No Nuts? No Problem! Delicious Nut-Free Vegan Cheeses to Try

No Nuts? No Problem! Delicious Nut-Free Vegan Cheeses to Try

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Updated on January 12, 2024

Nut-free vegan cheese offers a world of possibilities for those seeking to enjoy the richness and versatility of cheese without any dairy or nut-based ingredients. As dietary restrictions and preferences steer a portion of the population away from traditional dairy products and nuts, innovative culinary techniques have stepped in to fill the gap. 

These plant-based, allergy-friendly alternatives promise to deliver the creamy, tangy, and umami flavours that cheese lovers crave while providing a sustainable and inclusive option for all to enjoy.

In this exploration of nut-free vegan cheese, we’ll dive into the diverse array of ingredients and methods used to replicate the beloved characteristics of conventional cheese. Brace yourselves, fellow vegans; we are about to embark on an exhilarating journey into the scrumptious world of creamy, meltable and unequivocally nut-free vegan cheeses!

Sprinkle, Spread, and Slice: Nut-Free Vegan Cheese Recipes

A colourful vegan cheese and cracker plate surrounded by fruits and vegetables.

Whether you’re vegan or just curious about plant-based alternatives, the world of nut-free vegan cheese is ripe for discovery. 

From the sharp zest of cheddar to the creamy spread of Brie, nut-free vegan cheeses harness the power of vegetables, seeds, and natural flavour enhancers to create a new frontier of taste that caters to cheese enthusiasts and the health-conscious alike. Discover fresh recipes that you’ll want to make all the time. 

Vegan Nut-Free Cheddar Cheese Recipe

Creating a vegan, nut-free cheddar cheese is a satisfying kitchen experiment that can yield delicious results. 

Here’s a simple recipe that mimics the sharpness and texture of traditional cheddar without using nuts or dairy.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup coconut (melted) oil or olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Optional for colour: 2 tablespoons tomato paste or a pinch of turmeric

Instructions

  • Prepare the Vegetables: Boil the potatoes and carrots in a pot of water until they are soft, which typically takes about 15 minutes.
  • Blend the Ingredients: Drain the vegetables and add them to a high-speed blender. In the blender, include olive or coconut oil, water, sea salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and apple cider vinegar. Add the tomato paste or turmeric if you’re using it for enhanced colour.
  • Create the Cheese Texture: Blend all the ingredients on high until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water to achieve an ideal texture.
  • Taste and Adjust: Taste the cheese mixture and adjust the seasonings to your preference. To taste, add extra lemon juice for tartness, salt for sharpness, or nutritional yeast for cheesiness.
  • Chill to Set: Pour the mixture into a mould or container and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours or until it sets. As it cools, the “cheese” will stiffen up.
  • Serve: Once set, your vegan nut-free cheddar cheese is ready to be sliced and served on crackers, sandwiches, or any dish you like!

Vegan Nut-Free Brie Cheese Recipe 

Creating a vegan and nut-free version of Brie, a cheese traditionally known for its creamy interior and edible rind, requires some creativity since it typically involves cashews for creaminess. Instead, we can use a combination of seeds and tofu to achieve a similar texture. Here’s a simplified recipe to make a nut-free vegan Brie cheese at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 block (14 oz) firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked sunflower seeds, soaked and drained for 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (like oat or soy)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Agar-agar powder (for setting the cheese)

Instructions

  • Blend the Base: In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked and drained sunflower seeds, tofu, coconut oil, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso paste, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder. Blend until completely smooth.
  • Cook the Mixture: Pour the blend into a saucepan, add the tapioca starch and a suitable amount of agar-agar for setting (follow the package instructions for the amount), and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, continually whisking until the mixture thickens and becomes glossy. This may take about 5-10 minutes.
  • Season: Taste the mixture and add salt to your preference. The flavour should be tangy and slightly salty, akin to traditional Brie.
  • Mould the Cheese: Pour the hot cheese mixture into a round mould lined with cheesecloth (to help with unmolding). Let it cool for a few minutes at room temperature.
  • Chill and Set: Transfer the mould to the refrigerator and let it set for at least 4 hours or until firm.
  • Unmold: Once set, carefully remove the cheese from the mould by lifting the cheesecloth. If you desire a rind, you can roll the cheese in a mixture of white pepper or herbs to create an outer layer.
  • Serve: Enjoy your nut-free vegan Brie with crackers, in sandwiches, or as a part of a vegan cheese board.

This vegan Brie can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. The flavours will continue to develop, and the texture will become more Brie-like as it chills. Enjoy your homemade, plant-based, nut-free take on this classic French cheese!

Vegan Nut-Free Camembert Cheese Recipe 

Creating a vegan and nut-free Camembert can be quite a challenge since traditional recipes often use cashews to mimic the creamy texture of this classic cheese. However, with the right ingredients and techniques, it’s possible to achieve a similar result without any nuts. Below is a recipe using tofu and non-dairy yoghurt as the base to create the creaminess and tanginess associated with Camembert.

