Today I’m going to talk about Vegan cheese. I’ve been lactose intolerant for years. (Or rather, I’ve known I was lactose intolerant for years. It snuck up on me like my playful cat only not as welcome.) The hardest part of this was not being able to eat cheese. I would tell myself it’s okay, take a lactase enzyme pill and enjoy. What harm could there be? Three hours later I’m on the toilet wondering why the hell I keep doing this to myself.
Enter Vegan cheese. I tried store bought versions years ago and they didn’t impress. They were extremely expensive and failed to fill the need I had for cheesy goodness. It never occurred to me that I could make my own. Not until I decided to take the plunge and go Vegan. The question was how do I do it?
Enter Pinterest, that lovely deep hole of fun that never fails to suck me in with promises of delight. It even delivers which makes it easier to fall into the rabbit hole. Usually I would peruse this sight full of DIY and crafts looking for knitting patterns, and fashion advice. (I have a serious weakness for shoes.)
Once I decided to change my lifestyle, Pinterest seemed like the best place to start looking for recipes. I found and pinned several recipes for cheese and decided this week to give one of them a go. Here are my thoughts.
I chose a nice mild cheddar flavor. The recipe looked easy and I had most of the ingredients already in the house. The recipe is called Chickpea flour Cheddar cheese by Camilla from powerhungry.com and you can find the full recipe here.
First the instructions, they were straightforward and easy to follow. My only real question came with cook time. 4-7 minutes didn’t seem like a big difference in time until I started making the cheese. I wasn’t sure what the “very thick” meant and had to guess. That being said, the cheese turned out just fine, if a bit soft. I cooked mine for 5 minutes but I may cook it a bit longer next time.
Texture wise it was a bit soft and mealy but not offensively so. It was actually a great cheese for crackers and since I made it for New Year’s Eve that was ideal.
Flavor wise it was thoroughly cheesy but I would add more salt next time. It might even be fun to experiment with different herbs.
I was careful to only a eat a little bit that first night as I’m new to nutritional yeast and I’d heard it can affect people in a not pleasant way. I’m happy to say that I had no problems at all. (I’d never been tempted to eat enough of the store-bought vegan cheeses I’ve tried to make it matter. They were awful.)
Overall, I’d say this recipe isn’t going to take over the cheese world but it was a satisfying alternative that didn’t make me regret my life choices. I would definitely make it again. The simplicity of the recipe means I can easily work with it and experiment with other flavors. It is seriously good on crackers. Plus, it stores well. (Apparently it even freezes but I haven’t had enough time to test that yet.)
I would recommend making it and giving it a shot. Let me know what you think. Do you have other vegan cheese recommendations both recipes and store bought? I’d love to hear about it.
I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, or medical professional of any kind. I am just a regular person sharing my personal journey on a way to a healthier, more satisfying life. Consult with a medical professional before starting any new exercise or diet plan. Please see full disclaimer here.