Spread it on Thick

Dear readers, I have a confession; I’ve been holding out on you. Almost a year ago now, I made the most incredible discovery while playing around in the kitchen, adored the results… And failed to post about it. I meant to, truly I did! But then there were holidays, events, and other time-sensitive materials to talk about – You know how it is – And that recipe sat on the far corner of my computer’s hard drive, gathering dust.

Well, you remember that demo I was preparing for recently? Somehow while gabbing a bit about recipes, that very experiment came to mind, and all of a sudden I realized the injustice committed by leaving it off the blog. Promising to post it asap to all those in attendance, now seems as good a time as ever to share: It’s possible to make truly delicious vegan cheese, and not just some nut- or seed- based concoction, but something made in a more traditional way.

Cheese making is certainly a whole separate craft from other food prep, and few people take the time to learn it these days. Doing just a little bit of research online, however, provides an abundance of information and insight, and much of it is surprisingly easy to veganize! This simple spread that was a first step into this broad and fascinating world, but there’s just so much potential for vegan cheeses, it’s a shame not to continue pressing further.

There is one trick to this procedure; While I usually don’t like writing recipes that require one particular brand of soy or non-dairy milk when there are so many options out there, for this one, I must insist that you use Organic Edensoy Original. Why? It’s all in the protein and fat content, and it most closely resembles that of whole milk of any vegan option I’ve found yet. The nutritional composition is extremely important in cheese making, so while it’s possible that there are other brands that would work, I’m not sure that it would work quite as well.

And if you aren’t so keen on this spread, what would you think about vegan cottage cheese? Even easier yet, just stop after draining out the whey and serve! Now that’s one dairy-alternative that I have yet to see hit store shelves.

Vegan Cottage Cheese

1 Quart Organic Edensoy Original
1/2 Cup Plain Soy Creamer
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Before you begin, line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl.

Combine the soymilk, soy creamer, and salt in a medium pot. Set it over moderate heat, and bring it to a steady simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent it from scalding. Pour in the lemon juice and vinegar and stir briefly to incorporate. Allow the contents of the pot to cook for 1 minute undisturbed, and then stir gently for one more minute. Stop stirring for one or two more minutes; It should begin to look curdled, and the liquid will start separating into curds and whey.

Pour everything into your prepared strainer. Transfer the whey (liquid) into another bowl or pitcher, and DON’T TOSS THIS OUT! It may not seem all that appealing, but it has tons of protein and there are many other uses for it. In fact, stay tuned for more on this later…

Let the curds continue to drain for 1 hour at room temperature before scraping them out of the cheesecloth and refrigerating in an air-tight container.

Makes about 1 Cup

Vegan Cheese Spread

1 Recipe Cottage Cheese (above)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Tumeric
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

Simply mash everything together with a fork and enjoy!