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plant-based cheese and allergies?  RSS feed

 
r ranson
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I've been looking for a vegan cheese alternative that I can share with my friend.  She's vegan and I have allergies and dietary sensitivities to soy, (some) nuts, and some wheat.  Every vegan cheese substitute I've come across has either soy, nuts or wheat in it. 

Are there any soy, wheat and nut free cheese alternatives out there or must we always eat hummus when together? 
 
Dadaas Balada
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I never hear of a Vegan cheese without soy. I think soy is main ingredient of all these vegan cheese: Tofu, Tempeh and others.

If you find one that is not made with soy I would like to know name. And be careful if you find one, it could be made artificial with emulators and additives and that is even more dangerous than allergies.

P.S. maybe you have allergy on GMO soy, there are rumours that USA dont have GMO free Soy, so if you live in USA then your soy is probably GMO.
 
Dawn Hoff
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I've seen vegan cheese made from cashews - which I don't think is a nut technically. My allergic son can eat those and not any other cheese - vegan or not (though he doesn't really like it).
 
Dadaas Balada
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cashews - like 90%+ made from cashews?
And how are those not nuts technically? Those are Indian nuts.

Anyway, i would like to know all ignredients in this cheese because if it is only cashews then this cheesee is really heavy on everyone.
 
Burra Maluca
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I think whether or not cashews count as a 'true nut', a lot of people are still allergic to them.  I think Karen's book had some recipes for coconut based cheese - would that be any good for you?

I was hoping for some recipes in there based on cheaper foodstuffs, like legumes other than soy, which might also be suitable for those with nut allergies.  I understand she's working on a second book which will hopefully address this issue. 

Karen, if you're reading this, are you aware of any work being done on this?  Or could you share a recipe or some tips for promising research areas?
 
R Scott
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Lots of the "dairy free" cheeses in the store have casein as an ingredient?!?

I would love a couple cheese recipes that worked with my diet.  I miss pizza and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
 
Dadaas Balada
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You mentioned pizza, is there a cheese that is vegan to put on the pizza? Maybe some DIY recipe?
 
Polly Oz
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R Ranson wrote:I've been looking for a vegan cheese alternative that I can share with my friend.  She's vegan and I have allergies and dietary sensitivities to soy, (some) nuts, and some wheat. 


How are you with macadamias? I've substituted them for cashews in a few fresh, uncultured recipes; this works better in some recipes than others, but would be worth trying if you can tolerate them.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Dadaas Balada wrote:cashews - like 90%+ made from cashews?
And how are those not nuts technically? Those are Indian nuts.

Anyway, i would like to know all ignredients in this cheese because if it is only cashews then this cheesee is really heavy on everyone.

"Technically, nuts are a type of fruit. Fruits develop from a plant's ovary, and as the ovary matures it forms a wall around the fruit. For common fruits like apples and peaches, the ovary wall is the fleshy outer skin while for nuts the ovary wall is the hard, outer shell.

Cashews, on the other hand, are a seed of the cashew apple, shown here. The cashew seed is the c-shaped, greyish object at the bottom of the fruit."
https://www.google.es/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/nuts-that-arent-actually-nuts-2016-2

My son is allergic to tree nuts and legumes - especially peanuts and to some extent soy and less so other legumes. He is not allergic to cashews. many people are allergic to cashews regardless, but there is a chance that you might be able to eat cashews even if you can't have other nuts. That was the reason I suggested it. We often eat vegan ice cream made w. cashews for example - which is really delicious.

Here is an example of cashew cheese without soy (I haven't tried it myself)
http://nutritionstripped.com/classic-cashew-cheese/
 
r ranson
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As interesting as the definition of a nut is, let's use 'nut' in the general kitchen sense to include nut-like substances like cashews and peanuts, and go back to focusing on the solution. 

Is it possible to find or make a plant-based cheese without nuts, soy or wheat that can be enjoyed by both vegan and myself?

Burra mentioned coconut plant-based cheese.  I would like to learn more about this.

How about chickpeas?  They work wonderful for miso soup, maybe they would for cheese?
 
Karen McAthy
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re: Vegan cheeses and allergies...


There are a number of commercial vegan cheeses that do not use soy in fact. Kite Hill uses almonds primarily, Miyoko's Creamery uses cashews. Cheezehound in Williamsburg uses cashews primarily, and Bloed Kuh in LA uses cashews as well

It is challenging to find a cultured vegan cheese that does not use nuts as nuts have protein, fat and carbohydrate and most want to ferment quite readily, a necessary step in cultured vegan cheese.

