|Tags:||Gluten free, Holidays, Quick recipes|
|Time:||Preparation time , cooking time , total time|
|Serves:||400 gram / 1 pound|
I used to love blue cheese before I went vegan, so I really wanted to make a vegan version which has the same creamy texture and deeply savory, tangy flavor. I tried a lot of recipes, including a few with fermented tofu from the Chinese grocery which I could not bring myself to eat. Eventually the fermented tofu got thrown out and that was the end of my experiments for a while.
The blue cheese itch was still there though, so eventually I tried again, this time without any exotic ingredients. Beyond all expectations, it was a succes! It doesn't taste exactly like a real moldy blue, but it does a good job at filling that tangy, creamy, savory hole in my life. Even the color is a little blue-greenish, thanks to the pumpkin seeds. You sprinkle in some spirulina powder to make the color even more life-like.
This is quite a simple recipe. You just need a foodprocessor or strong blender to puree the pumpkin seeds. Mix all the ingredients, pour the mixture into a container and put it into the fridge to firm up. Super easy!
This is actually a double recipe. You can make the cheese as a lower-calorie spread, or you can add coconut oil to make it into a firm slice-able block. Both versions are can be spread on crackers and used in salads, casseroles and on pizza.
- 1/2 cup (70 g) unroasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vinegar or lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or a small clove of fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 200 gram (7 oz) firm tofu
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup (80-120 ml) neutral tasting coconut oil (optional)
For a firm block cheese
Put the pumpkin seeds in the jar of your foodprocessor or blender together with all the other ingredients except for the tofu and coconut oil. You can let this soak for a bit if your machine isn't very strong. Puree the pumpkin seeds and liquid into a smooth cream.
Cut the tofu in slices and press out the nasty tasting excess liquid with a clean tea towel. Melt the coconut oil. Add the tofu and coconut oil to the pumpkin seed mixture in the blender and puree again, until everything is blended into a homogeneous mass.
Test the cheese to see if the flavor is strong enough for your taste and add some more flavorings if you like. Take into account that the taste will mellow down a bit when the cheese has had time to cool down and firm up.
Cover a cheese mold (like a bowl or other round container) with plastic wrap and pour the cheese mixture into it. Cover the mold with foil or a lid and put it in the fridge for at least 8 hours to firm up. If you are in a hurry, 2 to 3 hours in the freezer will also do the trick.
In the fridge the cheese will keep for at least a weak. In the freezer it will last for several months.
For a lower calorie spread
Put the pumpkin seeds in the jar of your foodprocessor or blender together with all the other ingredients except for the tofu (and the coconut oil which you will not use in this version). You can let this soak for a bit if your machine isn't very strong. Puree the pumpkin seeds and liquid into a smooth cream.
Cut the tofu in slices and press out the nasty tasting excess liquid with a clean tea towel. Crumble the tofu with your hands use a fork to mash it into the pumpkin seed cream. Put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors can meld. This cheese will keep in the fridge for at least five days. You can probably freeze it too, although the texture might change a bit.
Sorry for the carby crackers in this picture! You can eat this cheese on a lowcarb crackers or as a dip for vegetables.