Inspired by eatplant-based.com
This yummy dairy free cheese is soft, but sliceable, and can even be grated. It is much lighter than most vegan cheeses which are mainly nut-based, and contain coconut oil, a saturated fat. The cheese can be made in less than 40 minutes. If desired, skip the last step and enjoy it as a delicious cheese sauce.
Cheese molds: Have ready mini loaf pans or 4”-5” round molds that will hold a total of 1 quart of cheese. Line with parchment paper (or waxed paper) on the bottom to help with an easy release when inverted.
• In a medium pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onion to the pot and allow to cook until the vegetables are tender, approximately 15-20 minutes.
• When the vegetables are tender, drain over a bowl to save at least 1 ½ cup of cooking broth. Into a blender container place the vegetables, 1 cup of vegetable broth, and the remaining ingredients except the last two ingredients: 1 cup water and 3 tablespoons agar-agar. [At this point this can be used as a cheese sauce and stored in the refrigerator for that use. Thin with a bit more broth if desired. Makes about 1 qt.]
• Blend to a smooth consistency. Leave in the cheese sauce blender container while you make the agar-agar thickener. Or if happy with the consistency, store as cheese sauce.
• In a small saucepan, place 1 cup water, whisk in 3 tablespoons agar powder, and bring to a boil. It is important not to leave it at this point because it thickens quickly.
• Turn down the heat to low and whisk continually until the mixture thickens to a molasses-like consistency.
• Quickly pour the thickener into the blender with the cheese sauce and blend for approximately 30 seconds to mix it well, scraping down the sides at least once.
• Pour the cheese mixture into prepared molds. Smooth out the top of each mold which will end up as the bottom of the cheese.
• Place the molds in the refrigerator for 8 hours or more. The longer the better. I like my vegan cheese to sit a day or two, or a week to marry the flavors. Even a week or more.
• When ready to serve, run a knife along the edges and turn onto a plate or cheese board and peel off the parchment paper before serving.
• Serve with varied crackers, sliced vegetables like jicama, and fruit, like apple slices. Grapes always dress up a cheese platter and add a refreshing burst of flavor.
Note: To add interest, I dusted the cheese with my favorite seasoning mix, and have varied this for different occasions.