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Smoked Gouda Cheese

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vegan Smoked Gouda Cheese that has been shredded

~ high raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

I really enjoy making vegan and nut-based “cheeses.”  Not only because they are dairy-soy-gluten-free, but they can be made fairly quickly.  Most nut-based cultured cheeses take anywhere from 6 hours to 48 hours to ferment.  But this cheese only takes about 30 minutes, from the time you start till the time you can enjoy it!

I didn’t use anything to culture this cheese, but thanks to the nutritional yeast, it has a nice cheddar cheese flavor.  To achieve the cheese-like firmness, I used Agar (also known as agar-agar) as a gelling agent which is an amazing culinary ingredient.

Agar is derived from red algae and, when used in recipes such as this one, acts as a stabilizing and thickening agent.  Like gelatin, gelling only occurs with Agar when a recipe containing it has cooled after being boiled.  Agar gels will stay stable even after reaching 185 degrees (F) and doesn’t require refrigeration to set.  It takes a liquid food and changes it to a solid, jelly-like texture.

vegan Smoked Gouda Cheese that has been shredded on crackersAs I did some research and I found out that Agar is a good source of calcium and iron, and is very high in fiber.  It doesn’t contain sugar, fat or carbohydrates, and is known for its ability to aid in digestion as well as carrying toxic waste out of the body.

It is also shown to reduce inflammation, calm the liver, and bring relief to the lungs.  Agar is a rich source of water-soluble, indigestible fiber.  In the digestive tract, it absorbs water, increases bulk, and stimulates large bowel muscle contractions.  Agar’s most common therapeutic use has been as a laxative, and it has been used for decades as a daily treatment for chronic constipation.  For more information, you can read about it at the WellnessTimes site.    So even though it isn’t a raw ingredient… it doesn’t come with some pretty amazing health benefits.  You will have to decide for yourself which of these is a higher priority.

Oh, for Pete’s sake, at the tail end of my research, I found that it isn’t just called Agar or Agar… Nooo, it goes by a long laundry list of names; Agal-agal, agal-agal gum, Agar (CAS 9002-18-0; EINECS 232-658-1), agar-agar, agar-agar gum, agaro-oligosaccharides, agar powder, agar-tang (Dutch), agarweed, aloe wood gum, Bengal isinglass, Ceylon agar, Ceylon isinglass, China grass, Chinese gelatin, Chinese isinglass, chun chow, colle du Japon (French), dai choy goh, Garacilaria confervoides, Gelidiella, acerosa, Gelidium species, Gelidium spp. gum, gelosa, gelosae, gelose, Japan agar, Japan isinglass, Japanese gelatin, Japanischer Fischleim (German), kanten, kyauk kyaw, layor carang, macassar gum, puchratka amansova (Czech), red seaweed, Rhodophyceae (Family), seaweed gelatin, vegetable gelatin, woon.    Do any of these ring a bell with where you live in this vast world of ours? :)

For this recipe, you can make some easy alternations if needed.  You can use all almonds or all cashews.   I haven’t tried it with any seeds, but I worry that the batter wouldn’t get creamy enough.   I also added liquid smoke.  You can omit this and up the smoked paprika if desired.  Before adding the Agar, you can taste test and see what adjustments may be needed.   At this point, I don’t recommend substituting out the Agar due to the texture properties that it gives.  But you are always welcome to experiment! :)

vegan Smoked Gouda Cheese molded into blocksIngredients:

Agar Gel


  1. After soaking the almonds and cashews, drain and rinse them.  Place in a high-powered blender.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, agave, mustard, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and minced dried onion.  Blend until creamy.
    • The mixture will be thick.  If you have a Vitamix with a plunger, use that to keep the mixture moving.
    • Otherwise, stop your machine occasionally to scrape the sides down.
  3. Test for grittiness by rubbing it between your thumb and finger.  If you feel the grit, keep blending.
  4. Once the cheese mixture is ready, it is time to make the Agar.
    • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a light boil, add the Agar.
    • Stir continuously until the Agar had dissolved, this can take several minutes.  Keep whisking!
    • If it gels up in the pan, return to heat and melt it down again.
  5. Start the blender and get a vortex going with the mixture.  Drizzle in the agar gel and blend until combined.  You will need to stay focused and move fairly quickly.  Agar will start to set up as it cools.
  6. Pour into mold and then place in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.  Eat sliced or shred!
  7. Note ~  I don’t use anything to prepare my molds to help them release once it has set.  It is good about just popping out.
  8. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


vegan Smoked Gouda Cheese molded into heart shapes

 Here, I just played around with using different molds.    Just to show you that
the sky  (or your pantry haha) is the limit when it comes to using unique containers.
Above, I used my mini heart tart pan, and below I used a mini cake pan.

