Bless me father for I have sinned. My last confession was more than 20 years ago 😉
Why am I starting out a blog post on how to make vegan cheese with the words of confession? Good question my vegan catholics. Actually I say that because a) I haven’t been to confession in literally more than 20 years and that happens to be b) the last time I ate animal cheese.
And isn’t cheese one of the hardest things to give up when you go vegan? Word… right? I mean it sure was for me.
I had to go cold tofu with giving up cheese, because my young vegan whipper snappers, there wasn’t a vegan cheese substitute that you could even give the name “cheese substitute”. Think of slices of tofu sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Yippers, we had it hard back in the day. I also used to have walk to school uphill both ways for 5 miles in bare feet, a loin cloth and 20 feet of snow. But that’s another story.
So this brings me to the topic of todays confessional er, I mean blog post.
There is some evidence to suggest that cheese is addictive like a mild opiod, no wonder it is hard to give up. But I got used to cheeseless pizzas and not eating anymore grilled cheese sandwiches… until,
I got spoiled most recently with Daiya, and it seems that almost on a daily basis there are more and more vegan cheeses making a place for themselves on the market place.
But this is about how to make vegan cheese, so I’m going to share with you an old skool recipe that I had back in the day. It’s kinda cheesy (pardon the pun) but it worked as a spread for sandwiches and dips and in mac n’ vegan cheese.
But first before we get there, let me answer the second question. Should you be making vegan cheese? This is a personal question that only you can answer, but my opinion is that NO you shouldn’t… or is that did’int 😉
Cheese is a high fat, high cholesterol and generally harmful product… we get that. But vegan cheeses are not far off being a high fat, nutritionally empty product.
Looking at my packet of Daiya Mozza in my fridge, I see that it has practically no vitamins or minerals save 2% of your RDI of calcium and iron for each quarter cup serving. Each serving is 50% calories from fat. NOT a health food. Read my post on the proper nutrition for vegans for more info on general health strategies for the vegan diet. But eating high fat foods is not one of them 🙂
Even the homemade vegan cheese recipes that you can use and make your vegan cheese from will often be higher in fat and limited in fiber and protein and vits and mins.
I’m not saying don’t enjoy vegan cheese, I do. But I use it as a condiment and on occasion, not on a daily basis. Listen, we’ve gotta be healthy, vibrant vegans to do the most good for our furry and feathered brethren. So I don’t make my own vegan cheese anymore especially when it is not something I recommend we eat a lot of and especially when most of us have access to pretty good vegan cheeses we can buy.
However, if you want to explore your culinary side, then I recommend you buy The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. This book contains more vegan cheese recipes than you can slice onto a loaf of bread. They’re generally as healthy as you’ll find for vegan cheeses and this books is also now available on Kindle too.
Alright, here’s my vegan cheese recipe for you.
Easy, breezy, teasey, cheesy
Play around with the wet ingredients to get the consistency you want. I usually add a bit of plain soy milk or water to thin it if I need.
0.5 cup of nutritional yeast flakes
0.5 cup of tahini
0.25 cup plain soy milk
0.25 cup olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
0.25 tsp of paprika, basil and oregano
0.5 cup tomato sauce
Chuck everything in a blender and blend it baby like Beckham 🙂 Stop every so often to scrap the sides and mix back in with a spatula.
Add extra soy milk as you like if it is too thick. Makes a great dip, cheesy vegan spread and melt in your macaroni for a yummy man n’ vegan cheese.