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Dairy Free Cheddar Cheese
Good news for cheese lovers!
If you have been advised to avoid dairy products or you have made a conscious decision to eliminate harmful ingredients from your diet, you will be happy to know that you can make your own dairy-free, gluten-free, soy free, casein-free cheese. This cheese has a sharp cheddar flavor and can be grated or sliced to replace cheddar cheese in all your favorite recipes. It's also great alone or with crackers. Many of the ingredients in this recipe can be found in your local grocery store. Nutritional yeast, Agar Agar and Bragg's Liquid Aminos can be found online as well as your local health food store. Prepare to invest about an hour (the first time) to do this right, but I guarantee you it is well worth it.
Allergy warning: This recipe is made with nuts.
- 2 cups distilled water
- 2 tbsp. Agar powder, (double the amount for Agar Agar flakes)
- 2 tbsp. coconut, olive or canola oil
- 1-1/2 cups blanched, slivered almonds
- 1 cup nutritional yeast flakes, (or 1/2 cup powder)
- 1/4 cup Tahini, (recipe below)
- 1 tbsp. gluten free flour
- 3 tbsp. liquefied red peppers, (or tomato paste)
- 1 lemon, squeezed (no pulp, seeds, skin or concentrate)
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1tbsp. seasoned salt, (my own blend includes chili pepper, paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, white pepper)
- TAHINI RECIPE:
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp. sesame, canola or olive oil
- 3 tbsp. distilled water
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce, (or Miso or Worcestershire sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a small loaf pan (avoid aluminum if possible). Set aside.
- Prepare Tahini: Spread 1 tbsp. sesame seeds evenly on a baking sheet. Bake seeds until they are light brown and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Remove from oven. Allow seeds to cool. Blend toasted sesame seeds in a blender or food processor until it is like powder. Mix salt, oil, soy sauce and water together. With motor still running, pour in liquid mixture in a slow, steady stream and blend until smooth. Makes about 1/4 cup. Turn off oven. Set aside.
- Puree' bell pepper in blender or food processor. Set aside.
- Juice 1 lemon and strain (no pulp, seeds or skin). Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, mix the agar flakes and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Add oil. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally while you blend remaining ingredients in the blender.
- Use blender or food processor to blend almonds into a paste. Add the Tahini, flour and nutritional yeast. Process until the mixture is like dough. Add the red pepper, lemon, onion powder and salt and blend until thoroughly combined.
- Agar should be like thick syrup. Immediately pour into the food processor. Process all ingredients until smooth like cake batter. Add remaining ½ cup of water. If mixture is too thick, add more water 1 tbsp. at a time until mixture is like a cheese sauce.
- Pour mixture into loaf pan, scraping sides of blender or food processor with a spatula or spoon. Let cool uncovered for at least 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- To remove cheese, turn loaf pan upside down into a plastic container. Cheese should slide out. Cover container with lid and refrigerate. Use whenever you want cheddar cheese. Best if consumed within 7-10 days.