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Recipes To Get You Started On Making Vegan Cheese

Finally… a post on homemade vegan cheese! Scroll down for the recipes.

how to make raw vegan cheese // gratitude and greens // #raw #vegan #plantbased #recipe #dairyfree

For the past few days, my motivation seems to have run away. I imagine it is currently lounging on a beach somewhere tropical while I struggle with finishing the book I’m reading, going to the gym, getting out of bed, and just doing normal human things. Usually I like to spend my weekend running errands and taking care of things I didn’t get around to doing during the week, but last Sunday, I spent the entire day lazing around in my pajamas. I binge-watched Orange Is The New Black, baked cookies, and went on a reddit.com/r/nosleep marathon. It was glorious.

Now that my last day at work is approaching, I’m beginning to second-guess my decision to quit. But when I think about the possibilities waiting for me, I realize that all new beginnings can be intimidating. Not knowing what’s next is scary, and even though I felt more excited than scared last week, right now I am feeling more nervous than ever. What I do know, however, is that staying at my current job isn’t going to get me any closer to my dream of cooking and working with food. (And then I wonder if I should get a masters degree or do something related to my International Relations degree. But more on that later.)how to make raw vegan cheese // gratitude and greens // #raw #vegan #plantbased #recipe #dairyfree

A few months ago, I was curious about making my own vegan cheese. I had never done it before, and had only heard about all the ways you could make your own cheese… with nuts. I did a little digging and found several helpful resources, which I’ve included below. You will need a food processor, but it’s not as daunting as it seems. I hope all the recipes I’ve included below are helpful to those who’ve been meaning to try making their own vegan cheese! My favourite nut cheese so far is the one from the My New Roots cookbook, which, similarly to dairy cheeses, goes through an actual fermentation. I’ve included the recipe for this below.

So, let’s get started!

THE BEST RECIPES TO GET YOU STARTED ON MAKING VEGAN CHEESE
There are many kinds of vegan cheeses, but let’s begin by separating them into two groups: firstly, ones that have gone through the fermentation process, and secondly, ones that haven’t. Traditional dairy cheeses are made through fermentation, where enzymes are introduced to coagulate milk. When we ferment nut cheese, we do the exact same thing by adding probiotics. It’s a pretty fun project! Below are five of the best recipes to get you started on making vegan cheese, both non-fermented and fermented.

NON-FERMENTED CHEESES

  1. Simple Almond Cheese from Rawmazing
  2. Cashew Ricotta Cheese from The Simple Veganista
  3. Buffalo Mozzarella from Veggie Wedgie
  4. Quick & Dirty 5 Ingredient Vegan Cheeze Sauce from Oh She Glows
  5. Aged Pine Nut Cheese with Garlic and Rosemary from This Rawsome Vegan Life
  6. Gourmet Dairy Free Cheese from One Green Planet

FERMENTED CHEESES

  1. Basic Vegan Fermented Cashew Cheese from The Fermentation Podcast
  2. Cashew Chevrè from Phickle
  3. Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese Base from Amanda Nicole Smith

how to make raw vegan cheese // gratitude and greens // #raw #vegan #plantbased #recipe #dairyfree

Two other cultured vegan cheese recipes I love come from two beautiful cookbooks I highly recommend buying: Amy Chaplin’s At Home In The Whole Food Kitchen and Sarah Britton’s My New Roots. Some excerpts from their books on cashew cheese…

“Everybody in my life, including the passionate cheese connoisseurs, love this cheese. It’s especially good for those avoiding dairy, as it provides the rich, creamy texture and delicate, tangy flavour of a good soft dairy cheese. Cashew cheese is surprisingly simple to make but requires a little advance planning- a day or so to culture and then a night in the fridge. The probiotics (acidophilus powder) gives the cheese a slightly tangy flavour and also provides you with some beneficial bacteria.” – Amy Chaplin

“Making a cheese out of nuts is actually quite simple, and all you need is a few basic ingredients to get started. Once you have mastered this recipe, feel free to experiment with adding different ingredients to flavour your cheese, such as fresh herbs, honey, dried fruit, citrus zest, or even edible flowers, for a beautiful presentation… Spread it on toast, savoury crepes, or crackers; and serve it with olives, walnuts, and grapes on a cheese platter. Your friends will devour it without ever knowing it’s totally raw and vegan!” – Sarah Britton

The recipe below for raw vegan cashew cheese comes from Sarah’s recently published book, all credit goes to her and her hard work!

how to make raw vegan cheese // gratitude and greens // #raw #vegan #plantbased #recipe #dairyfree

RAW VEGAN CASHEW CHEESE
Yields around 2 cups.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup filtered/non-chlorinated water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • zest of 1/2 an organic lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 probiotic capsules – or enough to equal 40 billion active cells
  • 3 tablespoons minced herbs of choice – I used basil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cover the cashews in cold water and soak for 4-12 hours.
  2. Drain the cashews and place them in a food processor with the filtered/non-chlorinated water. Blend. Add the garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, and juice. Purée again, scraping the sides occasionally until all the ingredients have been blended smooth.
  3. Scoop the cashew purée into a nonreactive bowl, preferably one made with glass. Crack the probiotic capsules into the purée and stir with a wooden or glass spoon. Mix in the herbs.
  4. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and leave in a warm place overnight. Sarah suggests the top of a radiator or inside a gas oven with the pilot on, which is what I did. The cheese is ready in 12-24 hours, and should taste tangy, which comes from the cultured/fermented sugars of the cashews.
  5. Mold the cheese to your liking by pressing into a container with a spatula or shaping with a cheesecloth. Cover and refrigerate for another 6 hours before serving and eating. For a distinct flavour, Sarah suggests rolling or covering the cheese in the herbs, seasonings, and spices of your choice.

