I love experimenting with different vegan cheese flavors and bases. I really love using coconut milk because it’s easy and affordable. I am often asked if these cheeses have a strong coconut flavor and the answer is, not really. I always used refined coconut oil which has little to no coconut flavor at all, and all of the spices and other ingredients in the cheese mask the flavor of the milk very well. I love this particular chile cheddar for its deep smokey, peppery flavor without a lot of heat. You could always bump up the heat in this cheese by adding a few slashes of your favorite hot sauce. My kids and husband are not big fans of eye watering, nose running pepper heat, so this cheese has all the flavor without any of the pain. We added reconstituted dried chiles and a can of small green chiles for the perfect smokey and tangy combo. This vegan cheese will slice, shred, and even remelt, making it perfect for quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, sandwiches, or just snacking! This is a quick set cheese and is so simple to make, there is no reason to keep overpaying for store bought vegan cheese! You can have delicious vegan cheese, start to finish in about 2 hours, and for a quarter of the grocery store price!
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons agar powder
2 teaspoons light miso paste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 small can green chiles (4 oz can)
2 dried chili peppers
1/4 cup refined coconut oil
optional: a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce
Place dried chiles in a medium sized bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the peppers to cover and place a plate on top of the bowl. Let the peppers soak for about 20 minutes
In a food processor or high speed blender, add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the milk, and agar and peppers.
Pulse a few times to mix it all up.
After the peppers are done soaking and have softened, remove from the water. Cut the pepper open and remove the stem and the seeds. I just run a paper towel down the inside of the peppers to wipe out the seeds.
Drop the whole peppers into the food processor. Open the green chiles and dump them onto several folded up paper towels or a clean kitchen towel just to absorb some of the liquid. Add them to the food processor as well. Pulse until the peppers are broken down.
Now add the milk, and agar to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens to the constancy of a thin pudding. This only takes a few minutes.
Add the milk mixture to the ingredients in the food processor, and mix for about a minute. The mixture will quickly begin to thicken as agar begins to solidify at room temperature.
Transfer to the mixture to several small bowls or cheese molds. I can fill three small bowls with this recipe.
Allow the cheese to harden in the refrigerator uncovered for a few hours.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week or so.
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