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Mozzarella Cheese | Vegan | Oil-Free

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I am going to dive right into this! This cheese recipe isn’t completely raw as it contains agar-agar, which is a seaweed powder. If you are new to using agar or haven’t even heard of it, please click (here) to learn a bit more, after all, it’s a fun ingredient to work with.

You can use just about any container/mold when making agar cheeses.  I never line them or grease them… they just pop out.  Do know that any indention, markings, lines, or ridges that are in the container will be imprinted on the cheese. I once used a plastic container that said “Recycle” on the bottom… so when I popped the cheese out, the top read “Recycle,” which I thought was pretty darn comical.

I am not claiming that this cheese tastes precisely like Mozzarella cheese, but it’s close enough for me.  You will find it great to eat with crackers, add to sandwiches or shredded over salads.

Cheese Addiction AKA Dairy Crack

If you talk to anyone who has recently switched or is considering a switch to a plant-based diet, most people will claim that cheese and bread are their main weaknesses.  Cheese almost more so than bread. So why is this?

We have casomorphins, which are protein fragments, derived from the digestion of the milk protein, Casein. The characteristic of casomorphins is that they have an opioid effect on the brain. Opioids are among the world’s oldest known drugs.  Common examples of opioids are oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, opium, and even heroin!  Can we now add cheese in the midst of those “hardcore” drugs?  Kind of scary. Neal Barnard, MD, said, “Since cheese is processed to express out all the liquid, it’s an incredibly concentrated source of casomorphins—you might call it dairy crack.” (Source: VegetarianTimes.com)

The side effects of opioids include sedation (ever feel like a nap after a meal heavy in cheese?), constipation, and a strong sense of euphoria.   Well, that makes sense… cheese use to always constipate me. Euphoria?? I had to laugh because you can see euphoria on people’s faces as they pull a slice of hot bubbling pizza from the pan, creating a bridge of cheese from the slice to the whole pie. You’ve seen it or experienced it too, huh?   And just like any drug, dependence can develop with ongoing administration, leading to withdrawal symptoms with abrupt discontinuation.  (source)

Food for thought… literally!  Anyway, it’s time to move on to this casomorphin-free cheese. No opioids on my watch. :)  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments, please leave them below. Blessings, amie sue

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (142 g) cashews, soaked
  • 3/4 cup (163 g) water
  • 1/4 cup (27 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) raw coconut vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (6 g) onion powder
  • 1 tsp (7 g) smoked salt
  • 1/2 tsp (1 g) garlic powder
 Agar gel:

Preparation:

  1. Place the cashews in a glass bowl, along with 4 cups of water.
    • The soaking process will help reduce phytic acid, which will aid in digestion.
    • The soaking also softens the cashews, so they blend nice and creamy.
    • After the cashews are through soaking, drain, and rinse.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, water, nutritional yeast, vinegar, onion, smoked salt, and garlic powder.  Blend until creamy and smooth.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is essential to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Blend until the batter is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending.
    • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth if the batter is getting too warm.  Stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup of water and the agar.
    • Bring to a boil for about one minute, stirring constantly.
    • Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, continually stirring until the agar is dissolved completely.
    • I prefer to use agar powder. Click (here) if you need to convert the measurement due to use agar flakes.
  4. Start the blender creating a vortex, CAREFULLY add the agar gel and blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t over-process.  The batter will start to thicken.
    • Be careful that the hot liquid doesn’t splatter, hitting your skin.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape the sides down.
  5. Pour the mixture into the mold of choice.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  7. You can grate this cheese using a box grater, or you can slice it any way you wish.

14 thoughts on “Mozzarella Cheese | Vegan | Oil-Free

  1. Daniela says:

    Never knew why cheese is so addictive as I never looked into the science behind the feelings and I thank you so much for doing the research and putting the facts together. I used to be addicted to cheese and I did not know why… luckily I discovered the cashew cheeses and the changes in good that come with the vegan cheeses so I will not go back to the dairy cheese. I will share these facts whit everyone who still believe that dairy cheese is a wonderful food!
    Thank you so much Amie-Sue for everything you do…your site is not only a treasure when you search for good recipes but also an educational site and I so admire you for that!
    Love,
    Daniela

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Daniela. I know what you mean… I learn things every day! It’s amazing all the science that lurks within the foods we eat or use to eat. Just to throw this out there but I also found that dairy causes pimples and mucus in the throats with a lot of people. Whenever someone asks me about why I have such clear skin, I often start with the fact that it started to really clear up when I stopped dairy. Just a small tid-bit of info. :)

      Have a blessed and joyous holiday, amie sue

  2. ChinaDollSandy says:

    Hi Amy, I would like to make the Mozzarella. Please tell me where to get coconut vinegar. That is new to me. Thanks.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon,

      Coconut vinegar can be found in the health department in many stores, on-line, or can you substitute with raw apple cider vinegar as well. I hope this helps. Blessings, amie sue

  3. Raw Food Lover says:

    Does this cheese “melt” – I know that would mean I am putting it in an oven so it would no longer be “raw”- my husband is dairy free, but not raw. Much appreciate if you happen to know.

    Thanks for all the fabulous ideas & tidbits of information. Am loving delving deeper.

    alissa

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Alissa,

      I am sorry to report but I didn’t try melting it. I had only used it in raw applications. I am guessing that it will melt some but most likely won’t get gooey and stringy. I suggest making it, because regardless it will be enjoyed… then you try melting a small portion. :) If you do, keep me posted. We can all learn from one another.

      Thanks for the question. Have a blessed holiday, amie sue

  4. Kate Andrews says:

    This is the most excitement I’ve had in the 10 years since I switched to vegan nutrition! I secretly crave and “sneak” cheeses at times and felt supremely guilty for it. Now I know why, and I thought it was a salt craving.

    Best surprise of the week!💚🌺🌷💜💓

    • amie-sue says:

      Well that just made my morning Kate. :) So happy to hear that you are enjoying the vegan cheese recipes! Keep in touch as your try them. Have blessed holiday, amie sue

  5. Soulivin888 says:

    Does this just slip out of the mold, or is there a method? It looks great! Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon :) Yes, it should just pop out. All of the agar cheeses on my site always just pop out of any mold I use with them. Just have to make sure that the mold doesn’t have a lip that faces inward or it will get stuck on that. I hope that helps. Please keep me posted if you give the recipe a try. blessings, amie sue

  6. kathleenkackley says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,
    Have you tested this delicious looking recipe with psyllium husks in place of the agar? I am eating 100% raw to help heal my gut so the agar is not an option for me.
    I’ve gotten so much enjoyment and encouragement from you and all your wonderful recipes over the years. Your incredible creativity is amazing! You are such a blessing to so many people whether they choose a raw or cooked food lifestyle.

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