If you are into making your own, you can use coconut milk to create soft to medium firm vegan cheeses, if coconut is not an allergy, but technically coconut is a tree nut, so, the allergy concern may still exist.

Almonds, cashews though not technically nuts are common allergens.

cheese recipes in my book do not use soy or wheat but do rely on nuts and coconut milk. Coconut milk ferments really nicely, using a rejuvelac (lactic acid) or kefir (lactic acid) starters, and after draining the curd, age quite well. I've made chevre style cheeses, blue cheese, feta style and cultured butter with coconut milk.

Chickpeas when combined with either a nut or coconut milk can offer an interesting flavor to a vegan cheese, but avoid using chickpea only or it can risk coming out a bit too much like miso or a tempeh in flavor.

 
Polly Oz
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Just remembered something I saw a while back, but of course cannot find it again. She brined cubes of nofu (Burmese tofu/chickpea polenta) and checked it every day. Apparently at 6-7 days the cubes developed a funky, blue cheese flavour. I have no idea if this works, and I don't recall the photo selling it to me, yet it's still on my list of things to try. Might be worth trying since none of the dairy free cheese recipes meets all you and your friend's exclusions. Love to hear what it turns out like, if you do.
 
John Weiland
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I thought someone had brought up the idea of "nettle cheese" somewhere else on the forum, but I can't recall.  Clearly, nettles are used as a source of rennet, but given the that leaves of nettles have a relatively high protein content, I wonder if it could serve as the protein source as well.

More on nettles in cheesemaking here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X16300178

...and the abstract from that open-access paper>>

"Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a wild plant from the Urticaceae family. It is commonly used in several countries as an edible and medicinal wild herb (China), an anti-asthmatic and an astringent (Spain) as well as a diuretic (Greece). Moreover, it is used either as a steamed vegetable or a regular ingredient in many preparations such as in pastas, omelettes (Basque country). In this article, we show that the stinging nettle acts as alternative vegetable coagulant “rennet”. It uses lactic acid bacteria from fresh nettle leaves to inoculate milk where milk curd is then obtained to make fresh cheese. The results are discussed in terms of organoleptic and gastronomical qualities of cheese products and the addition of an ingredient with natural acetylcholine for future analysis. The introduction of the stinging nettle as an ingredient in gastronomy could increase the sensory appeal of vegetarian cheeses and yogurts, supporting the creation of new recipes and a new way to produce lactic fermented products."

oooo...one more nut-based company:  http://punkrawklabs.net/nut-milk-cheeses.html
NettleLeafProtein.JPG
[Thumbnail for NettleLeafProtein.JPG]
 
Karen McAthy
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Hi Burra,


I have been testing a number of different legumes, on their own and in combination with nuts/seeds/coconut milk. Thus far, my experiments with legume only cheeses are not meeting my desired outcomes, and thus I elected not to include any mention of them in this first book. If research and testing provides results that I end up happy with I will certainly include them in the second book. Thus far, as it stands, I will be publishing period method/recipe updates on my website, www.bluheroncheese.com

Protien, carbohydrate and fat content (which are present in dairy milk) are still important in plant-based cheese making, and finding ingredients that work well and develop nice flavor and texture is an ongoing research effort for a number of us active in the commercial plant-based cheese business.

for myself, personally, my goal is to focus on methodology and culturing practice and the role cultures themselves play in the development of flavor and texture. Ultimately I am interested in making stand alone cheeses made from plants (with no animal products) regardless if they mimic their dairy counterparts.

I do, however, very much understand that many people are longing for familiar or fondly remembered flavors and textures, and anticipate that the growing interest in this area will eventually yield dependable results.
Currently, it seems that there are at least two primary realms of vegan cheese making; cheese analogs that may use soy, wheat, nuts and a combination of other ingredients to make relatively fast cheeses, and cheeses that focus more on culturing and aging.


 
Jan White
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If coconut milk interests you, I've used the cheeze part of this recipe to make a cream cheese-consistency spread.  My omni husband loves it.  It's been a while since I've made it since we haven't had a proper kitchen for the last year.  It's possible I modified it slightly - maybe more agar?  It's an easy recipe to try out and play with, though. 

