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Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

24 Aug

If you don’t know, I’m pretty excited about this. Every vegan I’ve ever met in real life has said the hardest thing to give up was cheese and every non vegan has told me that they would never be able to give up cheese. Fortunately, due to amazing chefs like Miyoko Schinner, Jay Astafa, Somer McGowan, and Skye Michael Conroy, we are able to enjoy cheese-like products, without the cruelty. I’ve made several forays into the world of vegan cheese and learned a lot of different techniques from many different recipes. The particular recipe that I drew inspiration from for this is the cashew mozzarella developed by Jay Astafa. You can watch the YouTube video here. I noticed he uses soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which aquafaba has been shown to do in recipes like Nina’s butter and Peanut Butter and Vegan’s mayo. This inspired me to make this cashew mozzarella using aquafaba as the emulsifier. It also makes this recipe soy free, conveniently, for those who are intolerant.

Vegan cheese doesn’t create casein protein strands like dairy cheeses do, which is why we use tapioca starch to create that stretchy texture. Some places may have it labeled at tapioca flour, but they should be interchangeable. I find mine at an international market for a cheaper price. You can also add a bit of xantham gum to increase the stretchiness. If you don’t have any, feel free to omit it, the cheese will still be delicious! I use vegan lactic acid powder to create that dairy-like tang in this recipe. It’s definitely worth the purchase, but if you cannot buy it, substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice instead. Nutritional yeast also adds to this cheesy flavor. Refined coconut oil helps with firmness upon refrigeration and improves the mouthfeel and melt. Please use coconut oil that is solid at room temperature. Cashews can possibly be subbed for raw sunflower seeds for those with allergies.

Most vegan cheeses use either agar or kappa carrageenan as a binder to be sliceable and shreddable. I choose to use kappa carrageenan, as I prefer the melt and mouthfeel it imparts. I am well aware that many people choose not to consume it and I completely respect that; this recipe may be possible with agar powder, but I have not tested it. If you do test it, please contact me with your results!

Edited to add: Several people have tried with equal amounts of agar and have had a hard time getting it to set. I would suggest doubling the amount of agar powder (use 1 tablespoon and 1 tsp). Xanthan gum will not replace the carrageenan, it’s not a firm binder like carrageenan is, just a thickener.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese | Avocados and Ales

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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other vegan cheese recipes:

Meltable Soy-based Mozzarella

Soy/Cashew Buffalo Mozzarella

Smoked Coconut Gouda

Almond Milk Pepperjack

Vegan Mozzarella

Moxarella

The Vegan Meringue group on Facebook is a great place for more aquafaba recipes as well.

DSC_2514

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 15 minutes
• 1 cup aquafaba (preferably chickpea or other light colored bean)
• 2 tbsp tapioca starch
• 2 tsp kappa carrageenan

• 1 tsp lactic acid**
• 1 tsp nutritional yeast
• 3/4 tsp salt*
• 6 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted

*You may need to adjust the salt level a bit lower if using salted aquafaba.
**You can substitute with 1 tbsp lemon juice, but the lactic acid tastes better

Directions:
1. Blend softened cashews and aquafaba in a high speed blender until as smooth as possibly. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any large particles and return to blender.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

It should be very smooth after blending.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

You may find there are still a few cashew particles if you’re using a lower quality blender or food processor, which is why I recommend straining.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

2. Add tapioca starch, carrageenan, lactic acid, nutritional yeast, and salt and pulse in a blender to combine. *Please ignore the xanthan gum in this picture. It is not part of the recipe, but I used it in an early test, which is where this picture is from.

image

3. Add coconut oil and blend again very briefly. Mixture will be smooth and a little thick.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

4. Heat in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat while stirring regularly. It will look like quite lumpy as the tapioca starch activates.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

It will eventually turn glossy and smooth, like melted cheese. When it reaches 170°F, it is done. You will see it begin to bubble around the edges and maintain its thickness.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

5. Pour into a mold, or scoop balls into ice water for buffalo style mozzarella. Refrigerate for a few hours to fully firm up the cheese before slicing or grating.

imageMozzarella Aquafaba Cheese | Avocados and AlesMozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

Obviously, the best uses of any cheese are either on pizza or fried into mozzarella sticks.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

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246 Responses to “Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese”

  1. slojure December 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

    Can I use irish moss instead of kappa carrageenan or agar agar flakes? How much agar flakes to use? Is it possible to make meltable cheese with agar?

    • avocadosandales December 21, 2016 at 3:53 am #

      I have no experience with Irish moss. Some people have had success with agar agar, but I have yet to make it work. The recipe really is best with kappa carrageenan

      • Rowtie Singh July 29, 2017 at 9:51 am #

        hi what is the substitute for lactic acid?