vegan Smoked Gouda Cheese molded into mini ring pans

 And here I used a mini round tart pan.

vegan Smoked Gouda Cheese molded into mini tart pans

vegan Smoked Gouda Cheese on raw pizza crackers

56 thoughts on “Smoked Gouda Cheese

  1. Christine says:

    Smoked gouda? HOLY COW and OH WOW!!!

  2. Idapie says:

    This makes me purr! Do not think we have liquid smoke here in Norway tho…. Maybe I can make a bonfire and capture some smoke in a bottle?! Ok just kiddin but WOWSA!!!!!

  3. Susie says:

    Hi Amie Sue- I love love love your website! Your recipes are amazing, and are only surpassed by your generosity in sharing. Thankyou.
    My question today is- what is fresh mustard?

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Susie… Thank you, great words to wake up to. :)

      Fresh mustard is pr-emade, whether you use store bought or raw. I have a recipe on my site for the Sweet and Spicy Mustard, under condiment category.
      You can use dry mustard powder if you want, maybe start with 1/4 tsp. Have a great day, let me know if you give it a whirl. amie sue

  4. Boshena says:

    Hi, have you ever tried hemp seeds in your recipes? They are amazing and have so many health benefits.
    You can find some really good info on this website:
    They are raw and they are delicious.
    I have not tried, but I think that they would also make amazing cheese.

    I think your recipes are amazing.

    • amie-sue says:

      I haven’t tried the hemp in these cheese recipes but it is worth a shot. I hope you try the recipe Boshena… do keep in touch. amie sue

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Boshena… I haven’t tried any of the cheese recipes with hemp seeds, just might have to though. Great alternative if it works instead of using nuts. :) Let me know if you try it. Have a happy day. amie sue

  5. Stacey says:

    This looks great, Amie Sue!

    Did you use stone ground or yellow mustard in this recipe?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Stacey,

      We had a small bottle of organic dijon mustard that was gifted to us so I used that because I ran out of the raw mustard (recipe on my site). That is what prompted me to get some more made. :) Either works just fine. Have a wonderful and happy day, amie sue

  6. joy says:

    Where do you purchase your smoke flavor. The only ones I found sold are full of MSG, artificial flavors, and neurotoxic ingredients etc.

    Which brand of agar powder do you use?

    Thank you.

  7. Hila says:

    Hi, this looks so yummy! Is the liquid smoke necessary or can it be replaced with something else? We don’t have this stuff where l live (Jerusalem)…

  8. christa says:

    I am so proud of you. You are such a creative person…and create such delicious dishes. Keep the creative juices flowing. Can’t wait for your next creation….yes I love the word “create..creative”.. thank you.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh thank you Christa. I appreciate those words of encouragement. I hope the well of creative juices never dries up. :) Have a wonderful and blessed day, amie sue

  9. Stacey says:

    beautifully done! can’t wait to try it. thanks!

  10. Jesse Gabriel says:

    Hallo Amie-Sue.

    Entschuldigung das ich mich sooo lange nicht gemeldet habe, jetzt kann ich mich wieder öfter melden, habe wieder Internetanschluss.

    Sie sind ein Genie, sie haben so viele neue tolle Rezepte in der letzten zeit eingetragen, großartig, wirklich!!!

    Sie und Bob haben so viel zeit und Mühe in die Kategorien-Auflistung gesteckt, ich möchte einfach mal DANKE sagen, für all das was sie für uns Leser tun und das alles wirklich noch umsonst, vielen viel Dank, Amie-Sue und Bob.

    Die Bilder und die Präsentation sind großartig!!!

    Ganz viele liebe Grüße,
    Jesse Gabriel

    • amie-sue says:

      Google translated this to…

      “Hi Amie Sue.

      Sorry that I have not reported me sooo long, now I can often sign me again, I have internet access again.

      You are a genius, they have so many great new recipes entered in the last time, great, really!

