- Hide menu

Vegan Swiss Cheese

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese991

As you are well aware you don’t see dairy as an ingredient in raw recipes.  Did you know that dairy is one of the top allergens? But there is a difference between a dairy allergy and a dairy intolerance.  You may be wondering why I am even talking about dairy, since I don’t use it in my recipes.   I just thought that it might be beneficial to share just a bit of what I have learned. We can never have to much knowledge. :)

vegan-swiss-cheese9923So what is the difference?  “Milk intolerance causes different symptoms and requires different treatment from a true milk allergy.  Common signs and symptoms of milk protein or lactose intolerance include digestive problems, such as bloating, gas or diarrhea, after consuming milk or products containing milk.” (source)

“A milk allergy is when your immune system thinks dairy is a foreign invader and attacks it by releasing chemicals called histamines. Symptoms can range from wheezing problems to vomiting and diarrhea.” (source)

Outside of those symptoms, dairy can affect you in many other ways.  For me, I break out on my face.  I can always tell if dairy was snuck into my food… ah, the risks of eating out.  Even the tiniest bit can bring on a pimple.  So, if you ever notice a new symptom pop up or perhaps an old one that you can never quite shake and if any sort of dairy is in your diet… try omitting it  for 1-3 months and see if things clear up.

On to this cheese…. this recipe is vegan but not 100% raw.  Agar is used and it requires boiling water to dissolve and to activate its magic. Magic meaning, agar is the key ingredient that gives that cheese texture to this recipe.  The fun part is that you can use any mold to shape it in.  If you have children, I think this would be a fun recipe to include them in on.  Let them select the container for the shape and within a very short time, they can see the fruit of their efforts.  Nothing quite as satisfying as that.  As you know, Swiss cheese comes with holes in it, that is what gives it its unique look.  Below, you will see some pictures of how I created those holes to make it look authentic.  But that is completely optional.   On a side note, this cheese would make a great gift to give to friends and family who are vegan (or just like different cheeses).  Wrap it in wax or parchment paper and tie it up with twine.

I originally posted this recipe on May 8, 2011.  Updated 9/21/13 . This recipe is inspired by The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak.

Ingredients: yields 2 1/2 cup brickVegan-Swiss-Cheese99

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground dill weed
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Tbsp agar flakes or 1 1/2 Tbsp agar powder

Preparation:

  1. Set aside a 3 cup storage container, or the mold of your choice.  This will be the mold for the cheese.
  2. In a blender add; water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tahini, mustard, salt, garlic, onion flakes, garlic powder and dill. Blend until the mix is completely smooth.  Stop occasionally to test for grittiness.  It can take 1-3 minutes, depending on the blender.
  3. In a small sauce pan bring 1 cup of water to boil.  Slowly add the agar stirring with whisk. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking often, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until completely dissolved.
  4. Start the blender and create a vortex.  Slowly pour a little into blender, be careful not to splatter yourself.  Working quickly.  Scrape the sides.   Process  until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary.
  5. Pour into container and cool uncovered in the refrigerator.
  6. When completely cool, cover and chill several hours.  To serve, turn out of the container and slice.
  7. Store covered in refrigerator.  Will keep 5 to 7 days.
  8. To make the “swiss holes”  I used a drinking straw and poked it in at different angles.

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese12

To make the Swiss cheese holes, you will need a straw.

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese1

I want to point out that the cheese already comes with small holes as you can see below.

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese13

But if those holes are not enough, you can make your own.  You will want to make
the holes look random.  So be sure to spread them out and go in at different angles.
Be sure to take the straw completely through the chunk of cheese.

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese14

I even went in at an angle, taking a bit out of the edge.

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese15

Again, make them random, from the top, from the side… it’s all good!

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese16

Ok, so I think I got a little carried away with the holes. lol  See those little
cheese nuggets on the right side of the cheese?  After poking the holes in the
cheese, just squeeze the contents out of the straw.  Eat them right away as a
reward for all your “hard” work or save them to toss on a salad.

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese18

Here I made thin slices with a mandolin.  The cheese is very stable so it
is great for cutting into slices.

