PALEO & WHOLE40 VEGAN PARMESAN WHEEL
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PALEO & WHOLE40 VEGAN PARMESAN WHEEL
While following a Paleo and Whole30 lifestyle for a long time, I just found it so difficult to give up my cheese. Especially Parmigiano-Reggiano! It is pure umami at its finest and transforms any simple dish into one with tremendous depth and roundness of flavour. Broccoli soup is but a liquified vegetable. Add Parmigiano and you’ve got a delicious soup with so much depth of flavour.
I finally found the courage to try my hand at making vegan parmesan. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it actually is. Both myself and my husband were also surprised by how good vegan cheese tastes.
Vegan parmesan, the grated version, is as tasty as grated parmesan you purchase in the store. In fact, the taste is similar. Once discovered, I began to make this parmesan cheese regularly and use it in recipes, even in my homemade Caesar dressing. It’s so delicious. I make it regularly now.
With this cheesemaking under my belt, I had the confidence to learned how to make a wheel of vegan parmesan can be served on a cheese tray or hand-grated over your favourite pasta dish. This vegan cheese provides that ambiance that goes along with grating a big piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It’s the whole idea of being able to make a wheel of vegan cheese that makes it far easier to give up dairy-based cheese. And not feel deprived at all.
Keep in mind that at least in my books nothing will replace that distinctive character and taste of authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano. But my vegan wheel surely pleases the eyes and the palate.
Make sure you’re raw cashews are fresh. I buy mine at Bulk Barn because there is a huge turnover of ingredients. I know the cashews are fresh.
Be sure to grind the cashews before adding the other ingredients. You want to make sure that the nuts are ground to a find dust.
Use refined coconut oil as it doesn’t have that coconut taste that will take away from the parmesan taste. No worries about adding this fat. It’s healthy fat! Good for your body and your brain.
All the nutritional yeast and salt to the ground nuts and mix together in blender before melting the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted with the agar agar you want to work quickly.
When adding the agar agar to the coconut oil, work quickly and stir constantly.
You can use any kind of container you like for the cheese or you can even make one. I like the tiny boxes from the Dollar Store. They look like cheese boxes to me! Line the box with plastic wrap.
Leave the cheese in the refrigerator overnight to harden.
RECIPE NUTRITIONAL VALUE
This parmesan wheel recipe calls for nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast. It is sold commercially as a food product in the form of yellow flakes, granules or powder. You can buy nutritional yeast at health food stores and in bulk at the bulk stores.
Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein, and anti-oxidants. It boosts energy and the immune system, and makes your skin, nails, and hair healthier. Studies suggest that nutritional yeast may help protect against oxidative damage, lower cholesterol
RECIPE TASTE PROFILE
The predominant taste sensations of this cheese is fattiness (from the cashews and coconut oil), saltiness (from the salt), umami (from the nutritional yeast). It’s the nutritional yeast that gives vegan cheese its cheesey and depth of flavour character.
DIRTY-BIRDY WINE PARTNER (FOR THOSE MAINTAINING A PALEO OR WHOLE30 LIFESTYLE)
With the three predominant taste sensations being fattiness, saltiness, and umami, this cheese will complement both zesty white wines and full bodied reds. The saltiness in the cheese nicely offsets the acidity in whites and the astringency in reds. The umami depth of flavour complements all wines! Choose whites and reds with enough alcohol so that you have full-bodied character. The higher the alcohol, the more viscosity in the wine. A wine with viscosity works here, due to the fattiness in the cheese.
Make your mold. This is a box from the Dollar Store with plastic wrap.
Get your ingredients ready.
In the food processor or blender on pulsating, grind the raw walnuts into a powder. Add the nutritional yeast and salt and pulsate again, mixing together.
Heat the coconut oil in a saute pan and melt the agar agar in the coconut oil, stirring constantly.
Add the coconut oil mixture to the blender and pulsate again, bringing the mixture together and creating a dough. Transfer dough to your mold.
Press dough down into the mold and smooth surface.
Refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove mold and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Prep Time: 10
- Total Time: 24 hours
- Yield: 5" diameter wheel 1x
- Category: PALEO & WHOLE30
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: DINNER
2 cups raw cashews
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoons salt
½ cup refined coconut oil
2 tsp agar agar
Make your mold. Set aside.
Place cashews in a blender and pulsate, grinding them to a fine crumble. Add nutritional yeast and salt and blend together in the mixer. Set aside.
In a saute pan heat oil on low. When melted add agar agar and whisk quickly and constantly until melted. Transfer oil mixture to the blender. Pulsate again mixing the oil with the nut mixture. It will turn into a moist dough.
Transfer mixture to your mold and press firmly into shape. Let sit for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Remove mold and wrap cheese in plastic wrap.
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