Nut-Free Vegan Cheddar Block

Ingredients

  • 2-¼ cups water
  • 1 block firm tofu (396 grams)
  • 2 tbsp agar powder
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Start by adding all ingredients EXCEPT the water and agar to a blender. Blend and taste.
  2. Next, boil the water in a small pot. Once it starts getting hot (but not boiling yet), dissolve the agar powder into the water. Whisk constantly until agar is dissolved. When the water comes to a boil, you’ll want to cook and whisk for at least 2 minutes more to allow the agar to perform its magic.
  3. When the agar mixture is ready (no need to let it cool), carefully pour it into your blender. Use a hot pad or thick kitchen towel to hold the lid on while you blend the contents of the blender till smooth.
  4. Pour into the desired container, understanding that the shape of the container will be the shape of your cheese later. So if you’d like a cheese wheel, use a round countainer, and if you’d like a block, use a rectangular or square one. I HIGHLY recommend using a glass or ceramic container as opposed to plastic. The glass or ceramic hardness enables the cheeze to slide out when wiggled after setting. With this type of container, I did not need to grease or line the container at all.
  5. Cover and let sit in fridge for at least 3 hours, but you can do overnight. Depending on height and width of container, your cheese may be firm sooner or may need more time. You can simply press it with your finger to check on it throughout the setting process.
  6. When it’s set, use as you like! You can grate it with a coarse box grater, slice it, melt it (recommend either high temperature or broiler–or use a grill press/panini maker for best results), etc. Note that cheese may lightly brown as it melts.
  7. Refrigerate leftover cheese in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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