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese19

And in case you couldn’t quite see the holes above, I am sharing a close up…

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese110

And if you are nearsighted like me, here is another close up. hehe I want to make sure
you really see those little holes. :)

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese112

Having a little fun…

VeganSwissCheese14

Vegan-Swiss-Cheese116

vegan-swiss-cheese9929

 

 

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Plusone Stumbleupon

m4s0n501

55 thoughts on “Vegan Swiss Cheese

  1. Fristine says:

    This looks so good! I’m going to make this soon. Thank you for sharing. I wonder where I can get agar powder where I live. Any alternatives you can suggest that might work?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Fristine…I don’t know where you live but I can find it in Whole Foods, my local Asian stores, and health food stores. If you don’t have access to it locally you can order it from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/NOW-Foods-Food-Products-Powder/dp/B000MGSJ5A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311962975&sr=8-2) there are other brands, I just grabbed one that I have used before. I am sure that there are tons of places to order it on-line so you can google it if you don’t want to go through Amazon.

      Agar agar = agar is flavorless and becomes gelatinous when it’s dissolved in water, heated, and then cooled. Agar, though, gels more firmly than gelatin, and it sets and melts at a higher temperature–it can even set at room temperature. Agar, like gelatin, is full of protein (though incomplete), but it also contains the rich array of minerals one would expect from seaweed.

      Substitutes:
      Gelatin (Substitute one tablespoon powdered gelatin for every tablespoon of powdered agar. Gelatin is made from animal by-products.) I don’t endorse this route but it’s an alternative.

      Carrageen – Also known as Irish moss, this seaweed, found in coastal waters near Ireland, France, and North America, is best when used for making softer gels and puddings. To prepare carrageen, rinse it thoroughly, and then soak it in water until it swells. Add the carrageen to the liquid you want to set, boil for 10 minutes, and remove the carrageen. One ounce of carrageen will gel 1 cup of liquid.

      Kosher Gelatin – Many kosher gelatins are vegan. Try Lieber’s unflavored gel, Carmel’s unsweetened gel, KoJel’s unflavored gel, and Hain Superfruits.

      Xanthan gum is a corn-based, fermented product. It’s made by fermenting corn sugar with a microbial called “Xanthomonas campestris.” It’s used extensively in the food industry to make products thicker and it’s a common ingredient in gluten-free recipes. If you use too much xanthan gum in a recipe you may notice a heavy, gummy or even slimy texture in your baked goods- so measure carefully when using xanthan gum. People with allergies or sensitivity to corn may be advised by their physician to avoid xanthan gum. Also, xanthan gum generally costs almost 3 times as much as guar gum.

      Guar gum
      comes from the seed of bean-like (legume) plant, sometimes referred to as the Indian tree. It is high in soluble fiber. According to Bob’s Red Mill Guar Gum product literature “Guar Gum has eight times the thickening power as cornstarch.” Like xanthan gum, measure carefully when using guar gum in gluten-free recipes or you may end up with heavy, stringy baked goods. Guar gum is a high fiber product and has been associated with gastrointestinal upset in some people.
      ______________________________
      So there are some options but to be honest I haven’t tried them so I don’t know what the out come would be in texture and flavor. But there is some “food for thought” :)

  2. What a lovely recipe – I’ll sure try this one. I’ve made nut cheese before but this is certainly stunning recipe. Beautiful photographs again, like all your recipes. Well done!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Laurinda. I am a huge fan of these cheese recipes. Let me know how it goes if you decide to make it! Blessings, amie sue

  3. Jana says:

    Good Morning Amie-Sue, well it’s morning here at my place. ;)

    Guess what? I’ve just started to soak the nuts, and I’m so excited of how the cheese will turn out!! I’ve also soaked the nuts for the cheese nip crackers, and the oats for some bread are “bathing” since last evening. :D
    I’m putting together a yummy raw food gift basket for a lovely couple I’ll be seeing on saturday. They love homemade healthy goodies and it is so nice to create beautiful raw food for them.
    I’ll tell you how everything turned out. I’m curious what my family will say about the swiss cheese!!! I haven’t had swiss cheese in 4 years, and I don’t want any of the real one but I need the comments of others since I can’t remember how real swiss cheese smells like.

    I believe it’s your catering day today?! Good luck, I’m so sure that everyone will love the food!

    Lovely greetings from Switzerland,
    Jana

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Jana!

