Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Vegan Cheddar Cheese

VegNews magazine put out an awesome "cheese issue". They had several recipes to make different types of cheese. I made the sharp cheddar recipe. It was so mouth waterin' good!

This is not my recipe, it is from VegNews September+October 2012 issue (page 68).
Side note: if you are vegetarian, vegan or just plain curious- Vegnews Magazine is awesome!  There are all kinds of recipes, up&coming events, stories, information, etc.  They are true to what they stand for & only advertise that which is true to their beliefs (some health magazines have full page spreads of Oil of Olay or bacon- this is not the case with VegNews).  Here is their website http://vegnews.com
Their subscription page: http://vegnews.com/pages/page.do?pageId=4
The publication is definitely inspiring.  Also, the subscription price is way below news stand price.
I don't work for them or get any money for saying this. I simply love receiving the magazine in the mail, trying new recipes and being connected to people who care about the future of our planet, animals, and health.

I have made some slight modifications to the recipe.

Sharp Cheddar:  (Makes 1 1/2 lbs.)

2 cups raw, organic cashews, soaked in water for 2-3 hours and drained.
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/3 cup rejuvelac, divided (see recipe)
1/3 cup canola oil (you can also substitute your favorite organic oil- just choose one with a mild flavor)      
3 tablespoons medium brown miso
1 teaspoon salt
8 teaspoons agar agar powder

In a food processor combine cashews, nutritional yeast, 1/3 cup rejuvelac, oil, miso & salt. I think I used organic flax oil when I was making this a few weeks back. Process until smooth (mixture will be thick).

Transfer mixture to a large glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap or towel. Let it sit a room temperature for 24-72 hours. Taste every so often until it has developed desired level of sharpness (I waited about 30 hours).

In a medium sauce pan, whisk together 1 cup of rejuvelac and agar. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until agar is completely dissolved and mixture is thick & bubbling.  Be careful not to burn (I did this my first attempt and had to re-do this step). Reduce heat to low and add the cheese mixture, whisking until smooth, then remove saucepan from heat.

In a large bowl, pour the cheese and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours until hard. Remove from bowl. TRY SOME. Store in refrigerator wrapped in wax or parchment paper for up to 4 weeks.

YUM. I like mine in slices with organic crackers. Great on sandwiches too!

Rejuvelac recipe:  (this rejuvelac recipe is a mix between two recipes. The VegNews recipe September+October 2012 issue (page 67) and Sproutman's Kitchen Cook Book recipe posted on Farrah's Blog)

1/2 cup soft organic wheat berries (you can buy these for inexpensive at health food store bulk bins)
filtered water

In a large bowl soak the grains in 2 cups water for 8 -12 hours.

Place berries/grains in a sprout bag. Rinse bag with the grains/berries twice a day (about 12 hours apart). Keep the bag hanging away from drafts and in a warm spot (about 75 degrees).

You will see that the grains sprout little tails. It will take about 3 days.

Put sprouted berries in a food processor with about 1 cup water. Chop them up just a little (do not puree).

Put sprouts in a 32 oz mason jar with liquid from food processor. Fill remaining part of jar up with filtered water. I leave about an inch room from the top of the jar for air. Put a cloth over the top and screw on the band of the mason jar (not the lid).

Let sit for 3 days. Stir twice a day. After 3 days strain liquid out into another jar. Keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

For more information/details on making rejuvelac, check out Farrah's Blog. I just omit adding the extra ingredients she uses to make the wine.

* You can sprout other grains to make rejuvelac - rye, brown rice, whole oat groats, etc). I only have experience making rejuvelac with wheat berries.

* You can use a high speed blender for both recipes - I just prefer a food processor.

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