Vegan Cheddar Block Cheese
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1-2 hours
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons white miso paste (for umami flavor)
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (for color and flavor)
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons agar powder (for firmness)
Drain the soaked cashews and rinse them thoroughly under cold water.
In a blender, combine the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, white miso paste, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, turmeric, and ground mustard powder. Blend until smooth.
In a small bowl, whisk the agar powder into the water until well combined.
Pour the agar mixture into a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the agar is fully dissolved.
While stirring, slowly pour the cashew mixture into the saucepan with the agar mixture. Stir constantly to combine the two mixtures thoroughly.
Cook the mixture over low heat for an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously. It should thicken and become glossy.
Line a mold or a small rectangular container with plastic wrap. Pour the cheese mixture into the mold and smooth the top.
Allow the cheese to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then transfer it to the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
Once the cheese is set, carefully remove it from the mold. It should be firm enough to slice or grate.
Store the vegan cheddar block cheese in the refrigerator. It can be sliced for sandwiches, grated for toppings, or used in various recipes.
Please note that homemade vegan cheeses might not have the exact taste and texture of dairy-based cheeses, but they can be a delightful and flavorful addition to your plant-based meals. Feel free to adjust the seasonings and ingredients to match your preferences.