This article was originally published on February 22, 2017.
Despite store-bought vegan cheeses with crazy ingredients and even crazier price tags, frugal vegans shouldn’t be discouraged from attempting their own cheesy creation. Shreddable, meltable cheese can be made at home, and these don’t even require tons of exotic or expensive add-ins. I recently discovered a quick, easy recipe for a dairy-less block of herbed “cheese” that even your omni friends won’t be able to resist.
The magic ingredient in this recipe is agar powder, a gelatinous substance made from marine red algae. It’s a great thickener (and vegan substitute for gelatin), and it’s used to thicken soup, ice cream, jellies, and in this recipe–vegan cheese!
DIY Vegan Cheese
- 1/2 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon agar powder
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon basil paste
1. Add coconut cream to saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
2. Allow to warm for 3-4 minutes.
3. Whisk in remaining ingredients, one at a time.
4. Stir well for about 5 minutes more, then remove from heat.
5. Transfer to non-stick baking pan and let sit at room temperature for at least one hour.
6. Move to fridge and let set for at least another hour.
7. When ready to serve, shred with cheese grater or cut into cubes.
Also by Quincy: Vegan Creole Recipes: Hearty Gumbo Hot Pot
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Photos: Quincy Malesovas