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
- 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
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.
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