  2. paintingemily January 22, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    Omg, this recipe… Thank you thank you thank you! This is the best mozzarella faux cheese recipe ever (and I tried three others yesterday). The texture is perfect and melts so wonderfully. I’m incredibly impressed and glad I found this recipe!

  3. Peg Schaefer February 23, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    I’m a late comer to the vegan cheese making world but wanted to know if you had ever brined this the way Jay Astafa does his? Thanks so much for such inspiration!

  4. Barbara March 23, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

    Hello! Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made it and I messed it up a bit, so I have some questions.

    I forgot to blend the ingredients before I added the coconut oil, so I blended them all at the same time, and I didn’t melt the coconut oil (oops). Everything seemed to turn out ok consistency wise…but…my cheese REALLY smells like coconut oil. Is it supposed to? I also had a lot of liquid coconut oil around the thickening cheese in the pan, so I poured a bunch off.

    OK…what happened…I’m going to make another batch the right way tomorrow, but I’d like to eliminate the coconut smell (I used 365 unrefined coconut oil from whole foods). Thanks !!

    • avocadosandales March 23, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

      Hi Barbara, the recipe specifically calls for refined coconut oil because of the coconut flavor in unrefined. If your cheese separated it means it was heated too quickly. Try a lower, slower heat next time.

    • keryn wolff March 23, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

      I see you have an answer already but my answer would be the same: use the unflavoured refined coconut oil instead would be my tip. also stir like mad when its on the stove and dont have the heat cranked up too high. I hope this helps 🙂
      Try again, after you have made it a few times youll be doing it blindfolded 🙂

  5. Hope April 6, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

    Hi. New to veganism and hoping to give this mozzarella a try, but I’m getting increasingly confused over ‘coconut oil’. Need advice! I have a square sided glass bottle from Asda in the UK, of 250ml of clear liquid labelled “Flavour Free Coconut Oil. Perfect for frying, baking and roasting”. Can I use this product to make your mozzarella?
    https://groceries.asda.com/product/coconut-oil/asda-flavour-free-coconut-oil/910002521745

    • keryn wolff April 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

      yes. the point of the refined oil is so that it does not make your final product taste like coconut so using a flavour free version would be suitable (imo)

      • avocadosandales April 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

        Yes, as Keryn said, this oil should work great!

    • wlucinda May 22, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

      Does your oil get solid in the fridge? If it doesn’t, I don’t think it would work properly.

  6. Jenjen April 6, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Do you think replacing the nuts with chickpeas would work ? My partner is allergic to all nuts sunflower and pumpkin seeds plus pinenuts . Making vegan cooking very challenging , but not impossible . Love your recipes and thankyou for sharing… Jenjen

    • keryn wolff April 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

      you should try it. It can never hurt to try. Then come back and let us know your outcome 🙂

  7. Jill McAnally April 10, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    Anyone know the nutrition value in this..grams of protein etc?

  8. Andy April 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    Hey just wanted to say that this is the closest damn thing I’ve made to real cheese! I always found lemon made things taste just that…lemony. My only problem was that I used liquid lactic acid and I think it made a difference because mine is ever so tart. I’ll reduce it next time. Otherwise, wow. I’m so happy. Thank you for sharing!!

  9. Angela April 25, 2017 at 5:49 am #

    Can I use melted coconut oil or do I need it in liquid from ?

  10. Ryan May 2, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    Is there something I could use in place of the cashews? (allergic to nuts)….Coconut cream maybe?

    • avocadosandales May 3, 2017 at 1:25 am #

      Try sunflower seeds!

    • keryn wolff May 3, 2017 at 5:10 pm #

      you could try sunflower seeds or tahini paste or even cooked and blended chickpeas or other white bean…?? but it will change the end resulting flavour, worth a try though .

  11. Mel Wicks May 17, 2017 at 6:45 am #

    This is delicious! I made it with sunflower seeds, as I was out of cashews, and the sunflower seeds worked fine. The colour would probably be better with cashews, but the taste and texture are superb. I also used the agar in the amount suggested and that was fine as well. When cooking on pizza etc the cheese seemed to hold its shape and not melt easily, but I recommend just squashing with a fork part way through cooking and that helps the melt. Cost wise the sunflower seeds make it cheaper, so would definitely use them again. This was very cheap to make anyway. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • wlucinda May 22, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

      DId you use the same amount of sunflower seeds as cashews in the recipe? Glad to read it works well with them!

      • Mel Wicks May 23, 2017 at 4:54 am #

        Yes the same amount. Another tip, make sure you cook the cheese well, until properly melted and starting to brown. I was impatient one time and undercooked it, and it wasn’t quite as nice.