      You and Bob have put so much time and effort into the categories collection, I simply want to say THANK YOU, what they do for all of us readers really still and all for nothing, many many thanks, Amie Sue and Bob.

      The pictures and presentation are great!

      All the best,
      Jesse Gabriel”

      Thank you Jesse… it is SOOO good to hear from you. I knew you didn’t have computer access for a while but I was thinking about you, wondering how you were. So happy to see you here again! Thank you again for all the kind words. I have been working hard on the site… well always do hehe but I have been working on some small things that I hope will continue to make the site easier to navigate around in. It is always a work in progress. :)

      Have a blessed day Jesse :) amie sue

  11. amy hayati says:

    You’re amazing! This looks wonderful! And I can’t believe how healthy for you it actually is! My partner and I went raw vegan a year ago, except I can’t get him off his occasional craving for cheese (comes from a salami and cheese Italian family). I can’t wait to make all these delicious, healthy, and real looking cheeses for him! :) Thank you for sharing your art with the world <3

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Amy…. You welcome and thank you. :) Cheese is very addictive and hard for people to remove it from their diet. I hope he likes this, fingers crossed! Keep me posted and have a splendid day! amie sue

  12. Dee says:

    You are an absolute genius! I am soooo excited about making this! I just wrote down my list of what to buy from Trader Joes and Whole Foods this weekend and I wll make this..I need a good, crispy, raw vegan cracker to go with this. I’ll keep you posted. :-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Dee,

      Not so much a genius… maybe a smart whipper-snapper? hehe I look forward in hearing how the recipes goes for you. Remember, I am always here if a question pops up.

      It is very easy to make, I just think agar intimidates people because you have to be on your game once you start adding it to the rest of the ingredients. I had it set up on me once so quick because I answered the phone – what was I thinking! lol… anyway it looked like a big snow ball on the counter… tasted great still, just looked, ah, like an artisan cheese, yea yea that’s it, an artisan cheese. :P

  13. Annie says:

    Looks so yummy! You are so awesome Amy Sue, I can’t wait to try this. Cheese is my weakness, thank you for gifting us with your talent. Keep it coming :D, we love you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Annie!

      Cheese is no longer your weakness. :) Thank for accepting my gift because it just my passion to share that blesses me in return. Sending you love and blessings! amie sue

  14. Diane says:

    I see some nut cheese recipes use probiotics for fermentation. I see you are using agar agar. My question is about texture. Have you every used probiotics? Can you describe the text of your cheese? Does it have a gelatin texture or something else? Can you mix agar with the probiotics to make cheese? Do you know the texture of the cheese using probiotics? I know I have a lot of questions. Your cheeses look so amazing and I love cheese. I want to do this but its an expensive process so I want it to taste as good as yours look.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Diane,

      Let me see if I can answer all these questions, and never worry about asking too many. We are all hear to learn and make delicious whole foods. :)

      Q ~ Have you every used probiotics?
      A ~ I use a lot of probiotics in my other nut cheeses. If you look through my recipes under the category of Nut / Seed cheeses, you will find many recipes that use probiotics and no agar.

      Q ~ Can you describe the text of your cheese? Does it have a gelatin texture or something else?
      A ~ The cheeses were I use the agar.. they have a firm texture, they don’t giggle, or have a rubbery texture. More like a softer cheese with a firmer texture. Boy, that sounds confusing. haha All of the cheeses that I make with agar, can be shredded so that tells you something about the texture.

      Q ~ Can you mix agar with the probiotics to make cheese?
      A ~ Yes you can. You can use all of the recipes with the agar in it and before added the agar gel to it, add the probiotics and let if ferment for 24-48 hours. Then proceed with the recipe in making the agar gel… If you want to try that and have a different recipe in mind, let me know and I can help you through it, if you want.

      Q ~ Do you know the texture of the cheese using probiotics?
      A ~ Depends on what cheese recipe you are using. If you plan on adding probiotics to the cheese recipes with the agar, it will have the same texture as I described above for those cheeses with agar. If it is just a nut based cheese, those are softer.

