Cheese is one of the most consumed products worldwide. In the United States alone, each person consumes more than 17 kg per year, and in Europe, the average is 17.2 kg.
However, with the growing popularity of vegan diets or non-dairy products, we can buy many types of non-dairy vegan cheeses at the supermarket.
These products are made from a variety of ingredients of vegetable origin and can be found in a wide selection of types and flavors.
In this article, we will explain how to make vegan cheese, where and what types we can buy and how to add it to our diet.
There are as many vegan cheese recipes as there are types of milk cheese. From cream cheese to hard or soft, there are many varieties. Here's how to make almond and cashew vegan cheese. Two simple recipes ideal to complement your meals and to replace the traditional dairy cheese.
With this recipe, we will prepare a hard vegan cheese, perfect for eating with bread or chopped in salads or other dishes.
To make this type of almond vegan cheese we need: 150 g of almond flour, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 cloves of garlic, half a cup of water (about 120 ml) and a pinch of salt.
First, place all the ingredients in a blender and grind until we have a homogeneous and compact mass. Then place the mixture on a cheesecloth, mesh or gauze. Make a strong knot, forming a ball and squeezing the mixture.
Next, place the ball on a strainer with a container underneath, as it will drip water, and keep it in the fridge for 12 hours. After this time, we can finish it in two ways.
The first is to place the ball in a plastic container with holes. We must add a little weight on top so that it adopts the shape of the container. Let it stand for 48 hours.
The second option is faster. We must preheat the oven to 100ºC and grease a mold with oil. Add the cheese and bake for 40 minutes. It should be lightly browned and its surface cracked.
Another popular vegan cheese recipe is with cashew nuts. With this simple recipe, we will obtain a creamy spreadable product ideal to prepare pizzas or to spread it on bread.
To make it we need: half a cup of cashew nuts, half a cup of soy milk, 3 small spoonfuls of agar, 3 spoonfuls of tapioca starch, 2 spoonfuls of beer yeast, 1 small spoonful of garlic powder, 1 small spoonful of onion powder, 2 spoonfuls of lemon juice, 1 small spoonful of salt, 1 spoonful of smoked paprika and 1 spoonful of oregano.
We must soak the cashew nuts overnight before making the recipe. Then we wash them and drain them. Next, add all the ingredients in the blender and crush them, until you get a homogeneous mixture, without lumps and that is creamy. Getting this texture can take up to 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it boils, about 5 minutes, constantly stirring to prevent it from sticking. Afterward, grease two round molds and cover one with smoked paprika and the other with oregano. Pour the mixture into the two molds.
Finally, place the two containers in the fridge and let it stand until the next day. After this time, unmold them and we have the vegan cheese with cashew nuts and paprika and oregano ready.
We can find as many varieties and classes of dairy-free cheese as there are traditional dairy-based. This allows us to enjoy them in the same way that we do with the traditional ones and that our transition to a vegan and non-dairy diet is easier.
You can buy all of these vegan cheeses in all supermarkets, although the types and presentations they offer may vary depending on the brands.
Thus, one of the most popular varieties is grated vegan cheese. Many major brands now offer this product as if it were mozzarella or cheddar. This variety is best for sprinkling on pizzas, tacos, and potatoes.
Another option is cream cheese. This type is ideal for spreading on rolls and toast or cooking sauces. Like traditional cream cheese, it is also found in a variety of flavors.
In supermarkets it is also easy to find in wedge format, offering many varieties to choose the one that best suits our tastes. They are usually presented as cheddar, gouda or provolone cheese styles. This type is usually used for sandwiches.
Soft cheeses are also found in its vegan variety, including styles such as ricotta, brie, and camembert. These are ideal for appetizers with toast and jams.
Vegan parmesan cheese is also available as an excellent option for pizza and pasta. It can be found as a wedge or grated.
Finally, another of the options we have is for dips. This product is characterized by being a cheese sauce, made especially to accompany vegan nachos or other types of dips. It is an excellent option to eat as an appetizer or as a starter.
All these kinds of vegan cheese provide us with a great variety of recipes and opportunities to replace the traditional one. They can easily be found in the alternative food section of supermarkets or in specialty shops.
If we want to buy vegan cheese, we can go to a supermarket with a vegan food section and special diets. However, it is recommended to read the list of ingredients, as many incorporate refined coconut oils, starch, and flavorings, which make it a very processed and unhealthy product.
If we want to acquire a product with healthier, nutritious ingredients, we can approach a specialized vegan store, where the supply is more varied and we can buy healthier vegan cheese. However, it is also important to look at the list of ingredients to make sure that we buy a good product.
Another option used by more people today to buy vegan cheeses is to do so over the Internet. The offer of types are very varied, and that makes it one of the best ways to buy this product.
However, the best way to enjoy a quality vegan cheese is to prepare it ourselves at home, choosing and selecting ingredients of good quality, proximity and controlling at all times the process. Preparing a vegan cheese recipe is much easier than we can think and there is a great variety to make the type of cheese that we like the most.
Fox, P. F., Guinee, T. P., Cogan, T. M., & McSweeney, P. L. (2017). Processed cheese and substitute/imitation cheese products. In Fundamentals of cheese science (pp. 589-627). Springer, Boston, MA.
Lightowler, H., & Davies, J. (1998). The vegan dairy. Nutrition & Food Science, 98(3), 153-157.
Check out the original article: Queso vegano: tipos, recetas y cómo hacerlo en casa at viviendolasalud.com