Ultra Cheddar Vegan Nut Cheese

Sometimes I want a mild, delicate cheese with a creamy texture that politely compliments its surroundings. However, other times I want a bold, robust cheese that stands on its own and happily becomes the life of the party.

I was really inspired by the flavors my son prefers.  As a little boy he wants the mac n’ cheese, quesadillas and pizza everyone else his age enjoys.  But as a mom, I know he will grow to be a gentleman who will want a spicy cheese to crumble on top of his chili, melt over his nachos or dip with his friends in a savory fondue.  And let’s face it, the only reason I ever started making vegan cheese was this little boy child of mine that I love to smithereens. It makes sense that he gets the number one vote on how tasty a cheese is.

With that in mind I created an Ultra cheddar that’s delicious, great with mix-ins and super extra cheesy.  Perfect for now and adaptable for a life time of dairy free cheese enjoyment.

Most of all, my kiddo loves it!

Let’s begin with the following ingredients:

1 ½ c water
5 T agar agar flakes

3 c soaked cashews
2 – 3 cloves garlic

3 T lemon juice
2 T tahini
2 T chick pea miso (soy miso if tolerated)

1 c nutritional yeast flakes
2 t granulated onion
1 T paprika
½ t dry mustard
¼ t kosher salt (optional)

Oiled cheese container with lid

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All the parts for making cheese.

Let’s get to it:

1) In a sauce pan combine water and agar agar. Mix and let bloom while the other steps are completed.

2) Add cashews and garlic in food processor or blender and wiz into small pieces.

3) Add lemon juice, tahini, miso, nutritional yeast flakes, granulated onion, paprika, dry mustard and kosher salt. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse peanut butter.

4) Bring the bloomed agar agar mixture to a boil. Whisk continuously as you bring the temp to medium.  Continue to whisk and simmer until the liquid forms glossy bubbles and turns a light golden brown color.

5) Pour the agar agar into the processor and blend with the nut mixture until smooth. Be sure to scrape down sides to ensure all is incorporated.

6) Pour the cheese mixture into the pre oiled container. Work quickly as the agar agar will begin to set right away.

7) Cheese stays happily in the frig for a week and a half in a covered container.  Ours is consumed pretty quickly so I can’t vouch for longer than that.

*I have made two loaves at the same time.  One to use and one for the freezer.  This cheese is easier to grate when partially frozen.  Once defrosted it slices and behaves normally.  I should do myself a favor and make two more often; it was nice to have a back up ready to go.*

Voila!  Deliciousness accomplished.
Voila! Deliciousness accomplished.

Some fun add ins to this ultra cheddar nut cheese are:

2 T chili powder = nacho cheese flavor
2 T Italian seasoning = cheese pizza flavor
1 T pepper flakes = zesty cheese flavor

Happy cheese making.

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