep, true.
So what is this weird, sliceable, non-melting substance with a rounded, subtle, non-betraying flavor made up of? Pumpkin! Fun! You would never have guessed it . . . it just adds a mild, sweet, rounded flavor to the cheese, nicely contrasting with . . . soy yoghurt! Did you suspect that? It's a quite natural addition, as it contains bacteria similar to that of cheese; the tartness is not overpowering, just a good addition to the pool of flavors. Then, coconut cream, the star of vegan creams and nut free! But, we still just have a soupy mess, so in goes some . . . corn starch – simple as that. For flavor, some lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Of course – have you seen a vegan cheese recipe without nutritional yeast?
Now to the magic. Cook the soup while stirring over medium heat and watch it clump up into a sticky ball. And just so you are prepared, this becomes really, really thick. Don't worry if the soup gets a few lumps in the beginning – they will be stirred out when the mixture becomes thick. Continue cooking the mixture until it is cooked all the way through and the surface is matte. Now, let it cool a bit; then, add the yoghurt all at once and stir till everything is smooth. The cheese mixture should not be hotter that a comfortable bath, so the yoghurt bacteria will not be dead. I find it easier to incorporate the yoghurt if you give the cooled cheese a good stir after it has firmed up before adding the yoghurt.
Now to magic part two. Spoon up the mixture and stuff it into a tall, round container. Press it down and smooth out the top. I find that this is easy to do with a wet spoon or wet fingers, as a dry spoon will just stick to the cheese. Put on a lid and place it in the fridge overnight. Next day, take it out, turn the container upside down, squeeze the sides a bit and tap the lid on the counter, and a firm cheese should fall down on the lid. Carefully lift off the container, and the beautiful, firm cheese should stand right before your eyes, mounted proudly on the lid. Get out the cheese slicer and cut yourself a slice!
There might be a few holes where you didn't press down the cheese, but who cares for holes when you have a delicious vegan cheese? Mmmm, munch munch munch, I wish I could give you a slice through the screen . . . .
Sliceable Vegan Cheese
Yields: 2 cheeses
1/2 c. corn starch
1/2 c. mashed cooked pumpkin or sweet potato
1 c. coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, grated/crushed
4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. salt
1 dash cayenne, optional
1/2 c. soy yoghurt
1. Mix everything except soy yoghurt in saucepan.
2. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly with a spoon. Mixture will start clumping and then thicken into a stiff mass. Continue cooking the cheese mixture while pressing it towards the bottom of the saucepan until the mixture is cooked all the way through and the surface is matte.
3. Let cheese mixture cool 10 min.
4. Stir cheese mixture and then add soy yoghurt all at once and mix till smooth.
5. Scoop into tall, round containers and press down with wet spoon, smoothing surface.
6. Refrigerate overnight.
7. To serve, turn container upside down (with lid on) and sqeeze sides until cheese loosens and falls on lid. Remove container and slice cheese with cheese slicer. Good in sandwiches. Not suitable for pizza and the like, as the cheese does not melt but dries when heated.
Scripture of the Day
"The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
he will seek at harvest and have nothing."
Labels: Mock Dairy, spreads