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Digital Subscriptions > PlantBased > Sep-17 > Cheesus!

Cheesus!

Four delicious ways to master vegan cheese in the kitchen

Ask the majority of vegans, one thing that is dearly missed when opting for the plant-based life is cheese. Recreating the creamy, tangy and sometimes stringy food without using dairy can be a tricky art. In fact, most of the vegan cheese you can buy off the shelves in supermarkets tastes too much like feet (yes, really) or nothing like cheese at all, so we’d rather go without. And this is mainly because a lot of varieties of plant-based cheese sold at shops are highly processed. The big difference between “real cheese” and vegan cheese is the way in which they are made. “Real cheese” goes through stages where the proteins physically bond to each other, which is why you can get so many different unique flavours and textures by aging the cheese. Plant-based cheese proteins get modified differently, if at all, and this is the reason that you can’t taste the same strong and unique flavours.

However, there is a way you can feed your cheesy cravings without having to depend on brands and recipes which use soy protein and other excessive factory-extruded processed ingredients. Get in the kitchen and learn how to create your favourite tangy or mild flavours yourself. Innovation in the plantbased cheese industry is happening — using traditional cheese aging and bacterial culturing methods to make vegan cheeses with only a few ingredients like nut milks, enzymes, salt and nutritional yeast can really transform your vegan cheese experience. From nacho cheese to mozzarella and cashew ricotta — we’ve chosen four delicious dishes to kick start your homemade plant-based cheese making.

MOZZARELLA

This delicate vegan mozzarella, like its fresh dairy counterpart, is moist, soft, and easily melts. Make a lovely Caprese salad with fresh basil and tomatoes, or try it with a plate of delicious grilled vegetables.

Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

Variations:

For a delicious variation, put mozzarella balls in a clear jar and top with extra-virgin olive oil infused with garlic and herbs. This makes a wonderful last-minute appetiser and can be a lovely hostess gift. Vary the herbs with the season to maximise the variety of colours and flavours.

For the cheese:

• 250g (1 cup) plain non-dairy, soy-free yogurt

• 150g (1 cup) raw cashews, soaked, rinsed, and drained

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About PlantBased

First things first — I hope you’re having an incredible summer. Just because autumn is on the horizon don’t stop enjoying every moment that is left to enjoy the Great British outdoors. There’s something about the later part of summer that makes me want to gather my friends and family around a campfire to enjoy an array of toasted treats and fire roasted foods. Whether it’s at the beach or outside your back door, sitting beneath the stars as another summer day draws to an end can feel euphoric. Before long we will all be wrapped up in winter coats and wishing that we could relive those special summer moments. So to encourage you to set up camp, sing some of your favourite songs, toast some tempeh skewers and dig into some gooey s’mores we’ve a whole collection of recipes dedicated to cooking fireside. In this issue we’ve taken a closer look at the sweet potato and the multiple ways it is used in the kitchen beyond its original potato format. Don’t knock it, until you’ve tried. Trust me. In between all the sweet and indulgent treats (there’s a lot of them), we’ve also delved into the nutritional side of following a plant-based diet in a bid to highlight that the benefits of eating plants isn’t just to enhance the health of the planet — but us too. From an in-depth interview with The Plant Powered Personal Trainer (aka Adam Stansbury), to Food for Thought with Heather Mills and a one-on-one chat with the blogger Laura-Jane Koers about her latest cookbook — we want to transform negative connotations associated with vegan nutrition. Plus, we’ve dedicated this month’s Special Report to vegan pregnancy, whilst our Nutritionist’s Notebook explores the notorious super veg, avocado. Oh, and whilst we are on the topic of superfoods, we’ve put together an ultimate healthy and wholesome grain breakfast guide packed with ancient oat recipes (including chia). Enjoy the issue. And enjoy the last of the warm summer sun.
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