THIS CHEESE IS NUTS! FAQ

 

Do I need a dehydrator?

I’m here to demystify the dehydrator! The idea of dehydrating can be daunting but once you get going you will see it’s very simple and straightforward. You do not need a dehydrator if you stick to the “quick Form Cheeses” and most of the sauces and spreads. But for a more depth of flavor and that elusive “aged” quality you get with brie, camembert, or blue cheese, a dehydrator works wonders. Although it's not necessary, if you want to be a true cheese maker it will be a worthy investment. 

Where do I purchase some ingredients?

If you cant find specialty ingredients like agar agar powder or modified tapioca starch, check on www.amazon.com.

What kind of dehydrator do you use?

I personally use the Sedona Dehydrator.

What if I can’t find modified tapioca starch in my country?

First note- this is not the same thing as Tapioca Starch. Modified tapioca starch is an excellent natural thickening agent and I have yet to find a suitable substitute for it. Please note that it is not a GMO product; it is called “modified” because of the process. You can order it online (www.amazon.com)

What kind of molds do I use?

The best molds and pans to use are aluminum or stainless steel in the following sizes: 4 x 2 0 inch round, 4.5 x 1.5 inch springform, 6 x 3.5 x 2-inch rectangular. You can find these online. 

Is Irish Moss safe?

Irish Moss is a seaweed variety that thickens beautifully. You must take care to wash it repeatedly to remove the sand and sea smell before using it. Soaking it overnight and emulsifying it are key steps. Also be sure to use the exact quantity called for in the recipes. If you happen to add too much, it may add a light “mermaid” taste to your cheese. According to my research, Irish Moss is not the same as carrageenan. Carrageenan is from a red seaweed which has been linked to sensitivities. You can substitute coconut oil for Irish Moss or leave it out and refrigerate your cheese for an additional 24 hours. 

Correction on Mozzarella in Brine…

The recipe states 12 cups of water and then a quarter cup of salt. These first two ingredients in the list are for making the brine. There is only one cup of water to make the actual mozzarella. 

Correction on Sour Cream…

Step one of the sour cream recipe states that you use springform pans. This is a typo- you only need mason jars! 

How many recipes can be made oil-free?

By eliminating oil the cheese will not set up as firmly but you can increase the amount of Irish Moss or leave it without any substitute and see how it works. Keep in mind that one block of cheese is for 6-8 people, so the amount of coconut oil an individual is consuming is rather minimal. 

How many recipes don’t use nutritional yeast?

There are roughly 51 recipes that do not use Nutritional Yeast.

How many recipes are nut free?

There is a nut free section of the book consisting of 6 recipes.

How much cheese is too much?

Keep in mind that the creamy cheeses should be part of a balanced plant-based diet. Enjoy them as garnish or a sauce to meals that are teeming with healthy leafy greens, fresh organic farmers market fair, and whole fruits and veggies. If you are overweight or have heart disease, you should opt for recipes in the nut-free and dairy-free chapters as much as possible.

What if my cheese doesn’t set up properly?

It’s easy to tweak the texture and flavor of these cheeses to suit your taste. When making easy, quick cheeses in the bowl of a food processor, feel free to adjust the consistency by adding the liquid in the recipe 1 tablespoon at a time. You can also add more cheese flavor by adding nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon at a time. As for form cheeses, the difficult part of the process is cooking the mixture on the stove. The first five times you try this method, use a thermometer and cook over low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until it is done, making sure you get underneath the thermometer stick. If you start to see lumps, remove the pan from the heat and start to whisk the ingredients with a wire whisk. Then return it to the stove over low heat and stir again. The cheese is done when it reaches about 145 degrees F and you can see it pill away clean from the sides of the pan as you are stirring it. Turn off the heat and add the acid if the recipe calls for it, stir to incorporate, and then pour the mixture into cheese molds (or drop into brine).

Where do I find vegan acidophilus capsules?

If you cannot find them at your local health food store or co-op, check online (www.amazon.com). 

Can I use olive oil instead of coconut oil?

No. Olive oil does not work as a substitute.

If my dehydrator's setting is lower than 100 degrees will my cheese still age properly?

Different dehydrators vary from model to model. Set it as close to 93 degrees as possible and then adjust the dehydration time accordingly. Dehydrating is very forgiving so you can make slight adjustments without experiences many discrepancies. 

Do I need 3 billion strain acidophilus?

Acidophilus is a probiotic and the key to nut-cheese nirvana. In the early days, I experimented with various quantities and strain counts of acidophilus, as well as dehydrating times. After som trail and error, I have found that using 1/2 to 1 capsule of a 3-billion active culture strain and dehydrating the nut cheese for 24 hours is the magic recipe for a perfectly aged taste. I noticed that a different number strain of acidophilus slightly impacted the outcome of the cheese, so I highly recommend using 3 billion strain.

My Banana Cream Pie failed, what happened?

Bananas can turn brown quickly, so this pie is to be made for immediate consumption. In the merengue, you can add a quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar. Also, keep in mind that whipped aquafaba does not keep in the fridge- it should be done as a last step just before serving. It could take as long as 15 to 20 minutes to get it at peak texture.

Humidifier To Be Added To Equipment List…

Humidifier is a fancy name for a wine cooler. You can purchase them online for around $100 (on amazon). It simply keeps the cheese at a temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit.