I’m not fan of vegan cheeses you can buy in the supermarkets, most of them are made of coconut oil and preservatives and I really dislike the taste.
I don’t generally eat a lot of cheese but do make my own pizzas and it’s nice to have a little bit of cheese to top it and help hold all the ingredients on!
So I’ve played with a lot of recipes and developed and refined my own recipe. I does not taste exactly like cheese but I’m yet to find a vegan cheese that actually does! It’s an alternative with is dairy free, oil free and made from vegetables and nuts. This cheese cuts and grates and melts. Whilst it does not melt like dairy cheese it’s not too bad! The tapioca starch helps it stretch and melt and the agar powder helps it hold its shape.
Whilst any changes to the recipe really change the flavour you can make changes to suit your taste/ what you have. I’ve found this works with and without the butternut squash but it’s seems to work best with it. I use the same saucepan for all parts of the process to reduce washing up!
1 cup of butternut squash (chopped into small cubes) (optional)
½ cup of cashews
½ cup soy milk
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp veg stock powder
2 tbsp miso (white preferable)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp kimchi + 1tbsp juice
¾ tsp mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp tapioca starch
2 tbsp agar powder + 1 cup of boiling water
Time: 40 minutes + 3-4 hours to set
Makes a large block
- Put the butternut squash and cashews in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until softened.
- Whilst the squash and cashews are simmering, add the all the rest of the ingredients (except the agar powder) in a blender and process until smooth.
- Drain the butternut squash and cashews and add to the blender, mix again until incorporated and a smooth consistency is gained.
- Add the agar powder and boiling water to a saucepan. Heat over a low/medium heat and stir for a few minutes to activate the agar powder.
- Add the agar mix to the blender and blend one last time.
- Pour the final mix back into the saucepan and stir consistently (try not to walk away, I do and it gets stuck to the bottom of the pan!) for about 5-10 minutes. It should thicken and start to come away from the sides. Pour quickly into a glass container or two. Allow to cool for about 30 mins and then put in the fridge to cool and solidify. This should only take about 3-4 hours.
- To get it out of the container turn upside down and shake back and forth and side to side to loosen the sides away (make sure there’s a plate or chopping board beneath it!) Store in the fridge and it should last about 10-14 days.