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Have You Tried Any High MCT Coconut Milk Cheeses Yet?

How To Get Your Cheese Fix In A Healthier Way! Climate change is going to force us to change the way we eat and what we eat to things that sustain the ecosystem case in point Vegan Cheese!

GOT ANY CHEESE!

Dairy cheese produces significantly higher output of greenhouse gas and "Eutrophying Emissions" (increased growth of potentially harmful micro-organisms) than dairy-free cheese does, and it requires far more land and water. Compared to dairy cheeses, the vegan cheese alternatives are lower in salt but higher in healthy fats due to their coconut oil and MCT oil content! Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain cholesterol. Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which remains America's top killer. Cheese is especially dangerous.


Vegan cheeses are improving everyday with some brands eclipsing milkfat brands in popularity for their health benefits and taste appeal! The best of these brands are made with coconut milk! There are many different methods of making vegan cheeses, but most vegan chefs agree the richest and creamiest vegan cheese is made from a can of full-fat coconut milk. You could use other plant-based milk instead or even cashew cream, but the coconut milk gives it the rich creamy texture that most crave in cheese. (Coconut cream also works well.)


HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHEESE?

Agar Agar Powder - to make the cheese firm. This is a vegan gelatin that comes in the form of a powder. I get mine for a good price at my local Asian market or they also sell it at many natural foods stores. (If you can not find the powder, you can use agar agar flakes, but you will need to triple the amount of flakes and use 6 tbsp in total). You can also use Kapa carrageenan instead of agar agar powder in equal amounts. They both come from red algae but different species. Agar, Agar also known as just 'agar', is a mix of carbohydrates extracted from seaweed, specifically red sea algae. It is a vegetarian alternate to gelatin. It is also helpful culinary ingredient in vegan cheese and can be used to thicken soups, make jams and jellies, custards, ice creams and other desserts that need to gelatinize and set.


Nutritional Yeast - for a cheesy flavor. This is a flaky yellow powder that has an umami flavor. This is what will make your vegan recipe taste like cheese, so don’t skip it. Lemon Juice is also a staple for flavor and acidity. You can also use apple cider vinegar instead. This gives your cheese just a little bite.


Tapioca Starch - aka tapioca flour is used to make the vegan cheese able to melt and stretch. (Only use for the meltable variation). The amount of tapioca starch needed varies but too little will need high heat to melt, and anything more than the recommended amount will be too soft to grate or slice. *You can't use any starch to get the same stretchy effect as tapioca starch. Only tapioca starch will let your cheese melt and stretch similarly to real cheese. Tapioca is starch obtained from the root of cassava, a plant that mostly grows underground (like a potato). In many parts of the world, it's a food staple. Cassava is a native vegetable of South America and grows in tropical and subtropical regions. Tapioca is high in carbs and calories, so it is not a traditionally healthful food. However, it can help a person meet the recommended daily allowance of several important nutrients.


The essential ingredients of hard or firm vegan cheeses includes the aforementioned natural agents such as agar, carrageenan, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum. The manufacturing process of fermentation is often used to replicate dairy cheese texture and flavor. The most commonly used ingredients include plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, agar agar, tapioca starch, coconut oil, cashews, and chickpea flour. Some chefs use Olive brine as this adds an aged tang to the cheese, and garlic and sea salt are also popular flavor enhancers.


These products usually have higher levels of protein and lower levels of sodium and saturated fat than other types of vegan cheese. Below is Mic theory's Special Gourmet Vegan cheese recipe!


INGREDIENTS:

1 can of full fat coconut milk or cream

2 tablespoons agar agar powder

1 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons miso paste (fermented soybeans with seasoning, kojii, barley, seaweed and rice.)

2 tablespoons tapioca starch

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons red sauerkraut (cabbage only, no juice)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 melted cup refined coconut oil

3 tablespoons of whole cranberry sauce, homemade is best (Place on cup of cranberries in 1 cup of Apple juice and the juice of half a lemon, add 1 cup of sugar. a dash of ginger powder and a cinnamon stick boil for 10 minutes let cool till it thickens)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 pinch of allspice


INSTRUCTIONS:

1.In a food processor or high speed blender, add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the milk, agar, and cranberry sauce. Pulse a few times to mix it all up.


2. Now add the milk and agar to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens to the consistency of a thin pudding.


3. Add the milk mixture to the ingredients in the food processor, and mix for about a minute. The mixture will quickly begin to thicken as agar begins to solidify at room temperature.

4. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cranberry sauce into the cheese mixture, so it’s kind of a marble swirl.


5. Sprinkle a tablespoons or so of nuts in the bottoms of 2-3 small bowls or a cheese mold ($10 on Amazon). Transfer the cheese mixture to small bowls. You should be able to fill 2 or 3 small bowls. Place bowls uncovered in the fridge for a few hours, or until the cheese has fully hardened and is a sliceable consistency.


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