Monday, April 21, 2014

Vegan Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Review!

When I first went vegan (almost a year ago!) I just figured that I would never eat cheese, yogurt or meat again.  I was just trying to survive and put edible food on the dinner table and never considered that there might be a whole world of faux meat, vegan cheeses and non-dairy yogurt available to me! While it might have been nice to know such a world existed, I'm actually glad that I had to tough it out and learn the basics first. 

After a while, I didn't botched dinner as often and I was starting to get comfortable with the basics. That's when I really began to scour Pinterest and vegan cooking blogs for some new recipes to try. I couldn't believe the resourcefulness and creativity I found. Who knew you could make cheese cake from cashews? Or make your own homemade non-dairy yogurt? 

I was so excited to start experimenting! I decided that cheese would be a fun thing to start with and it would be great to have for veggie sandwiches or just to spread on crackers. I came across a recipe for an Extra Sharp Raw Cheddar Vegan Cheese Ball from Somer McCowan's blog Vedged Out and I knew it would soon be my first attempt at vegan cheese.

The ingredient list was kind of intimidating at first, but I actually had everything the recipe called for. I decided that I would halve the recipe just in case I didn't like it. The process is simple as pie. Other than having to plan ahead to allow your cashews to soak for a few hours, you mainly just throw all of the ingredients in a food processor and let it do the work. 

The first time I made it, I would sneak a taste every time I would stop the processor to scrape down the sides. Right away I loved the flavor. It wasn't a familiar flavor, but it was delicious...and addicting! It's rich and creamy and full of flavor. You can definitely taste the coconut oil, but I like it that way. 

Speaking of coconut oil, the one thing I wasn't too crazy about was the amount of oil the recipe called for. I decided to do everything the recipe said and was happy with the result, but I knew the next time I made it I would try to cut out some of the oil and see what would happen.

The second time I made it I used half of the oil and instead of forming a ball, I pushed the "cheese" into a small, square tupperware container in hopes that it would end up looking more like a block of cheese instead of a cheese ball. It worked perfectly and turned out great even with half the oil!  Because the large amount of coconut oil is what makes this cheese ball remain a ball, using half of the oil allowed it to be more spreadable and easy to cut. Score!

This cheese is a must try. It is officially a staple in our house and even my meat and cheese eating husband loves it! We eat it with Homemade Rosemary Wheat Thins often and I've even used it to make grilled cheese.

If you have or know of any vegan cheese recipes that you like, send them my way!

Eat Consciously,


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! I always love hearing from my readers!