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Vegan Cheese Kit...what a disaster!

Vegan Cheese Kit...what a disaster!

Old 01-17-2020, 11:50 AM
  #1  
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Default Vegan Cheese Kit...what a disaster!

I love the almond cream cheese, made by Kite Hill, which is naturally cultured, just like dairy cheese. I have been forever hunting for the starter culture that they use to make it. (I don't think it's the same culture that you would use to make dairy cheeses.) Of course, that's KH's company secret and I doubt they're going to tell anyone. I've tried to save a bit of it, to culture my own almond milk, but haven't yet been successful.

Recently, I came across a site that sold a, "Vegan Cheese Making Kit," and I thought...hummm...maybe this is it. It included culture, sunflower seeds, arrowroot/Irish Moss flour, a nut bag and a little thermometer. I bought it online and it arrived the other day. I was a bit skeptical when their recipe told me to add a 1/2 of arrowroot/IM powder, but I followed the recipe exactly.

This stuff was absolutely disgusting!!!!! First, it was nothing like cheese in any way. The color of the sunflowers made it a greyish green...so unappetizing. The taste was just bland, no cheesy flavor whatsoever and the texture was...I dunno...something like the stuff that comes out of your nose when you have a bad cold. I cannot believe that they passed this off as cheese. I couldn't flush it down the garbage disposal fast enough! Maybe I made an error, but there were so many things not right with the final product that I don't think anything that I might have done wrong would have made any difference.

So, if you're like me...looking for that illusive, vegan, cheese culture, don't fall for this marketing ploy. Be wary of anything that calls for arrowroot, or tapioca flours and use sunflower seeds for the base. If you do come across a natural culture for almond milk, please let me know.

~ C

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-17-2020 at 03:09 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for this review! Informative and funny at the same time.
My daughter has embraced the vegan life over the last year, previously vegetarian (as am I); she is looking into making her own vegan 'cheese' at some point this year. I will be sure to pass on your experience. She and her family visited and stayed for 7 days over Christmas, I joined in her vegan meals, her husband, their children, and my son and his family are all omnivores. My son's contribution to the meals was a very large selection of beautiful (real) cheeses - all totally delicious, and there was enough for both families to take some home when they left. I love cheese and dairy, and this is the main reason why I will not go down the vegan lifestyle.
I had bought some vegan 'cheese' from the supermarket in preparation for my daughter, one was a 'mozzarella' type, and the other was a 'cheddar' type. They looked like their namesakes, but did not smell like the said cheeses! They were made from coconut oil if I remember correctly. I used them sparingly in some of the recipes I had planned, I did not like either of them.
My daughter uses 'Nutritional Yeast flakes' to add a 'cheesy' flavour/kick to her meals, it is rich in Vit D, B Vits, and Zinc apparently, and apparently vegans love it - here in the UK anyway.
I will be interested to see how her attempt will turn out!!!
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:06 PM
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When I tried to make cheese, I ended up fattening out two hogs just with my cheese flops. I kept trying all sorts of different things and never made anything edible. Some of the stuff you could tile the driveway, some were hockey pucks, maybe a substitute for rubber. I gave up.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:07 PM
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LOL, funny and great review!

I'm a former vegetarian, I'm ok with dairy and vegetable enzyme cheeses (as opposed to rennet), but Son and DDiL are full vegan. For me, part of the joy of cheese is the melting it and none of the substitutes I've found do that well although some are fine in a sandwich.

I've never been a big fan of analogs (vegan/vegetarian "fake" meats and such), but they have certainly gotten better over the years and I live in a wonderful area for foodies. Back in the 1970s, all I had in Alaska was Hain's Vegetarian Chili, my store didn't even have non-lard refried beans.

I use Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Yeast flakes for the cheezey sauce. I find smoked paprika really helps, but I'm still looking for my favorite combination of ingredients and techniques. I usually forget to soak cashews ahead of time, they are often used so I use recipes that don't need them. For Thanksgiving I made green bean casserole using fresh green beans, the cheezey sauce, fresh mushrooms and french fried onion rings (checked ingredients of store brand, they were fine).
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
LOL, funny and great review!

I'm a former vegetarian, I'm ok with dairy and vegetable enzyme cheeses (as opposed to rennet), but Son and DDiL are full vegan. For me, part of the joy of cheese is the melting it and none of the substitutes I've found do that well although some are fine in a sandwich.

I've never been a big fan of analogs (vegan/vegetarian "fake" meats and such), but they have certainly gotten better over the years and I live in a wonderful area for foodies. Back in the 1970s, all I had in Alaska was Hain's Vegetarian Chili, my store didn't even have non-lard refried beans.

I use Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Yeast flakes for the cheezey sauce. I find smoked paprika really helps, but I'm still looking for my favorite combination of ingredients and techniques. I usually forget to soak cashews ahead of time, they are often used so I use recipes that don't need them. For Thanksgiving I made green bean casserole using fresh green beans, the cheezey sauce, fresh mushrooms and french fried onion rings (checked ingredients of store brand, they were fine).
I can make a pretty good "cheezy" sauce too and I don't use cashews either. They leave an unwanted, slightly sweet taste, IMO. Nooch and smoked paprika also plays a part in mine. But what I was really looking for was a naturally, cultured cheese recipe, not a "mock" anything. Tal Ronnen, the well known chef at Crossroads restaurant in Los Angeles, came up with a way to make real cheese out of almonds. It is aged and fermented just like dairy cheese and it tastes really good. Hence, Kite Hill was born. Kite Hill also makes a very good yogurt. I want to know what cultures they use to make it. I've tried inoculating my almond milk with a spoonful of their cream cheese and it did change the taste of the milk, but it did not get thick. I think that they use other thickeners to make it firm up.

There's also Field Roast's Chao, which is like a sliced cheese for sandwiches. It's a tofu product and it melts nicely on a hamburger. I think that they ferment it over time, then add thickeners and oil to aid in its melting properties.


Anyway, I'm still on the hunt.

~ C
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:08 AM
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So, this morning I went to my old haunt, a website that sells dairy cheesemaking supplies: New England Cheesemaking Supply. I used to make dairy cheeses as a hobby and this was my favorite supplier. Guess what...they have a vegan cheese recipe! They use the same culture as what is created when making sauerkraut, called Rejuvelac, which is easy to make yourself. I'm going to give this a try. https://cheesemaking.com/products/ve...-making-recipe

I'll keep you posted as to what the results are.

~ C
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:27 AM
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There are some videos online how vegan dairy is made for retail. I'd have to choose fish sauce making over vegan dairy making and fish sauce making is disgusting.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:55 PM
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What a terrible experience. It makes a funny tale.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:01 AM
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I've finally had some success making a creamy almond cheese spread using ready made almond cream cheese. I don't know why it didn't work before, but this time it came out lovely and tastes very cheesy, but nutty too. I soaked and blanched a few handful of raw almonds to make my base. I put them into the food processor and added a couple of tablespoons of Kite Hill cream cheese, a little salt and just a table spoon of nooch. It had to run for a few minutes to get it to a super fine grind. I then scooped it out into a flat casserole dish with a lid and put it in the fridge for a couple of days to let it cure. It tasted good after two days, but tasted even better after 3, or 4 days. I also froze some and tested it after I thawed it out...tastes great. The texture is more like ricotta cheese. I suppose that I could run it through the blender, but I don't mind it as is. I plan to make some ravioli with it today...yum!

~ C
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