Ingredients

  • 1 block (14 oz) firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy yoghurt (coconut works well for the fat content)
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted (distilled to avoid coconut flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A pinch of white pepper
  • Agar-agar powder (as per package instructions for setting)

Instructions

  • In a high-speed blender, combine the tofu, nondairy yoghurt, melted coconut oil, white miso paste, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and white pepper. Scrape down the edges as needed until the mixture is entirely smooth.
  • Add Agar-Agar: Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and sprinkle the agar-agar powder over it, letting it hydrate for a few minutes. Then, over medium heat, constantly whisk the mixture until the agar completely dissolves and the sauce thickens. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Mould the Cheese: Pour the mixture into small round moulds (to resemble the Camembert shape) lined with cheesecloth or plastic wrap for easy removal. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
  • Cool and Set: Allow the cheese to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then place in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours or until firm.
  • Unmold and Serve: Once firm, gently remove the cheese from the moulds. You can eat it right away or, for a more authentic flavour, leave it at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving to soften and develop more flavour.
  • Optional Aging: If you want to develop a rind, you can carefully place the cheeses on a baking rack and let them age in the refrigerator for a few days, turning occasionally. This step is optional and will result in a stronger flavour and a more authentic Camembert-like rind.

Vegan Nut-Free Feta Cheese Recipe 

Making vegan and nut-free feta cheese is a simple process that can yield a deliciously tangy and crumbly cheese perfect for salads, sandwiches, and more. The key to an excellent vegan feta is getting the right texture and flavour profile, which you can achieve using tofu as the base. Here’s a recipe to make your own vegan, nut-free feta cheese at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 block (14 oz) extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste (white or chickpea miso for soy-free)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A pinch of black pepper

Instructions

  • Crumble the Tofu: After pressing the tofu to remove excess water, crumble it into bite-sized pieces in a mixing bowl, aiming to mimic the size of feta crumbles.
  • Marinate: Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, water, olive oil, sea salt, oregano, black pepper, and miso paste.
  •  Add garlic powder in a separate mixing bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed to ensure a robust and tangy flavour in the marinade.
  • Combine: Pour the marinade over the crumbled tofu and gently mix to ensure each piece is coated. Let the tofu marinate for at least 30 minutes, though several hours or overnight in the fridge will significantly enhance the flavour.
  • Bake (Optional): Bake the marinated tofu for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 350°F (175°C). This is an optional step, but it adds a lovely texture to the vegan feta.
  • Serve or Store: Use the tofu feta immediately in your favourite dishes, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge. The flavour will continue to develop over a couple of days.

Tips for Making Nut-Free Vegan Cheese at Home

A bowl of vegan cheese sauce surrounded by fresh vegetables, captured in high-quality photography.

Making nut-free vegan cheese at home can be a rewarding process, and with a few tips and tricks, you can create a wide range of flavours and textures that can closely mimic traditional dairy cheese. Here are some tips to get you started:

Using Tofu and Spices for a Versatile Cheesy Sauce

Tofu and spices can be used for a versatile cheesy sauce. It’s a joy to make nut-free vegan cheese at home. Here is how to do it:

  • First, grab some tofu from the store. It’s cheap and easy to find. Its smooth texture makes it perfect for making cheese.
  • Blend the tofu until it’s creamy. This makes our base for the cheesy sauce.
  • Add spices next. Garlic, onion, and a bit of salt work well.
  • Some days, you can add turmeric for colour and flavour or smoked paprika for a smokey taste.
  • For a tangy kick, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar is my go-to.

Creating a Melty, Stretchy Sauce With Tapioca Starch

Using tapioca starch in your vegan cheese will give it a gooey and stretchy feel. Here’s how you can do it:

  • You’ll need tapioca starch, also known as tapioca flour.
  • This special flour lets vegan cheese melt and pull apart like real cheese.
  • If you love grilled cheese sandwiches, this tip is for you!
  • Tapioca starch helps to copy the thick feel of dairy cheese.
  • But there’s one more thing: your nut-free vegan cheese with tapioca starch will have a slight tang.
  • Plus, your sauce will look creamy and stringy!

Making Soft Cheeses With Agar-Agar

If you want to make soft cheeses without nuts, agar-agar is a key ingredient to achieve that creamy and spreadable texture. Here’s how you can make nut-free vegan cheese using agar agar:

  • Begin by placing 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan.
  • Sprinkle 4 tsp of agar-agar over the water and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil in the saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • When it begins to boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook for another two to three minutes or until the agar-agar is completely dissolved.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  • Add your choice of vegan cheese ingredients, such as nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, or spices, into a blender or food processor.
  • Blend the slightly chilled agar-agar mixture in a blender until smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer the cheese mixture into moulds or containers of your choice and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.

