Bread and cheese… hard to imagine life without them, right? Some have to, and some choose to, and although I wouldn’t consider myself a vegan or in need of gluten-free diet I do like to indulge my body with delicious wheat-free and dairy-free alternatives to counterbalance their dominance in our everyday diet.
After founding a great recipe of low carb bread in the fabulous lifestyle blog The Londoner some years ago, I realised that there are great alternatives to bread (and yes, it will never taste the same but it might taste even better!). A combination of grounded linseed, almonds and eggs that result in a strangely light and tasty bread.
On the other side, my quest to find a dairy-free substitute for cheese has ended in disappointment after disappointment (and yes, I’ve tried several of the brands in the market… not my cup of tea…), until I found this recipe in an old american vegan cooking book, in a local book sale.
This is undoubtedly the best alternative to cheese I have ever tasted and I would totally recommend you give it a try. Some of the ingredients might not seem familiar but they are actually easily accessible when you know where to look for… just follow my hints!
- 3 tablespoons of agar flakes (I usually buy pressed and dry agar-agar in asian/chinese shops and blend it in a blender; same thing but much cheaper that in healthy shop)
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of onion granules (can only find it in big supermarket chains)
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic granules
- 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes (you can buy it in any health shop or even online at amazon or ebay; it might look expensive but a box goes a long way, and not only yeast is super-healthy and full of B vitamins it has a pleasant cheesy taste; lovely addition to soups and salads)
- 2 tablespoons of diced red bell pepper (optional; can be omitted to get white cheese instead)
- Boil together the agar and water for around 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put all the other ingredients in a blender: cashews
- …red bell pepper …
- … nutritional yeast, salt
- … and garlic and onion granules.
- Pour the agar-water mixture in the blender and blend for 2 minutes or until very smooth.
- Pour the mixture into containers (I use cereal bowls to get that nice round shape) and you have two options on how to keep it. You can freeze it for at least a couple of hours and you will be able to slice it and grate it more like a real cheese, or you can leave it in the fridge to solidify and use it as a spread.
Et voilá… delicious, healthy and easy-peasy. Enjoy!