I have been wanting to make vegan cheese for a while now but I never got around to it till the long weekend last week when I had some spare time besides study, preparing for the week and doing the weekly household chores 😅 If I knew how easy and quick this cheese was to make, I would have done it earlier 😊 This cheese is vegan, dairy free, sugar free and gluten free.
So, if you would like to have a cheese and wine night, but cannot find a cheese that fits your or your friends’ dietary requirements, this cheese will not disappoint. I have used agar agar powder instead of gelatin to harden the mixture to make it into cheese like consistency 😃 I used to use agar agar to make Asian style jelly when I was younger, so I am familiar with agar agar. Most South East Asian jellies are made with agar agar unlike those crystallised jellies you find in Western countries which are made with gelatin.
Agar agar is a jelly-like substance found in red algae. So, it is plant based. And the beauty of agar agar is that it will harden at room temperature, so no need to refrigerate 😊 Also, I bought agar agar powder from the Asian Grocer which costs me AUD1.95 for 25g which was way cheaper than what the Health Food Stores are charging (AUD20 for 75g which is AUD6.67 for 25g).
I have used pistachios and dried cranberries in my vegan cheese, but feel free to use other dried fruit, nuts, seeds or even grated garlic and fresh/dried herbs. I am looking forward to your vegan cheese creations.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. As always, please let me know what you think of this recipe. If you like what you see on this blog, you can follow me on my blog, Facebook or Instagram for some food porn.
- 80g cashews, raw, soaked in some hot water for 30 minutes (this water is then discarded);
- 180ml water;
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast;
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed;
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil;
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder;
- 5g agar agar powder;
- San Elk vegetable stock or Salt to taste;
- 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped; and
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped.
- In a blender, place all the ingredients except the pistachios and dried cranberries and blend until you get a smooth consistency;
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan on medium heat and continuously stir until it thickens into a thick paste and sticks together. This should take a few minutes;
- Then, add the cranberries and pistachios and mix until well combined;
- In a well greased mini-quiche dish, transfer the cheese mixture and spread and distribute evenly;
- Allow the cheese to set in the fridge for at least an hour;
- Enjoy with your favourite crackers or on bread or even in your sandwich;
- Stores for up to 1 week in the fridge.