Shredding With Kappa Carrageenan

When making nut-free vegan cheese at home, use kappa carrageenan for shredding. Here are some reasons why:

  • Kappa carrageenan is a natural ingredient derived from seaweed that helps give vegan cheese a firm texture that can be easily shredded or sliced.
  • It creates a meltier and stretchier consistency compared to other plant-based thickeners.
  • Vegan mozzarella made with kappa carrageenan can be used in recipes that call for traditional dairy cheese, such as pizzas, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
  • This ingredient allows you to enjoy the stringy texture of melted cheese without using any nuts or dairy products.

Making Tableside Parmesan With Hemp Seeds

Tableside parmesan with hemp seeds! It’s an easy and delicious way to add a nut-free vegan cheese topping to your dishes. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Start by gathering 1 cup of raw shelled hemp seeds.
  • In a blender, combine the hemp seeds with 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and any optional spices you like, such as onion powder or dried herbs.
  • Blend everything together until you have a fine, crumbly texture.
  • Sprinkle this homemade vegan Parmesan cheese over pasta, salads, roasted vegetables, or any other dish where you want a cheesy flavour.

Benefits of Nut-Free Vegan Cheese

Nut-free vegan cheese offers a variety of benefits, making it an excellent option for those with allergies or looking to reduce their saturated fat intake and increase their plant-based protein consumption.

Allergy-Friendly

By excluding nuts, these cheeses are safe for individuals with nut allergies, expanding the accessibility of vegan cheese to a broader audience.

Lower in Fat

Nut-free vegan cheeses are often lower in fat compared to their nut-based counterparts, which typically use cashews or almonds as the primary ingredient.

Nutrient-Dense

Vegan cheeses are dairy-free, making them an excellent choice for those who practise a vegan lifestyle for moral reasons, oppose animal exploitation, and aim to alleviate animal suffering.

Ethical Benefits

Vegan cheeses are dairy-free, making them an excellent choice for individuals who adhere to a vegan diet for ethical reasons, oppose animal exploitation, and strive to alleviate animal suffering.

Environmental Impact

Plant-based cheeses generally have a lower environmental footprint, and opting for nut-free alternatives can be more sustainable, as some nuts, like almonds, require a lot of water to produce.

Digestive Health 

For those who have difficulties digesting nuts, nut-free vegan cheeses offer a digestive-friendly alternative.

Cholesterol-Free

Like all plant-based foods, nut-free vegan cheese is cholesterol-free, which is beneficial for heart health.

Versatility

Nut-free vegan cheeses can be made to mimic a variety of traditional cheeses, from soft and spreadable to hard and sliceable, making them a versatile ingredient in cooking and baking.

Weight Management

Nut-free vegan cheeses can be a helpful part of a calorie-controlled diet due to their potentially lower fat content for those looking to manage their weight.

Inclusivity in Diet 

Whether you’re a vegan, allergic to nuts, or lactose intolerant, nut-free vegan cheese is an inclusive option that most people can eat regardless of dietary restrictions.

Innovation in Flavor 

Experimenting with different bases and seasonings for nut-free vegan cheese can lead to innovative and unique flavours not found in traditional cheese-making.

Gourmet Without the Guilt

Nut-free vegan cheese is a fantastic alternative for those with nut allergies or looking to explore the world of plant-based cheeses without relying on commonly used nuts such as cashews.

By using ingredients like tofu and tapioca starch, it’s possible to create cheesy sauces that melt and stretch just like the real thing. So, whether you’re allergic to nuts or simply prefer plant-based alternatives, nut-free vegan cheese is an excellent choice that can be enjoyed in various ways.

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eIs Nut-Free Vegan Cheese Suitable for People With Nut Allergies?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, nut-free vegan cheese is specifically made without nuts and is safe for individuals with nut allergies.

u003cstrongu003eWhat Ingredients Are Used in Nut-Free Vegan Cheese?u003c/strongu003e

Nut-free vegan cheese typically uses plant-based ingredients such as soy, tofu, or seeds like sunflower or pumpkin to mimic the texture and taste of traditional dairy cheese.

u003cstrongu003eCan I Use Nut-Free Vegan Cheese as a Substitute in Recipes That Call for Regular Cheese?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, you can use nut-free vegan cheese as a substitute in recipes that require regular dairy cheese. It melts and performs similarly to traditional dairy-based cheeses.

u003cstrongu003eDoes Nut-Free Vegan Cheese Taste Similar to Traditional Dairy-Based Cheeses?u003c/strongu003e

While it may not have an identical taste to dairy-based cheeses, many people find that quality variations provide a delicious alternative with different flavours and textures.

u003cstrongu003eWhere Can I Buy Nut-Free Vegan Cheese?u003c/strongu003e

Nut-free vegan cheeses are available at health food stores, speciality grocery stores, and online retailers specialising in plant-based products.u003cbru003e

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