So, the first batch of the vegan bleu cheese was a success. It melts, is so delicious (on pretty much everything), and is far cheaper to make than the gourmet and less gourmet cheese alternatives out there.
Recently we spent $14.00 for a nut based gourmet “cheese”. It wasn’t bad and the cost was only justified in order to feel the texture and flavor they accomplished.
I do that…memorize (in a sense) texture and flavor so I can recreate it either through imagination or otherwise.
On the counter is another batch and in the fridge is a batch of sharp cheddar. There are soy milk based cheeses in this book, but I can’t bear to do them yet. I don’t want to buy pre-made soy milk because I want to make my own.
I am not quite ready to take that plunge. Often I spot something new and then stall for long periods of time. It’s like getting into water for me. I love to swim, love the water, but hate getting wet. The pressure canner sat on a shelf for over a year before it was finally used. And it wasn’t even hard.
My sister recently
said taunted me because I took a long time to finally get past my knees in the river. She said I was a wimp if I didn’t do it and that it wasn’t really a vacation if I didn’t get my head wet.
Eventually I come around and making soy milk is supposed to be easy. I did get my head wet in that river and then didn’t want to come out.
Some would be daunted by the idea of vegan cheese or fermenting at home. I embrace both for several reasons. First, fermented means gut-friendly bacteria. That means healthier everything and it’s so easy! Vegan means I can eat it without getting sick since it’s non-dairy (as long as it’s also gluten-free).
Pre-made foods are expensive, have ingredients I can’t control, and made in an environment I also cannot control. When I make things at home, I can source my ingredients to my standards and specifications, ensure the food is safe for me to eat (no cross contamination possibilities), and I get the pleasure of doing it myself. In addition, I can change things up and then invent my own recipes if I deem it necessary or an improvement over the original.
So, I just finished making a cashew-based bleu cheese and am in the process of making a sharp cheddar now. The bleu is amazing! I love it and think that I could likely fool a lot of people if I were to incorporate it into a salad, etc. Now, if you are allergic to tree nuts, I apologize. I do not know how to solve that one yet, but if I ever figure it out, I will make that available. You could always experiment. The worst thing that could happen is that it wouldn’t work or have a pleasant taste. That’s a common experience for any adventurous person in a kitchen.
So, using this book and this recipe for making the Rejuvelac before you start the process is where to start. Basic skills are sprouting, rinsing, using a food processor, using a blender (High speed is best…not sure if a regular blender is enough, but I bet an immersion blender could get the job done if you can’t afford a Vitamix.) Give yourself about 10 days total for the process. That is time intensive because of the fermentation, not because it’s a lot of work. It actually isn’t much work at all.