      Good for you for all the things you are trying out. My husband loves the texture and taste of soaked and dehydrated almonds. It is so much easier on a person’s digestion.

      That is so thoughtful of you to make up a gift basket of homemade foods. I am like that and love to give such gifts…you are giving the fruits of your love through it. You will be blessed. :)

      Keep me posted how the recipes go! Have a great day.

      Oh, yes, the catering is today. Catering raw/lliving food has its challenges. We are so volatile to the cost of foods, the availability when the time comes to making it, you can’t make most things up well ahead of time. Yesterday I stood in the kitchen from 7:30am till 9:30pm just to make the “fresh produce dishes”. I had been working through the week dehydrating crackers, kale chips, etc. I hope the food is well received!

      hugs, amie sue

  4. Alta says:

    Amie Sue, I have been looking for a vegan cheeze recipe, and this one looks really good. I do have a question about the recipe though. You mention ‘horseradish powder’ in the instructions, but I do not see it in the list of ingredients. Where do you find it, and how much do you use?

    Thanks!

    • amie-sue says:

      Alta, OOPS….that was a typo, no horseradish powder is used. I fixed that….sorry about that and thank you for pointing that out so I could amend it. I hope you try the recipe though….we really enjoyed it!

  5. Claire says:

    I tried making this and also the mayonnaise but couldn’t get rid of the grainy texture. I am using almonds as my son is intolerant to cashews and wondered do you think using almond flour would work? That way my blender wouldn’t have to grind up the nuts

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Claire,
      I can see why you are getting that grainy texture, cashews do lend to a creamier consistency. When using the almonds are you soaking them first? Also, removing the skins might help make a difference as they are more fiberous. Just ideas. I haven’t used almond flour before so it would be an experiment and I can’t really comment for sure. Also, are you using a high-powered blender? I would love to be of help…so let’s start there. I hope you are enjoying your day. Today it is raining heavy and as gorgeous as can be. :) amie sue

    • Tiffany says:

      Blanched almonds tend to cream better than whole almonds with the brown coating still on them. Great recipe! I can’t wait to try it!!

  6. Claire says:

    I just have a normal blender. I haven’t had a problem with it before but I have only ground nuts in it to use as a cheesecake base or for raw brownies so they didn’t need to be so fine. Maybe that is the problem? I peeled the almonds but wasn’t sure how long to soak for so I left them for most of a day, probably about 8 hours

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Claire,

      It sounds like you soaked them long enough and are going through the right steps. It just might be that your blender isn’t capable to making it creamy enough, so hard to say without seeing it for myself. My guess is that it boils down to the fact of the makeup of the almond verses the cashew. Can you try using macadamia nuts? They get real creamy like the cashew nut. Keep me posted! amie sue

  7. Claire says:

    I think it is down to the blender as I made another batch using bought ground almonds and the texture is fine. may give the macadamia nuts a try too though. Thanks for your help

  8. Chris says:

    Yeah! Can you use hempseeds instead of cashews? What about Irish Moss instead of agar? Thanks, Amie Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Chris,
      It’s good to hear from you. I haven’t tried hemp seeds or Irish Moss in this recipe so I can’t promise you what the exact outcome would be. It would be worth a shot though. To have an alternative to nuts would be great. I think we need to experiment on this and see what we come up with. :)

  9. Chris says:

    Is there a cheddar cheese version?

  10. Heather says:

    WOW, you are SO good to your hubby! He is a very lucky guy! Do you sleep very much because I’m wondering if you are a bit of an overachiever…this website and all these things you do are just so stellar! Thanks again for these great cheeze recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      lol Heather…. so you think I am a bit of an overachiever? Your words made me giggle. I suppose I am but gosh darn I have fun in the meantime. hehe Sleep is by far over-rated. :P And I love my husband beyond words, and I would do anything for him and that includes making cheese. :) I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the recipes. Please keep in touch. amie sue

  11. kate says:

    I have made both the hard cheese recipes on your wonderful site in the last week and can say that I am absolutely addicted – the swiss cheese is particularly tasty. These cheeses are fabulous on raw flat breads or organic rye bread with sliced tomatoes and sliced pickled gherkins. Hurray for being able to make your own hard raw vegan cheeses with all the texture and flavour and none of the soy and mysterious “seasonings” that appear in the ingredients listings of big vegan commercial brands. Many many thanks. i am hooked.
    P.S. These cheeses are also delicious thinly sliced on top of sliced tomato pieces topped with gherkin slices as a snack. The possibilities are endless!

