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Cheese – going nuts!

Making cheese has always been one of the ‘must do things in life’ for me for a long time. I have always dreamt of owning a farm rearing cows and goats in a scientific manner which would provide the milk for my cheeses. Alas, having been forced to live in cities for a living and with nil knowledge of farming my dream of cheese making remained a dream, till recently.

A chance meeting with a few people, blog posts on the internet revealed the use of alternative, healthier and more benign sources for making cheese. This opportunity being too hard to ignore I jumped into the act of trying to make cheese from non-diary sources. Oh! By the way I also learnt that rearing herds of cattle in hi-tech shelters, providing them food and supplements in regular intervals and then milking them was fun, interesting and profitable only for the humans but hell for those poor animals. My interest in vegan food having been kindled, the trials for cheese making began with identifying various nuts and seeds like almonds, sesame, watermelon, sunflower etc as the starting material for the cheese. Of course it goes without saying my fetish for pomegranates makes it mandatory that any cheese that is made has the extract of the king of fruits in it.

I chose almonds as my first choice for making my vegan cheeses as they are healthy and have a good flavor, albeit a tad expensive. The two vegan cheese products that I could come up with were –

  1. Pomegranate almond cream cheese spread
  2. Baked pomegranate almond feta cheese
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Pomegranate almond cream cheese spread

It is generally assumed that cheeses are either salty or neutral in taste. I wanted my cheese to taste slightly sweet. This almond cream cheese spread is sprinkled with pomegranate fruit gel bits (made from pure 100% strength juice). It tastes slightly sweet and tangy (as would any cheese made from almonds). The cheese spread is totally natural and free from any additives, sugar etc. It is great as a spread on toast, dip for crackers, salad dressing.

Baked pomegranate almond feta cheese

This almond cheese contains salt, garlic and is gently baked to form a thin hard crust on the outside while retaining its soft inside. It is drizzled with toasted pomegranate seeds, cracked pepper to add to the taste and health quotient. Again the cheese is totally natural and free from any synthetic additives. It can be consumed as it is as a snack, used as pizza toppings, spread on toast or crackers.

At Maduban Naturals, our affair with vegan cheese making continues with trials on indigenous nuts and seeds like Sunflower, watermelon, peanuts etc. To borrow Neil Armstrong’s phrase – a small step towards preserving animal rights, a big step towards healthy living!

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