Vegan Cheese Tasting & Making Workshop

Vegan cheese can be intimidating to make, but as we taste the various types of cheese Portland offers, I will describe how they're made in a way that is not so daunting! The cheeses will be paired with our local vegan "meats," fresh fruit, and spreads. After our cheese tasting, I will teach you an alternative (and much simpler) way to make your own vegan cheese at home! If you're planning a trip to Portland, check out my workshop calendar to see if I'll be hosting one while you're in town!


Making Rejuvelac 

If you've taken one of my workshops and are inspired to make your own cultured cheese at home, I'm including detailed instructions below on how to make your own rejuvelac.

1.) In a clean glass mason jar, soak 1/2 cup of wheat berries in filtered water for 8-10 hours.  Place a cheese cloth over top of the mason jar and secure with a rubber band or the top ring of the jar.  Make sure you place the jar in an area that won't get too warm.

2.) Drain water and place in an area that gets some indirect sun, but again, won't get too warm.  Leave cheesecloth on top so the wheat berries can breathe.

3.) After 12 hours, rinse and drain again with filtered water.  Continue this process every 12 hours until the berries begin to sprout. (1-2 days)

4.) After the wheat berries have sprouted, fill the mason jar with water and secure the cheese cloth on top.  Leave in a cool place for best fermentation results.  When the water begins to get cloudy and bubbles start to rise when you gently tap the jar, the rejuvelac is ready. (1-2 days, depending on temperature)

5.) Drain liquid through the cheesecloth into another clean container and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Discard/compost sprouted wheatberries.

 

Vegan Cheddar Recipe (from workshop demo)

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp agar agar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  1. Lightly grease your cheese mold.  Alternatively, use a springform pan or line a bowl with plastic wrap.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except for vinegar) in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.  Whisk continuously
  4. When the mixture begins to thicken (pulls away from the saucepan), stir in the vinegar.  Remove from heat immediately.
  5. Transfer the mixture to your mold of choice and refrigerate, uncovered for 7-8 hours or overnight.  
  6. In the morning, remove your cheese from the mold, place it upside down on a plate, and refrigerate again for another 4-6 hours.  This will expose the other sides to the cold refrigerator air.
  7. Slice and serve! 

    *Note: To store, wrap in paper towel and then a plastic bag to maintain freshness and remove excess moisture. 
 

Vegan Goat Cheese/Chevre (from workshop demo)

Makes 2 large logs

  • 2 cups unsalted unroasted almonds, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar

1.) Take the skins off all the almonds.

2.) In a high powered blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Mixture will be thick. 

3.) Place half the contents of blender onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over cheese on both sides and roll into a log. Repeat with remaining cheese mixture. Once formed, twist the ends of the plastic wrap like a tootsie-roll and refrigerate overnight.

4.) In the morning, unwrap and cover with herbs (I like equal parts oregano, parsley, basil, sage, and salt), peppercorns, cranberries, walnuts, or any other topping you desire! Rewrap and refrigerate for another couple hours. 

Store refrigerated for up to 2-3 weeks.

 

Vegan Buffalo-Style Mozzarella (from workshop demo)-AGAR AGAR VERSION

  • 1 cup raw (unroasted/unsalted) cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3  1/2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

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  • 1/2 cup water (separate from above)
  • 3 tsp agar agar powder
  • 1 bowl of cold ice water
  • plastic wrap

1.) Add all ingredients (except for 1/2 cup water and agar agar) to a blender.  Blend until smooth and liquidy.

2.) In a small saucepan, dissolve agar agar in 1/2 cup water.  Put over medium-low heat and whisk frequently until it gels.

3.) Meanwhile, prepare your plastic wrap by laying out 6-8 rectangles.  

4.) When the agar mixture has thickened up, add the contents from the blender and whisk to combine.  Continue to whisk until it begins to thicken.  Once its becoming noticeably thick, use a spatula to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan. 

5.) When the mixture resembles a thick "goo," remove from heat and use a cookie or ice cream scoop (or large spoon) to drop golfball size dollops in the middle of the plastic wrap

6.) Working quickly, fold over both sides of the plastic wrap to completely cover the cheese mixture ,and then twist the sides so it makes the cheese mixture come together in a ball form.  Twist tightly. 

7.) Drop each ball of mozzarella into the cold bowl of water.  Continue until all mozzarella is used.

8.) Let cool in the ice water for 30-45 minutes.  Unwrap the mozzarella and store in fresh water or salted water brine.  Don't make it too salty or the salt will soak into the cheese and will alter the flavor.  

Store refrigerated for up to 4-5 weeks!

 

Vegan Buffalo-Style Mozzarella (from workshop demo)-Carrageenan VERSION

  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 5 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp kappa carrageenan
  • 5 tbsp refined coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (optional)

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  • 1 bowl of cold ice water
  • plastic wrap

1.) Add all ingredients to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  

2.) Pour mixture into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.

3.) Meanwhile, prepare your plastic wrap by laying out 6-8 rectangles.  

4.) Continue to whisk cheese mixture until it begins to thicken.  Once its becoming noticeably thick, use a spatula to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pot. 

5.) When the mixture resembles a thick "goo," remove from heat and use a cookie or ice cream scoop (or large spoon) to drop golfball size dollops in the middle of the plastic wrap

6.) Working quickly, fold over both sides of the plastic wrap to completely cover the cheese mixture ,and then twist the sides so it makes the cheese mixture come together in a ball form.  Twist tightly. 

7.) Drop each ball of mozzarella into the cold bowl of water.  Continue until all mozzarella is used.

8.) Let cool in the ice water for 30-45 minutes.  Unwrap the mozzarella and store in fresh water or salted water brine.  Don't make it too salty or the salt will soak into the cheese and will alter the flavor.  

Store refrigerated for up to 4-5 weeks!

 

Vegan Pepperjack

  • 1 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp kappa carrageenan powder
  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 2 small jalapeños
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

1.) Chop one of the jalapeños into small pieces and set aside.

2.) Place all ingredients in a blender, except for the acids (vinegar and lemon juice) and the chopped jalapeño.  Blend on high to thoroughly combine.  Taste mixture to determine spiciness. If you prefer a spicier cheese, add a bit more jalapeño or red pepper flakes and blend again.

3.) Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and heat over medium heat.  Continually stir the mixture with a flexible spatula so it doesn't stick to the bottom.

4.) When the mixture resembles a thick "goo," remove from heat.  Stir in the acids and chopped jalapeño pieces.

5.) Pour into a prepared mold (lined with wax paper or plastic wrap).  Let cool for 30 minutes, and then refrigerate for 6-8 hours to set. 

6.) Slice into cubes and serve! Store extras in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. 

 

Vegan Dill Havarti

  • 1 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp kappa carrageenan powder
  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 2-3 tbsp dill (fresh preferred, but 1-2 tbsp dried works too)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

1.) Place all ingredients in a blender, except for the acids (vinegar and lemon juice) and dill.  Blend on high to thoroughly combine.  

2.) Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and heat over medium heat.  Continually stir the mixture with a flexible spatula so it doesn't stick to the bottom.

3.) When the mixture resembles a thick "goo," remove from heat.  Stir in the acids and dill.

4.) Pour into a prepared mold (lined with wax paper or plastic wrap).  Let cool for 30 minutes, and then refrigerate for 6-8 hours to set. 

5.) Slice into cubes and serve! Store extras in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.