    • amie-sue says:

      That is wonderful to hear Kate. I love these “cheeses” as well! Thank you so much for sharing. I love it. Have a great day, amie sue

  12. Tiffany says:

    Does this cheese melt like other vegan cheeses? It looks good! I can’t wait to try it :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Tiffany, to be honest, I never tried melting it. In making it raw it would be my goal not to. hehe I hope you do try it, it was very good! amie sue

  13. Anna Maria says:

    Yes, it melts perfectly, I tried it on pizza! Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe :)

  14. Severine says:

    Hi Amie Sue, love your website and have drawn inspiration from it (and passed it on to friends and family) for the past year or so. Well done and thank you! I have tried this Swiss cheese a few times now following your recipe to the letter and, although it does taste nice and is a welcome change from other nut cheeses, I wonder how you get yours to be so ‘dry’ as in your pictures (similar to eg cheddar cheese)? Mine always turns out sort of ‘wet’, so more like a pate than a cheese and although I can sort of ‘grate’ it by forcing it through a grater, it still looks or taste nothing like cheese really (when other nut cheeses do). I do like pates but in this case I am expecting a grateable cheese-like product! Any ideas as to what I might be doing wrong?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Severine… it is good to hear from you. Thank you for all the kind words, it means a lot to me. Let’s see, regarding the cheese… Can you share with me what type of agar agar you are using? Flake or powder? I always use the powder form and never seem to have an issue with it. You can always add a tad bit more agar to get it to firm up even more. Also, are you draining the soak water from the cashews? Lets start with those questions and work from there.

      Have a happy day! amie sue

  15. Anna Stevens says:

    Are these cheese recipes Raw cheese recipes? I see that a lot have boiling water. I was just curious. I just started a raw food ‘lifestyle change’ (don’t like to call it a diet because I don’t want it to be a temporary thing) a week ago and went to a local raw/vegan restaurant. They had a raw chipotle cashew cheese that was delicious so I decided to look up some recipes to try myself! I am hoping that this is still considered ‘raw’. I love cheese normally but am trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Look forward to hearing from you! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Anna, this “cheese” is not 100% raw due to the agar agar, but there are many raw “cheese” recipes on my site. Best of luck on your journey! I hope my site offers you inspiration to help you through your transition. Blessings, amie sue

  16. Jeani says:

    Hi, Amie Sue ~
    I’m not sure how I have missed your great site until now, but I am really glad I have found it!
    My question on this recipe is about the plastic storage container. Is there a reason that plastic is your choice? Would the recipe set up differently in glass?
    Thanks,
    Jeani

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Jeani,

      I am sorry that it has taken me so long to respond. I have been under the weather. You can use ANY container. Any shape, size or material. You can get really creative and have fun with it. I like to even use silicone molds and make different shapes. I am thankful that you found my site as well. I hope you find great inspiration throughout! amie sue

  17. Nuran says:

    we come around your web site ever since. And always we say let s write some thankful words to this wonderful human being… never did… but after this recipe we could not contain our selves…my husband said to invite you and your family whenever you d like to come to visit us in turkey and exchange some ideas on nutrition and happy living at the kitchen…thank you very very much for such a source of inspiration to so many people that want a healthier world…

    • amie-sue says:

      Nuran… your message here just warmed my heart. You have no idea how much it means to me for you to take time out of your day to share this with me. Thank you for the invitation… you just never know… Bob and I love to travel. ;) I hope to hear more from you in the future. Blessings to you and your family. amie sue

  18. mari says:

    Sounds good I use a lot of cashew in recipe next time make chedder it will make my day. Love your pictures and recipes keep going. You are number 1

  19. Ana says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    Just wanted to thank you again for all your wonderful recipes. I have made this cheese and it came out beautifully! Love it! All the best

  20. Laurie says:

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! OMG Amie Sue!!!! I can make your lovely cheeses now!

