I made a special trip to the produce store to buy raw cashews yesterday, but they were out. Still determined to make cheese that night, I decided to move on to plan B and use cauliflower instead. I've used it in cream sauces before, and it always turns out delicious. Cauliflower has a neutral flavor, so it picks up the flavors well. I also used a little sweet potato to add more depth in flavors. Another benefit to using cauliflower is that it's better on the budget than raw cashews, which generally cost an arm and a leg to buy, so it's not as scary to experiment.
This cheese grates and melts. I just used it to make a grilled cheese sandwich on ciabatta bread, and it was super delicious. This doesn't taste exactly like cheddar cheese, but it's definitely a good substitute. I'm waiting for rejuvelac to come in. I ordered it on Amazon yesterday. My next goal is to make something that tastes almost exactly like dairy cheese, and I've heard that because rejuvelac has a sour, fermented flavor, it generally does the trick. Be looking out for that recipe in the near future. I'm excited to try it out!
2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup sweet potato, cubed
1 cup water
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond or soy milk
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tbsp. sauerkraut
1 tbsp. tahini
1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
4 tsp. agar powder
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. garlic powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of cumin
Dash of turmeric
Makes about 3 cups of vegan cheese.
1. Bring the cauliflower, garlic, and sweet potato to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil for 18 to 20 minutes. Drain, and return to pan.
2. Next, stir in 1 tsp. of salt, the garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, and turmeric.
3. Add the cauliflower mixture and the sauerkraut to your food processor. Add the almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Pulse until smooth, scraping the mixture off the sides as necessary.
4. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and agar powder to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, whisking almost constantly.
5. Once the agar mixture is ready, pour it into the food processor and process until a smooth and creamy mixture has formed.
6. Grease a bowl or container, and pour the cheese mixture into it. Let it cool on the counter for at least 15 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.
*(Do not use So Delicious Brand Almond or Soy Milk - for whatever reason, it doesn't turn out well when cooked).