  12. trainingwithbianca May 24, 2017 at 6:31 am #

    Oh man, I didn’t realize this recipe called for solid coconut oil that’s been melted until I read the comments just now. I’ve made it like a dozen times already, using liquid coconut oil every time. Like, it comes in liquid form when you buy it, at room temperature. It’s always worked, though. I can’t wait to try it the correct way and see how it comes out differently, it’s already heaven the way I’ve been making it!

    Do you think you could edit the recipe slightly, to specify melted coconut oil, and not liquid coconut oil? Don’t know if anybody has made that mistake besides me, but it would help prevent it.

    • avocadosandales May 24, 2017 at 6:38 am #

      I didn’t know there was a liquid form that didn’t solidify at cooler temperatures, what brand are you using? It should be more firm with the correct oil. I have added this to the comments above the recipe about the coconut oil.

      • Jane July 4, 2017 at 1:02 am #

        Coconut oil that has been processed to be liquid at room temp is called fractionated coconut oil. I always thought it was strictly used for cosmetics. Didn’t realize it came in food grade.

      • trainingwithbianca August 20, 2017 at 6:16 pm #

        It’s made by Carrington Farms. Thank you so much for the edit, and for sharing your incredible recipe!!

  13. Jenny May 25, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Hi there,
    I’m new to all things aquafaba and vegan cooking but I gave this recipe a whirl last night. As per a recommendation, I use Arrowroot powder instead of the Kappa Carrageenan. I can see this morning that the cheese has not set firmly. Any ideas on what I could do if I try again? Perhaps doubling it as you are suggesting with the Agar? Thank you!

    • avocadosandales May 25, 2017 at 11:09 am #

      I would suggest ordering kappa carrageenan if possible! It will work the best.

      • Jenny May 25, 2017 at 11:23 am #

        I wanted to avoid it due to all the things I’ve read. 😦

      • avocadosandales May 25, 2017 at 11:38 am #

        You can try with agar but I have not seen anyone have success with it as a firming agent. It can also be used as a melt as is but it won’t be a sliceable product.

    • keryn wolff May 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

      Jenny uless the things about carrageenan come from scholarly research article, I would ignore them. There is no real evidence for it affecting people at all.
      Also using arrowroot or tapioca will work if you make a really thick slurry but then it wont really have a cheese texture it will be more like a savoury set custard. not really a good outcome.

      The agar will work but you need to be aware that agar will not set in the presence of acid so you would need to reduce the lactic or citric by at least half and then quadruple the agar agar amount to increase the likelihood of success. It only worked for me on one occassion when i had forgotten to put lemon juice in the recipe.

      but good luck and remember if you are using it as a sauce or pouring it over something you dont need a setting agent at all… just the thickener (arrowroot/ tapioca)

  14. Kat June 13, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    Can the mixture be left to sit for a day before heating to get more of that cheesy flavor? Wondering if you or anybody has tried it with this recipe.

    • avocadosandales June 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

      As long as your utensils are clean before blending, I don’t see why not! It would be an interesting experiment. If you try it, please report back.

  15. Kristy June 16, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    Loved it!! I didn’t have any lactic acid, so I subbed with citric acid. I also added another tsp of nooch to make the cheese more like a cheddar.

    • Natalie Marcaccini July 12, 2017 at 8:34 am #

      Did you use the same amount of citric acid? Was it powdered?

  16. Mandy Marie June 21, 2017 at 8:25 am #

    I used liquid lactic acid and agar and didn’t have much luck with setting and the flavour was very acidic. Also had the problem of my coconut oil separating. I’m going to try again with lower heat, less acid (I’m thinking half, although do you know the %purity of the powdered stuff?), and kappa carageenan. Wish me luck!

    • Mandy Marie June 21, 2017 at 8:29 am #

      Also, has anyone tried this recipe or similar ones with glucomannan(konjac)? I haven’t cooked with it but I think of it as a really powerful thickener.

  17. abigailrobinsonphotography June 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

    Can I use another oil like grapeseed, or would only a more saturated oil like coconut work? I saw in the comments that some people tried using liquid coconut oil successfully, so I wondered if any liquid oil would work

    • avocadosandales June 22, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

      You can certainly try, but the end result won’t be as solid!

  18. Isabel September 18, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

    Hi, of all the vegan cheeses I’ve made over the years, this one is definitely a family favourite and much cheaper to make. Instead of aqua faba, I cook up flaxseed gel, which (I think) is healthier than coming from a can, and reduces the cost even more. 1 cup flaxseed to 6 cups of water, cook slowly to reduce to half the volume. Strain and use the seeds to make crackers etc. Use the gel as you would the aquafaba – it works beautifully. Thank you for this recipe – my son is extremely particular when it comes to his food, so this has truly been a lifesaver!

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