I loved blue cheese when I was vegetarian. The only vegan blue cheese I’ve found near me is the Ilchester Vegan Blue Cheese made with coconut oil. I like cashew based cheese a lot, and I wanted to try to make a blue cheese.
I found Sam Turnbull’s easy vegan blue cheese and since first trying it, I’ve made it many times since. Mine doesn’t come out the same as hers does, though. Not only have I not used the spirinula, but it also doesn’t look the same as hers when it’s done. It’s one of those Pinterest fail things for me. But it tastes good. So I thought I would share what I’ve learned while making her recipe and show you how my turns out.
It Really Is Easy To Make Her Vegan Blue Cheese: Here’s How I Do It
First, I soak the cashews. In her recipe, she says to boil the cashews for 10 minutes or soak them. I always prefer to soak.
Interestingly, I’ve read that boiling cashews reduces their fat content, which can be a good thing. But, I feel like the fat content is a big part of what gives the awesome flavor, so I want it.
But, I do plan ahead when cooking with cashews because it’s a process for me. I soak for at least 4 hours, but usually overnight.
I also open up the cashews and clean them. I find that after soaking them, the water is always really dirty. So I want to wash them. But, I’m also scared of what might be lingering inside of the cashew if I don’t check, so I always crack them open to make sure there’s nothing bad. There has never been any kind of bugs or anything, but there are a lot of dark spots that I tend to take out so my cashew sauce or food has no black spots in it.
The recipe calls for coconut oil, melted. I’ve tried make the vegan blue cheese without melting it, and the texture was way off for me, so now I always melt the coconut oil first. I use Nutiva for all my coconut oil needs, and it’s a good oil.
For this vegan blue cheese, I double the amount of coconut oil called for. In other words, I use 1/2 cup of coconut oil instead of 1/4 cup.
The first time I made her vegan blue cheese recipe, I used exactly what Sam said to use, and the cheese didn’t come out with nice firm texture like I thought it would. It definitely was nothing like what her pictures portrayed, so now I double it. It still doesn’t look as firm or as smooth as hers, but it’s better than it was with the 1/4 cup of coconut oil.
The recipe calls for 3 table spoons of apple cider vinegar. I put that many in.
The recipe also calls for 3 tablespoons of white miso paste. Someone in the comments of her recipe said that all they had was red miso and their cheese turned out tasting like cheddar. So I went straight out and bought myself red miso. The result tasted exactly the same to me as when I used the white miso. I think maybe the color tricked their brain into thinking it tasted like cheddar. Although, while it does taste like a blue cheese, I remember having aged cheddars that taste very similar to this, so I think it’s all a matter of how you want to look at it.
It also calls for onion powder. I used to always have both chopped onion and onion powder until one day I realized I could just grind up the chopped onion to make onion powder. Now I just buy chopped (sometimes called minced) onion. Another big reason I only buy chopped onion is because if you rehydrate it, it tastes exactly like the onions from McDonalds, and I love that taste!
Then you just add some garlic and salt.
Then you blend it all up in a food processor. I would like to try it in a Vitamix, because it never comes out too smooth for me in the food processor. But I haven’t tried yet. This is supposed to be easy, and having to push down everything in the Vitamix over and over again doesn’t appeal to me.
What I do is I leave it in the food processor for at least 5 minutes to get it as smooth as possible.
This would be where you add the spirulina, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t add a lot of flavor, so I haven’t bothered to go out and buy it because I already like the flavor of the vegan blue cheese as is. I don’t feel the need to add the extra blue veins in, as pretty as that would be. Maybe one day I will, and I’ll update this review of Sam’s easy vegan blue cheese, but for now I don’t need it.
You are supposed to put it in a mold. I normally just dump it into a glass container and throw it into the fridge, but for this review, I figured I would show what a molded cheese would look like for me. As you can see, the cheese still isn’t completely smooth before I throw it in the fridge.
And when it’s all done (about 4 hours in the fridge), for me, it looks like this.
Not as pretty as hers. No blue veins for sure. But, also, it doesn’t look as smooth as hers. Maybe hers does look like this and she just takes better pictures than me?
Still, it tastes good, and I can grate it and put it on top of things like lasagna, for instance.
It’s not like dairy mozzarella on lasagna, obviously, but I find that it’s like Miyoko’s vegan mozzarella where it has a nice flavor.
To say I put this on everything is an understatement. I put it on nachos, in wraps, in sandwiches, on crackers, in mashed potatoes, and on and on.
It’s something I always have in the fridge now.