Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vegan goat cheese (chevré), round 2

It's been a while, so I decided to make the goat cheese recipe from VegNews (a modified version of the one in Miyoko Schinner's book) but without the herbs de provence. It turns out making it in summer is pretty different; it ages a lot faster but thickens more slowly! I decided I wanted a different flavor profile so changed up the herbs. Here's the last of the final product (it was too tasty to wait to eat):

Vegan goat cheese

You need to plan about a week in advance of when you want to eat the cheese.

First, make some rejuvelac:
To make 2 cups of rejuvelac (enough for many cheeses): soak 1/2 cup whole grains (i used quinoa, which makes for a less disgusting flavor than rye or barley or wheat) in 2 cups of water for 8-12 hours. Drain it and fill with more water, changing it 3 times per day, until the grains begin sprouting, then drain again. put the grains and 2 cups of fresh water in a jar and cover with a towel or cheesecloth. Let it sit for 2 days or so, until the liquid turns white, then strain out the grains to have your rejuvelac.

Then soak the cashews (2 cups, raw) for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight.

Then blend until very smooth (I use a vitamix, and even with that it requires a lot of patience and pushing them down, you could also try a food processor):
2 cups raw cashews, soaked
1/4-3/8 cup rejuvelac (I use 3/8 to make blending easier, but if you want it thicker use 1/4)
1/2 tsp salt
1 small clove garlic

When smooth, either add these whole and blend for a bit, or chop them up and mix it in. If you blend them all together you will have green cheese which will skeeve people out, otherwise you have nice green flecks as shown above:
~1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
whatever other herbs / spices sound good

Put it in a bowl, and let it sit out for ~ 24 hours; if it's cool weather you might need 2 days. You want it to start tasting a bit sharp and funky, but not too much. If it looks like this, your bacteria are going nuts (producing those little gas pockets) and you need to move on to the next step:
Vegan goat cheese culturing

Now, mix it together with:
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp lemon juice
more herbs if it's not tasty enough, but it should be already

Now you're supposed to shape this into a log using some parchment paper, but if it's hot and humid, you will find that it got funky fast, but didn't thicken up much. In that event, just spoon it into a rough log shape on parchment paper, smooth it out, and sprinkle on about 1/4 tsp of salt (ideally powdered in a spice grinder first). Alternatively, put it in the fridge for a day to get thick before proceeding. Finally, let it sit out for about 2-3 days until it has thickened a bit and is super tasty. The end!

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