I've used white wine vinegar in place of the coconut vinegar, but if you can find it, the coconut vinegar really does make a difference.

http://olivesfordinner.com/2012/09/vegan-grilled-cheese-with-smoky-tomato.html
 
Deb Rebel
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Miyoko also has a book out, "Artisan Vegan Cheese" and her recipes do work, I'm still mumbling through some.

https://www.amazon.com/Artisan-Vegan-Cheese-Miyoko-Schinner/dp/1570672830/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1503029917&sr=8-1&keywords=vegan+artisan+cheese

A good stretchy vegan cheese, that would work on pizza, ah yes. I am still trying.

I happen to have issues with high amounts of coconut and that didn't surface until recently as I hated coconut with a passion (of course it was always dried out and gross) as a kid and recently bought a lovely pail of fair trade, small farm, sustainable cold pressed by hand small batch coconut oil... then found this out. Hubby loves it and uses it but.

I make my own soy milk from Non GMO gluten free soybeans from Laurabean. However their rotational crop is corn so if you have the corn sensitivity (some do and this is just as bad as gluten and even more invasive as cornstarch is in everything, even meat Styrofoam packaging trays they also use for some produce!) you can't use it. I then use what I make to make tofu and soy based cheeses.

http://www.laurasoybeans.com/

I buy raw organic cashews bulk from Znatural, $425 for 50# delivered to door. I'm still experimenting with using these for cheeses.

https://www.znaturalfoods.com/cashews-organic-whole-raw#/7-weight-50_lbs

I have bought Miyoko products at Whole Foods, they're not bad. There is a brand called Heidi-ho that makes a fair orangish cheesy sauce (and I don't have the label anymore) that will work with chickpea pasta for a macNcheese fake.

(just gave you my sources, I have no affiliate status with any of them. I am medical vegan and celiac, and the latter reinforces NO dairy, casein can cause a lesser reaction than gluten but still NO fun.)

Karen McAthey mentions making cheeses with wheat and other gluten bearing... I hope there is success with stuff WITHOUT... in the meantime stringy mozzarella faking is beyond my reach, sigh.

And adding back in a recipe I use for something almost stretchy almost cheesy that I posted elsewhere on the 'if a vegan friend visited you today, what could you make for them" thread.

Melty Stretchy Gooey Vegan Mozarella Author: It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken Inspired by Vedged Out.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 3
Ingredients
¼ Cup Raw Cashews
1 Cup hot water
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Tapioca Starch (also known as Tapioca Flour)
1 Tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
Instructions
Soak the cashews for four hours or overnight. Or if you are impatient like me, just boil them for 10 minutes until soft. Drain before using.
Add the cashews the hot water, and all the remaining ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. It will be very watery.
Pour into a small sauce pan and heat over medium high heat, while stirring. If you don't have a high powered blender, you may want to pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth into the pot, to remove any cashew bits that didn't grind up. This will ensure a smooth cheese texture.
As you stir it will start forming clumps, and then all of a sudden it will become a cheesy gooey mass of yumminess. This takes about 5 minutes. Continue to cook and stir for an additional 2 minutes to make sure it has firmed up completely.
Use for anything you like! Scoop up with tortilla chips, dollop onto pizza before baking, make a grilled cheese sandwich, or whatever your hearts desire. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
*If you want to return the cold mozzarella back to dipping consistency, reheat over medium heat while stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. Once it is hot and bubbling it might have thickened up too much. You can thin it out by adding a tablespoon of water at a time, stirring it in until desired consistency is reached.

The cheese is also good for making nachos, just toss a few well minced peppers in with it and make the tortilla chips by lightly spraying some white corn tortillas with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt or no-salt, cut into about 6-8 pieces and put on baking sheet and give them 5-10 min until crisp (I usually use 375 and bake them with something else, so check until at crispy enough.) Oil spray the pan lightly so they don't stick to it and dislodge them immediately with a spatula and let cool.
(https://permies.com/t/40/46956/kitchen/vegan-friend-visited-today)
 
Polly Oz
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Deb, I really like Jay Astafa's cashew based mozzarella, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MZcXxHunrrA&feature=youtu.be. Non cultured cheese just doesn't give me a flavour I find cheesy. I found this is great as a fresh, soft cheese in salad but a bit 'wet' on pizza. For cooking I make it with more cashews and I've been replacing coconut oil in these sorts of cheese with a mixture of deodorised cocoa butter and deodorised coconut oil 4:1. The combination of those fats gives a mouthfeel more like butterfat and it doesn't ooze out sitting on the table in hot weather. You're never going to get that big stretch without casein, but this cheese is nicely melty and oozy.
 
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