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This vegan provolone cheese is buttery, tangy, and a little bit smoky. It's made with the leftover wheat starch water from washing flour to make seitan. Perfect for your next charcuterie board or sliced thin for sandwiches, the texture will impress even the hardcore cheeseaholics!



Ingredients

  cup cashews, soaked for 8-12 hours or using the fast soak method (below)
 ¾ cup water
 ¾ cup room-temperature starch water, as much water drained off as possible and stirred
 ¼ cup tapioca starch/flour
 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
 1 ½ tbsp kappa carageenan
 1 tsp salt (add another 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
 1 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
 1 tbsp mellow white miso paste
 2 tsp liquid smoke
 ¼ cup refined* coconut oil, melted*It is important to use refined coconut oil which has been de-flavored so your cheese does not taste like coconut.
 ¼ cup your favorite butter, meltedI used Country Crock plant-based which is salted. If yours is unsalted, add another 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Directions

1

Soak the cashews overnight or for 8-12 hours to soften them. If you're pressed for time you can boil a cup or two of water, then add the cashews and remove from the heat. Let them sit for 30 minutes in the boiled water, then give a quick rinse in cool water.

2

In a high-speed blender or food processor (I used the single blender cup from my Ninja) process the cashews and starting with about a 1/2 cup of water, process until smooth, adding the additional 1/4 cup as you go.

3

Drain as much excess water off your starch as possible and stir. I let mine sit in the fridge for a day or two to try to get it to really separate before using for this. Make sure your starch water is at room temperature before beginning, or it can make your coconut oil solidify when mixing.* I microwave it in 30-second increments, stirring each time until it's ready. Be careful not to heat it too much or the starch will clump.

*You can also leave the starch on your counter for several hours or overnight so it begins to ferment. The sourness and slight acidity will add more depth of flavor to your cheese.

4

Prepare a steamer and have a container ready for your cheese. I use these silicone molds which easily release. You may want to oil a glass container if using. Whatever you choose, make sure it can easily hold up to at least 2 1/2-3 cups of liquid, because the mixture will rise by about 1/3 during cooking.

5

Add the blended cashews and all the ingredients through the liquid smoke to your blender or food processor and blitz. Slowly add in the melted coconut oil and butter and continue to blend until it is fully emulsified.

6

Finally add in the lactic acid and pulse the blender a bit more to incorporate.* Pour the mixture into the prepared vessel and steam for 45 minutes. Allow to come to room temperature before covering and storing in the fridge. The cheese will be hardened after about 6-8 hours of resting in the fridge and will continue to harden a little more as it rests.


*SIDE NOTE: The reason I add the lactic acid last is because it can affect the kappa carageenan's ability to harden the cheese. I'm honestly not sure if it makes that much of a difference since I'm blending everything together before cooking, anyway, but it's a habit I picked up from The Non-Dairy Evolution by Skye Michael Conroy. If you're just learning about vegan cheese making or want to explore some new ideas, I highly recommend the book.

 

More Starch Water & Deli-Style Recipes

Vegan Crepes | Wheat StarchBy JenTurn your leftover wheat starch from flour-washing into delicious vegan crepes! With the additions of JUST Egg (or your favorite egg replacer), plant milk and butter, plus a little extra flour, these skinny pancakes make a great breakfast. Omit the sugar and stuff with your favorite savory fillings for a tasty meal anytime. Yields about 8 crepes.
Starch Water Mild Cheddar CheeseBy JenThis vegan mild cheddar made with leftover wheat starch water gets some umami from mushroom powder and Worcestershire. It's a hard cheese perfect for your next charcuterie board, but can also be sliced thin for sandwiches or grated onto just about anything for flavor. The wheat starch does not get as stretchy as tapioca or potato starch, so while this will soften it won't exactly "melt."
Sauce Stache’s Vegan Pork BellyBy JenAnother amazing recipe from Sauce Stache, this vegan pork belly is an awesome and easy way to use up that starch water. And if you haven't heard of Sauce Stache yet, head directly over to his YouTube channel and hit the subscribe button. You won't be disappointed!
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Ingredients

  cup cashews, soaked for 8-12 hours or using the fast soak method (below)
 ¾ cup water
 ¾ cup room-temperature starch water, as much water drained off as possible and stirred
 ¼ cup tapioca starch/flour
 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
 1 ½ tbsp kappa carageenan
 1 tsp salt (add another 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
 1 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
 1 tbsp mellow white miso paste
 2 tsp liquid smoke
 ¼ cup refined* coconut oil, melted*It is important to use refined coconut oil which has been de-flavored so your cheese does not taste like coconut.
 ¼ cup your favorite butter, meltedI used Country Crock plant-based which is salted. If yours is unsalted, add another 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Directions

1

Soak the cashews overnight or for 8-12 hours to soften them. If you're pressed for time you can boil a cup or two of water, then add the cashews and remove from the heat. Let them sit for 30 minutes in the boiled water, then give a quick rinse in cool water.

2

In a high-speed blender or food processor (I used the single blender cup from my Ninja) process the cashews and starting with about a 1/2 cup of water, process until smooth, adding the additional 1/4 cup as you go.

3

Drain as much excess water off your starch as possible and stir. I let mine sit in the fridge for a day or two to try to get it to really separate before using for this. Make sure your starch water is at room temperature before beginning, or it can make your coconut oil solidify when mixing.* I microwave it in 30-second increments, stirring each time until it's ready. Be careful not to heat it too much or the starch will clump.

*You can also leave the starch on your counter for several hours or overnight so it begins to ferment. The sourness and slight acidity will add more depth of flavor to your cheese.

4

Prepare a steamer and have a container ready for your cheese. I use these silicone molds which easily release. You may want to oil a glass container if using. Whatever you choose, make sure it can easily hold up to at least 2 1/2-3 cups of liquid, because the mixture will rise by about 1/3 during cooking.

5

Add the blended cashews and all the ingredients through the liquid smoke to your blender or food processor and blitz. Slowly add in the melted coconut oil and butter and continue to blend until it is fully emulsified.

6

Finally add in the lactic acid and pulse the blender a bit more to incorporate.* Pour the mixture into the prepared vessel and steam for 45 minutes. Allow to come to room temperature before covering and storing in the fridge. The cheese will be hardened after about 6-8 hours of resting in the fridge and will continue to harden a little more as it rests.

Vegan Provolone Cheese | Wheat Starch Water