      Does this help? Let me know. amie sue :)

  15. Leslie says:

    This cheese is amazing. I realized that I did not have paprika so I used chili powder instead. I love it! Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Leslie. I am so glad that you made the cheese and enjoyed it. Great fix for not having paprika in the pantry. :) Thank you for sharing. amie sue

  16. Tricia says:

    I just made the smoked Gouda cheese. How exciting! It looks like cheese!! Tastes excellent! I am going to freeze some of it, so hopefully it stands up to being frozen.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hold the boat Tricia! hehe I tried freezing the cheese and it didn’t thaw to well… wasn’t bad but it changed the structure some.

      Happy to hear that you are enjoying it though. So many wonderful things to do with it. :) Thank you for sharing and many blessings, amie sue

  17. Joanne says:

    hi amie sue,
    after making the eggless salad yesterday I decided to try this cheese. I don’t think it turned out the way it is supposed to.
    I followed the recipe except for the dried onion I used onion powder. the cheese is definitely not firm enough to shred. it holds together but has a soft texture. I put the agar in a 1 c of boiling water. it did not take long for it to dissolve, maybe a minute and then I gently poured it in the top of my FP until all was blended. do you have some thots on why it may not have firmed up enough??? thank u

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Joanne,

      I wonder if you you didn’t let the agar cook long enough. One minute isn’t long enough. Are you using powdered or flaked agar?

      • Joanne says:

        hi there,
        I did boil the agar for about 1 minute. I used powder and it seemed to have all been boiled through. I was a bit surprised that it dissolved so quickly. Is the end product supposed to be thick?? Sorry, I have never used agar before. Thx

  18. cynthia says:

    Do you use a temperature thermometer to make sure you are going above the raw boiling point? B

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Cynthia… no, I don’t use a thermometer when making agar gel. Do you? Have a great evening, amie sue

      • cynthia says:

        Sorry I posted my question twice. I did not mean to do so. Thank you for your quick response. Never any urgency to do so! I am happy that I have discovered you and your wonderful website!

        • amie-sue says:

          It’s all good Cynthia. :) When using agar, it has to boil which will take it above 115 degrees, thus making it a non-raw product. This will be a personal judgement for each person as to how they feel about this product and the fact that it is not raw. Bob and I are not 100% raw. We don’t eat dairy so these types of “cheeses” with agar still give us better nutrients and lets not forget… satisfaction. :) I am happy that you found my site too Cynthia. I love hearing from those who visit and try the recipes. And by all means, if you have more questions along the way, never hesitate in asking. :) Night. amie sue

  19. cynthia says:

    Do you use a thermometer to make sure the boiling does not go above the point where raw stops being raw?

  20. Lynntofu says:

    Are agar flakes or powder raw?

  21. I had to do A LOT of scrolling to get to the point where I can finally comment. You have a lot of fans, and you deserve it!

    This cheese looks incredible! I can’t wait to try it. I see you use smoked paprika here, which thrills me. I make a simple, “melted” cashew cheese for quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches, and I use smoked paprika for the cheese. It’s a great little ingredient, isn’t it?

    Anyway, your presentation rocks and I just want to eat those little crackers so so badly. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe to the world!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet and kind words. A nice community has gathered here and it is a true blessing. :)

      I am a big fan of smoked paprika. I could just take whiffs from the jar all day. lol Again, thank you for the wonderful comment, what a way to end my day. :) Blessings, amie sue

  22. felicia says:

    Hi i love your cheeses. But i wanted to know what crackers and bread you used for all of them? I love them to. Can u clarify what cracker or bread you used per cheese. I know alot of work but i want to match your pics. YUMMY N MY TUMMY!!! PLEASE!????

  23. Ariana says:

    I was trying to make this recipe healthier and used almonds only. Oh my! It didn’t work. I had to add more water and more of each ingredient although I used the same total amount of nuts (1 cup). I have the Vitamix blender, which is one of the most powerful blenders on the market and still it didn’t work – it didn’t spin/made the vortex as I was adding the agar mixture. It tastes alright, but next time, I stick to your recipes Amie Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      Well I am proud of Ariana for experimenting. :) It’s how we learn. Thank you for sharing this with us. Have a blessed day, amie sue

  24. Mary says:

    Can your cheese recipes be made without the agar? I understand they would turn out more like a spread rather than something sliceable.

    Thank you! :)

  25. Bob says:

    How long to soak the almonds/cashews?

    • amie-sue says:

      Bob, please click on the links that I had provided explaining how long each nut needs to be soaked for. Blessings, amie sue

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