    I’m am over the wall excited!!! I was just given the name of a spice store in Montevideo that is famous for having everything. After looking at their website of the products that they have available to purchase from online, I was elated to find agar agar! And there are other things also. I never got all the way through the list because I had to run and tell someone. You were the first who came to mind. lol

    So now that I’ve lowered the pressure from excitement, I’m going to go look over the list with a magnifying glass and find out what process I have to do to place an order.

    Tener un día fantástico!
    Laurie

    PS. I owe you an email. Plus I want to inquire of the fonts you use on your photos. Have a project that might look good with a couple of them. =)

    • amie-sue says:

      What’s on the other side of the wall Laurie? I have been dying to know. lol

      You crack me up. Thank you for the giggle. I am just as excited as you are now so you must keep me posted as to how it goes! Please!

      I have been thinking about you and wondering how you have been. My inbox has me a bit buried but I am digging my way out hehe. Please do keep in touch and have a wonderful weekend. amie sue

  21. lynne willis says:

    Hi, I just made your swiss cheese recipe, it is chilling in the fridge as I text turned out great can’t wait to eat some tomorrow. Thanks for the great pics love the mouse trap one best site I have seen.
    Lynne.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Lynne. We sure do enjoy these “cheese” recipes in our household. When we have visiting guests staying with us, I like to make it while they are here. They are always amazed at the taste and how much fun it is to make. Enjoy and have a blessed evening, amie sue

  22. Sam McDougall says:

    Hi, I’m quite new to this website and this was the first recipe I tried from it. I turned vegan about 6 months ago and when I was vegetarian I loved swiss cheese. When I made the switch I could not find any swiss cheese so I just gave up, until I found this.

    Now, I have tried this recipe about 5 times and it hasn’t worked out the way I wanted out of all the go’s, but I am convinced I am doing something wrong.

    The first three tries failed because I did not have the right setting agent. I could not get my hand on Agar Agar so I was using Xanthan Gum. I was unsure how to use this as you only talked about using Agar in your recipes.

    The fourth time I had Agar, but I let it sit for too long and it hardened before I could get it blended in. The fifth time I had all the ingredients (bar dill weed) and I was sure it would work. The paste was smooth and I made sure I added the Agar before it hardened this time. I looked great and was probably the best mixture out of the all. I put it in the fridge and let it cool for a few hours. But when I took it out, it had the same consistency and was not hard like cheese should be but it was a sort of paste.

    I really don’t know what to do and wondered if you could help me with this.

    Thanks

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sam,

      Welcome to my site. I hope you find some fun and tasty recipes to add to your new healthy eating journey. :)

      It sounds like you have had quite the experiments going on in your kitchen. I have never used Xanthan Gum so I can’t comment on that. These “cheeses” that use agar will not have the exact texture as aged dairy cheese that you may have grown up with. Did you use agar powder or flakes? Did you soak the cashew prior? And did you drain them well? Was the agar completely dissolved? That can make a difference.

      It takes only takes 15-30 minutes for agar cheeses to set, it happens pretty darn quick.

      Let me know your thoughts. amie sue

      • Sam says:

        Thank you for the warm welcome. :-)

        I did use Agar Powder and I did soak the cashews. I tried to follow your recipe exactly, with the exception of a few things I could not help (such as not being able to get dill weed).

        The last time I did it, I did not want the agar to set in the pan like it had the time before, so I added it pretty well straight away. I’m not sure if that would have made a difference as it still would have been warm/hot.

        I did however let it sit for a while (the cashews, nutritional yeast and other herbs/spices) while I was activating the Agar.

        I will definitely try it again as I want to really nail it so that I can enjoy it like I used to.

        Thank you for your reply.

        -Sam

        • amie-sue says:

          Hi Sam,

          Once the agar gel is ready it needs to instantly go into the blender with the other ingredients that are already blended together… sounds like you did things correctly on that last try. Agar takes a little getting use to. I hope this next batch is perfect for you! amie sue

          • Sam McDougall says:

            Don’t worry I’ll definitely be trying to make it again soon.

            Although I would like to enquire about something else as well. Do you have any experience with vegan choux (shoe) pastry. I am vegan (not raw vegan) so I have been trying out making some pastries. Although they aren’t really turning out the way I had imagined, because choux pastry is hard to make at the best of times, let alone making a vegan recipe. But if you have any experience with it, please let me know.

            Thank you for all the help so far.

            -Sam :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × one =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>