How to make gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free cheese

Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free cheese with garden tomatoesI feel like I am somewhat on a quest;  a quest to find food that anyone can eat, no matter what their food restrictions may include.  This is now my second attempt at a recipe for SLICE-ABLE and GRATE-ABLE, dairy-free, casein-free and soy-free cheese.  Unfortuanately it doesn’t cover people with nut or cashew allergies, but hopefully many people can use and enjoy this recipe.

I actually like it better than my first attempt at slice-able, casein-free cheese.  The first one was a bit flimsy, though it did slice.  And the only way to get it to grate was to freeze it, which was time-consuming and a bit cold on the fingers!

I found this new recipe in The Real Food Daily Cookbook by Ann Gentry under “Cashew Cheddar Cheese.”  I made some adjustments – such as replacing the soy milk with almond milk and canola oil with olive oil.  I also halved the recipe completely because it called for 2 ounces of agar agar.  At around $7 or so an ounce of this seaweed, I decided to just half the recipe to see if I even liked it before spending so much on the agar agar!

Because this recipe uses agar agar, it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  The previous recipe called for gelatin, which I’m not too fond of either.

The other great thing about this new recipe is that the cheese can be grated without freezing it!  See below:


And yes, it can be melted after it hardens, or you can use it as a melted cheese when you first make it.

As for the flavor, I thought it had a nice flavor, however I may use a tad more garlic and onion powder next time and maybe a bit more nutritional yeast.

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Why soaking flours can help you digest your baked goods

apple muffins

Did you you know that it used to be common practice to soak flour in cultured milk, buttermilk or cream to make baked goods such as pancakes, muffins and cakes?  For people who are allergic to dairy products, water with a little lemon juice or vinegar can be used.

Why soak the flour?

As many people know, wheat and other grains are one of the hardest things to digest.  This accounts for many of the sensitivities to wheat and grain products that people have today.  However, if the grains and flours are first soaked for 12-24 hours, this begins the “digestion process” well before it hits your stomach.

“Because they are acidic, buttermilk,cultured milk, yogurt and whey (as well as lemon juice and vinegar) activate the enzyme phytase, which works to break down phytic acid in the bran of grains.  Sour milk products also provide lactic acid and lactobacilli that help break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins.  Soaking increases vitamin content and makes all the nutrients in grains more available…”  Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, pg. 476.

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