Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Trio of Cultured Vegan Cheeses, Including Tofu Ricotta

Clockwise from top: cashew cheese with smoked paprika on seed cracker with tomato, tofu cheese on oatcake with black olive, herb and black pepper cashew cheese on buckwheat cracker with fresh basil.
If you are entertaining, lunching or picnicking and you feel like a change from nut butters, hummus or avocado for your jacket potatoes, sarnies or crackers, then we'd recommend having a go at making your own cultured vegan cheeses. Vegan cheese made this way has the tangy sharpness of dairy cheese that commercial non-dairy cheeses so rarely have; a flavour much missed by many vegans. You can make them with or without a dehydrator as long as you have somewhere warm to culture them, and you can even age them, so we hear (but we're always so excited that we eat them as soon as they're cultured..) 
Another plus is that they are relatively inexpensive to produce and need few ingredients. We bought a jar of probiotic powder (acidophilus) online, which has lasted us ages, and that was our only major investment. To make cashew cheese, look here for the instructions. For the tofu cheese, see below the following picture:

Tofu cheese has a fresh, ricotta-like taste and texture, or can be more like cottage cheese if you add a little salt.
My husband invented the tofu cheese- and it truly is a cheese, having been curdled and then cultured. He made tofu from 1 litre of soya milk but did not press it (instructions here) and he added a litre of soya milk and 1 tsp probiotic powder then left it to culture in a lidded container in a warm place for about 24 hours. When he opened the lid, it was bubbly and creamy, with a fresh taste. It was very soft and spreadable. He added a little salt to half, and left the rest plain. Next time we're going to hang it in muslin for several hours once it's cultured to see what kind of texture that produces. This cheese is potentially very versatile; I'm planning to make some kind of creamy pasta and spinach with it, and it would surely be be an awesome addition to dauphinoise potatoes, moussaka and the like...


2 comments:

  1. I keep meaning to make vegan cheese but never seem to get round to doing it. So impressed with your home-made spread, I agree its a nice change from hummus, nut butters and avocado.

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  2. Awesome trio of cultured vegan cheezes! It's so cool to make your own cheeze right?!

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