I have been experimenting with vegan mozzarellas for as long as I have been following a vegan lifestyle, so around 4 years. I’ve made some pretty decent mozzarella, but this one takes the cake!
I adapted this recipe from The School Night Vegan’s cashew based recipe, but have made a few tweaks of my own, one of which is replacing the cashews with sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds are more nutritious, cheaper, local (here in Spain anyway!) and just as creamy!
What makes this cheese so good? I’ve made loads of cheeses with starch and cashews beforehand, which were good, but they lacked the REALLY stringy texture of melted cheese. Psyllium husk is an ingredient used a lot in gluten-free baking for its capacity to bind things together or as a thickening agent. Adding psyllium adds to the stringy quality that the starch gives the cheese.
Agar agar is a algae based gelatine (making it 100% plant-based) and is optional in this recipe.
Starch is what really thickens this recipe and gives the cheese consistency, for this recipe I used potato starch but I regularly use cornstarch or tapioca starch interchangeably.
Nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient amongst vegans as it mimics the flavour of cheese pretty well, it is a must in any TRULY CHEESY vegan cheese recipe!
Okay lets get down to it!
50g raw (not toasted) sunflower seeds (rinsed and then soaked in warm water for 2 hours)
4 tbsp (10g) nutritional yeast
1 tsp psyllium husk (mixed with 1tbsp water)
3 tbsp (30g) cornstarch
2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tbsp white vinegar
60g coconut oil (deodorised, to avoid coconut taste)
1 tbsp agar agar (optional)
*the agar agar will give the cheese a more firm texture when it cools down, so it can be good to allow you to cut the cheese for sandwiches, toasties etc etc.
1. Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender until nice and smooth.
2. Pour the mix into a pan or a pot and cook on medium heat, whisking continuously to keep the texture smooth and to prevent the bottom of the pan from burning.
3. At one point (within about 3-4 minutes) the cheese will begin to thicken. When it becomes nice and stringy you know its ready.
You can put it straight onto bread and whack it under the grill or leave it to cool and put it away in the fridge. It should keep for up to 5-7 days.
Enjoy and PLEASE feel free to share your experiences below in the comments!