Get the Skinny: DIY plant-based cheese that’s TASTY, too!

Let’s be honest, vegan cheese isn’t exactly what most of us would call delicious. But if you’re watching your sodium, calories, or animal fats, you may be looking for dairy-free cheese alternatives.  Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on one of her favorite new cookbooks that features vegan plant-based cheeses that are truly nutritious AND delicious!

Jules Aron's "Vegan Cheese: Simple, Delicious Plant-Based Recipes" (May 2017, Countryman, $24.95)

Thank-you to Eat Fit NOLA ambassador Emily Eickhoff & Chef Carl Schaubhut for R&D + food styling

What’s in plant-based cheese?

  • Each variety is different; most use nuts, seeds, tofu or veggies like cauliflower for creaminess
  • Agar (from red algae; in health food stores, Asian markets and online) or vegan gelatin (available in most health food stores) are used to thicken, stabilize, and give shape to the cheeses.
  • Nearly all of the plant-based cheeses in Aron’s cookbook are lower in calories, sodium and fat, with zero animal-based saturated fats or lactose

Try this bleu cheese-style gorgonzola, one of our favorite recipes from Aron’s Vegan Cheese cookbook:

Vegan Gorgonzola | Vegan, Nut-Free, Seed-Free

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • ¼ cup organic refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon spirulina

Instructions:

Drain and press the tofu to release its liquid.  Place all ingredients, except spirulina, into a blender and process until smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl, dot the cheese with spirulina, and fold it over a few times to create the blue-green veins.

Place the cheese mixture into a container lined with plastic wrap and pack it with a spatula, smoothing the surface.  Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours to firm and set.  Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  Will keep, refrigerated, for 1-2 weeks.  The flavor will continue to develop as it ages.

 

Per serving: 60 calories, 6 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 260 mg sodium, 2 grams carbohydrate, <1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 2 grams protein.

 

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Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD