Marathon Cheese

If you think making your own vegan cheese reeks of effort then you are right my friend. Very right. Which is partly why this post is called ‘Marathon Cheese’ not only because I’m posting it on the same day that a few of my friends ran in the BMO Marathon but also because making was a marathon. Wait scratch that. This is the iron man of vegan recipes.

As you can see by my instagram, I was pretty excited to buy this cook book week 5 WEEKS AGO:

Artisan Vegan CheeseAfter flipping through it I decided to make one of the easier cheeses first which still looked pretty complicated. Here is a list of the ingredients that I was confused by for the vegan Mozzarella:

  • Rejuvelac 
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Agar Flakes

I found Xanthan Gum and Agar Flakes at Whole Foods Market but they weren’t cheap ingredients:

Xanthan Gum

 

This is what Xanthan Gum looks like next to my cat.

Rejuvelac turned out to be a bit harder.There is a recipe in the cookbook on how to make it from scratch but it seemed pretty tedious so I literally LITERALLY looked everywhere. I don’t even think it’s sold in Canada.

So I went back to the book and decided I had to make it from scratch. I’m going to blame the cookbook for my first failed attempt for assuming I wasn’t stupid. I used a plastic bowl instead of a glass one. (Could the recipe not explain WHY I needed a glass one…I mean I get it now so just trust me on this)

You can find a thorough recipe for rejuvelac here but I’m going to give it to you very simply here:

  • Put rice in glass container with water by a window
  • Cover with cheese cloth
  • Change water 8-12 hours until rice starts to ‘grow tails’
  • Then rinse the rice and split into two containers with water by window with rice cloth
  • When it is stinky & cloudy (after 2-3 days) it’s ready

Rejuvelac

As you can see my Instagram is pretty exciting.

I FINALLY HAD ALL OF MY INGREDIENTS. I WAS READY TO EAT CHEESE. Yeah… at this point you’re still a full day away from eating it.

While the rejuvelac is growing or whatever, soak 2 cups of cashews in water for about 12 hours. (Again the full recipe from the book can be found here)

When you are ready for REAL this time here’s what you put in the blender:

  • 2 cups of cashews soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup Rejuvelac
  • pinch of salt

Then you add:

  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and blend until thickened

At this point you transfer it to a glass bowl and let it sit for 12-24 hours. I know. This is the never-ending recipe.

Vegan Cheese

 

After 8-12 hours (depending on how sharp you want the flavor…or something like that) you’re supposed to put it back in the blender. I found it easier to stir from this point on.

What you’re going to add next is:

  • 2/3 cup of water boiled with 3 tablespoons of Agar Flakes (let it cool before adding)

THEN you can add another 1/2 tsp of Xanthan Gum if you want it stretchier.

At this point you prepare a bowl of ice water with a little bit of salt (this is called the brine) and scoop balls of your mixture into the ice. It should firm up immediately.

Then put it in the fridge and serve when ready.

I know.

Are you exhausted from just reading this? I think it will get easier with more practice and actually knowing what the ingredients are.

After all this- how did it taste!?!

Vegan Mozzarella PizzaThe answer is…meh. It was pretty good on pizza but didn’t melt, although I don’t think that’s fair since pizza can make anything taste good. I put it on some toast this morning with avocado and I couldn’t even really taste it.

I adds nice texture and gives the dish some good filling but it wasn’t like real cheese where you want to scrap every last bit with your hands off the plate.

I think if I played with it some more I could figure out to give it more flavor.

I’m eager to play with some of the other recipes, so if I start on some vegan Brie next week then expect a post about 5 weeks later.

 

 

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Awesome! And you figured out the rejuv stuff! We should have a cheese making party some day. I can bring my Uncheese Cookbook!

    1. LindsayisVegan says:

      Umm yes! You can show how to make it better!

  2. Marcia says:

    Wow…marathon is right! You are a real trooper! As far as the flavor goes (or lack thereof) cows milk mozzarella is pretty tasteless too. I think its job is to make everything else stand out, but that’s just me. Looking forward to reading your other posts and if you think the book is worth buying. Happy Cinco de Mayo Lindsay!

    1. LindsayisVegan says:

      Good point! I’ve had a few people tell me that. Maybe I’ll have more luck with Brie.

  3. Julie says:

    I admire your perseverance, for sure! I was intrigued by the recipes she published in VegNews sometime over the last year, but decided they wouldn’t work for me because we have a cashew allergy in the fam. I think I might be glad now that I never tried:)

    1. LindsayisVegan says:

      Why thank you! I’ll have to take another look- they can’t all have nuts in them…can they? At eork they were talking about this new vegan cheese made from 100% vegetables!

      1. Julie says:

        I checked my issue–6/6 had nuts…5/6 had cashews which are too dangerous for us to have in the house. Guess I’m stuck with Daiya:). I would love to know if you find any recipes with all veggies/no nuts as you said. Might be able to get it through the library. Will you keep me posted?

      2. LindsayisVegan says:

        Absolutely! I’m eager to try them myself 🙂

  4. I want that book. Looking forward to see what else you make from it.

    1. LindsayisVegan says:

      I have high hopes for some of the other recipes! I am still happy I got it 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    I had seen the book before it came out and wondeed how intensive the recipes were.

    1. LindsayisVegan says:

      So far…pretty intensive!

  6. NicT says:

    I got this book from the library about 6 months ago, photocopied recipes (including rejuvelac) and STILL haven’t tried any. Good to know I’m not totally missing out.

    1. LindsayisVegan says:

      Ya- I keep going back to the book to find something else I can do with the ingredients I have and I’m turning a blank! I’d like to try the Brie but it’s a whole new set of ingredients. Including vegan yogurt…but wait there’s a recipe for vegan yogurt in there! Guess what I need to find to make vegan yogurt…VEGAN YOGURT! What?

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