The cheese keeps for up to a week in the fridge. Enjoy!

Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,
Gen.

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25 Comments

  1. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    July 7, 2015

    This is a fabulous recipe and resource! I am all about making my own! I will never but those overly processed gross concoctions they sell in the store! Ew!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      July 13, 2015

      Thanks girl! The weird concoctions in stores scare me too… Luckily for us, vegan cheese isn’t that hard to make! xo

      Reply
  2. Selena @ The Nutritious Kitchen
    July 7, 2015

    This is SO clever, I love it! I’m not even vegan but I would totally make this :) Pinned!

    Reply
  3. Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    July 8, 2015

    Way to embrace change – it can be scary! But I feel like taking those leaps is what makes you feel alive. Wishing you the best on pursuing your dreams – you go girl. Can’t wait to read about it. And as for vegan cheeses – they have always scared me to make! So I love this post, and have been eyeing that cashew cheese in MNR cookbook too. You make it look super yummy so maybe I need to give it a try! <3

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      July 13, 2015

      Thanks Jessie! Vegan cheese was intimidating for me at first too, and I was surprised by how easy it was the first time I made it. It’s super yummy and I demolish it way too fast! xo

      Reply
  4. Natalia
    July 8, 2015

    Have those 2 books home and love it so much! Before descovering the homemade version of kimchi, this vegan cheese was something I was addicted to when feeling like eating someting salty. I still make it, especially when I make bread, it goes perfectly together!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      July 13, 2015

      I love spreading it on sourdough bread- it’s so delicious! xo

      Reply
  5. dixya | food, pleasure, and health
    July 8, 2015

    quitting a job is always a scary feeling because of the unknown thats out there..but if your heart is not there…maybe its time to move on. wishing you all the best and sending hugs :)

    Reply
  6. Meg @ Noming thru Life
    July 10, 2015

    Okay, I’m yet to make a vegan cheese (other than ricotta) thus far. And your recipe is making me completely regret that is has taken this long. BUT the silver-lining is I’ve got some of this delicious cheese happening in my future :)

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      July 11, 2015

      Thanks Meg! Good luck with your vegan cheese making adventures-it sounds like you have a very bright and delicious future ahead of you ;) xo

      Reply
  7. Grace @ Earthy Feast
    July 10, 2015

    You may have already seen this little clip with Ina Garten but I found it so inspiring and it kinda speaks to what you’re going through right now: http://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2015/06/10/ina-gartens-talks-favorite-food-dream-dinner-party-guests/

    Also, love your vegan cheese resource guide – I will tackle it one day for sure!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      July 11, 2015

      Grace! I adore Ina Garten (isn’t she the cutest?) and that made me feel a bit more inspired and motivated about my situation right now. Thank you so much for sharing that clip with me! xo

      Reply
  8. Farrah
    July 12, 2015

    I think it’s completely normal to feel nervous about making a really big change in your life, but I applaud you for following your dreams, and wish you all the best! <3

    This sounds a lot like the vegan cashew cheese that my church makes, so I can't wait to try it out! <3!! I think I'd like it better than most real cheeses!

    Reply
  9. Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge)
    July 13, 2015

    I love vegan cheeses! This is a great guide and love all the different options, can’t decide which one to make first! I totally understand your fear- my job is ending this month to leave to begin working for myself. I’m terrified and excited all at once! You will do great!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      July 13, 2015

      Thanks Alex! Good luck on this next chapter of your life and here’s to the both of us making the most of it! xo

      Reply
  10. Genius Vegan French Toast - gratitude and greens
    July 13, 2015

    […] << recipes to get you started on making vegan cheese […]

    Reply
  11. Ness
    August 10, 2015

    This is a lovely recipe, though I do have a question. My husband is allergic to cashews do you think macadamia nuts would be an okay substitute? So happy I happened across your site Gen!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      August 10, 2015

      Thank you so much Ness! Macadamia nuts would work just fine. Good luck and hope you like it! xo

      Reply
  12. Cheese – 10 Q&As | HK Veg
    March 19, 2016

    […] Making vegan cheese is at home is surprisingly easy. There are stacks of internet lists vegan of cheese recipes. […]

    Reply
  13. Paayel Agarwaal
    May 17, 2016

    Hello!
    What are probiotic capsules? Can it be avoided or substituted?

    Reply
  14. How to Make Cashew Cheese | Luvo
    April 11, 2017

    […] Fermented Cashew Cheese with Herbs […]

    Reply
  15. Rae
    May 13, 2017

    Hi there,

    Great recipe! However, I was wondering, what probiotic capsules would you recommend for this?

    Thank you!

    Reply

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