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Mold Your Own Delicious Vegan Cheese

Learn how to make non-dairy cheese using plant-based ingredients and fermentation techniques.

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by Getty Images/corners74
Vegan cheese, which can be made with various nuts and seeds, is a delicious spread for crackers.

I love cheese. I love the savory, salty flavors and the creamy textures. I love how it pairs with a diverse variety of foods, from fruits and crackers to vegetable crudités and antipasto. I’m far more likely to crave cheese than any other food. What I don’t love, however, is how cheese makes me feel — at least the standard variety of dairy cheeses. I’m not just lactose intolerant, I’m allergic to dairy products.

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Image by Michelle Schoffro Cook

This recipe for World’s Easiest Vegan Cashew Yogurt Cheese starts with a batch of quality yogurt.

World’s Easiest Vegan Cashew Yogurt Cheese Recipe

As a nutritionist and doctor of natural medicine, I used to console myself with the notion that most dairy products aren’t healthy options for a wide variety of reasons. But, once I applied fermentation techniques I learned over the years to nuts and seeds, I realized I could create delicious, creamy, and versatile cheeses that were completely free of dairy products. Now I don’t have to live without cheese, I just have to focus my attention and diet on vegan options. Fortunately, these options are many, and each offers a wealth of unique and amazing flavors to draw upon.

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Image by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Dairy-free Walnut Thyme Vegan Cheese has a salty and savory flavor and a rich, buttery texture.

Walnut Thyme Vegan Cheese Recipe

Excited by my new discovery, I began experimenting with vegan “cheeses” made from almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. I explored the addition of herbs, specific probiotic cultures (there are many different types of probiotic powders available, so I was sure to choose dairy-free options), smoked salt, and other flavor enhancers. Then I began aging my “cheeses,” which helped them to develop sharper flavors, harder textures, and the rinds we expect only on dairy cheeses. Unlike many commercially available dairy cheeses, however, these plant-based options include a wide variety of health-boosting probiotics. By eating them, not only will you avoid the challenges and allergens associated with eating dairy products, you’ll also be giving your health a big boost. And, unlike many of the rubbery faux cheeses on the market, these homemade vegan cheeses have silky textures and a range of flavors to suit even the most discriminating palates.

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Image by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Sauerkraut brine is the starter culture in this plant-based Aged ‘Savorella’ Vegan Cheese recipe.

Aged ‘Savorella’ Vegan Cheese Recipe

I use a Canadian probiotic product, which isn’t available in the United States. However, there are many other vegan probiotics on the market, including some that are dairy-free, and all will work fine, as they all contain the most critical strains of bacteria, which include L. acidophilus and B. bifidum.

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Image by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Vegan ‘Bracotta’ Cheese is slightly sweet and slightly savory, with a somewhat crumbly texture, and has the distinct flavor of Brazil nuts.

Vegan ‘Bracotta’ Cheese Recipe

Dairy-free cheese recipes to try:


Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, is the international best-selling author of The Cultured Cook and 60 Seconds to Slim. Visit her blog, Dr. Michelle Cook.

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Allergy-Free Alternatives

Detailing everything you need to begin fermenting in your home kitchen, The Cultured Cook offers recipes and tips for making vegan, gluten-free foods even better for you. From delicious plant-based yogurt and cheese, to basics such as sauerkraut, pickles, and kombucha, to tempting desserts (even ice cream!), you’ll discover ways to add fermented foods to every meal. Your body will enjoy the benefits of probiotics, as well as the increasingly recognized prebiotics, to supercharge your health.
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Published on Feb 15, 2019

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