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full of plants blue cheese

Vegan Blue Cheese ( Artisan Roquefort)

February 6, 2020

Simply ferment cashews with Penicillium Roqueforti and age it at least 4 weeks. It’s hard to believe this Vegan Blue Cheese is not made from dairy?

I stopped eating any kind of meat since 2004. It wasn’t too hard to make up my mind not to rely on other lives to live, although I still ate dairy cheese.

A few years later, as I learned more about the dairy industry, I tried to give up dairy products altogether as well.

However, giving up dairy wasn’t easy. There is dairy in almost everything, and the most difficult item to give up is cheese.

I have tried replacing my cheese cravings with commercial vegan cheeses on the market, but one I bought was so bad that I couldn’t finish it. It was highly processed with some unfamiliar additives in it–not what I wanted to put in my body.

I never thought I would be able to find anything to substitute my cheese craving until I stumbled on a website called Full of Plants and Cashewbert. I was so happy, and started to experiment and adapted the recipe and methods to make vegan camembert first.

While the camembert was in the aging process, I started to explore this Vegan Blue Cheese.

It came out delicious even though it didn’t look so appealing. Once I knew it tasted so good, I had the courage to try making it more to make sure it works and can be accessible to everyone.

The magic ingredient to make this Vegan Blue Cheese taste so good is Penicillium Roqueforti, the same kind they discovered in France a long time ago.

some mold grows inside the holes

I love good blue cheese, but never before had I wanted to know how it’s made. This time, I did some research to find out about Penicillium Roqueforti, and I was amazed–not that it’s tasty, but by fact the mold is very healthy too.

I’m very happy to know that to make this cheese taste so good, I don’t need any unfamiliar additives at all.

Besides Penicillium Roqueforti, you probably have all the ingredients for this Vegan Blue Cheese!

The process takes anywhere from 4 weeks and up. It depends on how strong you want your Vegan Blue Cheese to be. I like it not too strong, so aging at 6 weeks is perfect for me. My husband and teen daughter on the other hand like a stronger flavor, and aging it up to 2 months is what they like.

small blue veins inside

You might wonder what this Vegan Blue Cheese tastes like. Well, it’s not dairy cheese, so don’t expect the exact same taste, although my husband says the 8-week version is too good to tell the difference. However, both taste very good, and are creamy & salty.

You can definitely get the real blue mold taste from the penicillium roqueforti, and best of all it’s plant based so you can eat it without guilt.

Ready to give Vegan Blue Cheese a try? Let me show you how.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups (474 ml) of raw cashews. Organic & fairtrade is preferable.
  2. 3 TBSP (45 ml) filtered water
  3. 3 TBSP (45 ml) water kefir. Other probiotic liquids such as liquid whey from plant-based yogurt should work fine. You can leave it out and use the same amount of filtered water too.
  4. 2 TBSP (30 ml) coconut oil
  5. 4 capsules of plant-based probiotic. (I use the 15 billion per capsule variety)
  6. About ½ TSP (5 ml) of Himalyan salt or cheese salt. The salt needs to be low in iodine.
  7. 1/16 TSP (dash) of penicillium roqueforti

Equipment:

Note : Use this for guidance, and feel free to use what you already have and be creative!

  1. A food processor or a high speed blender. Note: I tried using a high speed blender a few times and realized it was too difficult to scoop out the cashew paste. To make it easier for the blender to work properly and easy to scoop, I had to make the paste liquid enough. I ended up with another process to get rid of the liquid, and the cheese didn’t turn out the way I wanted. So, I’m happy using a food processor as it’s easier.
  2. Something to form the cheese. I use a small non-stick springform pan and a custard bowl.
  3. A container to use during the aging process.
  4. 2-3 bamboo mats or any non-metallic rack.
  5. Cheesecloth (washed) and parchment paper.

Instructions for making Vegan Blue Cheese:

  1. Prior to making it : soak the cashews in filtered water overnight.
  2. Day 1 : dump the soaking water. Pour boiling water over the cashews and quickly drain it. Note: You can rinse with filtered water and drain it like I do sometimes.
  3. Put the cashews in a food processor (or a high-speed blender), add ¼ teaspoon salt, the water kefir and the filtered water. Process, scrape down, and keep processing until smooth to the texture you like.
  4. Open the probiotic capsules, sprinkle the powder in, and add the Penicillium Roqueforti. Process it again until everything is well combined.
  5. Put the mixture in a glass container, cover it lightly and let it ferment at room temperature for one night.
  6. Day 2 : use a container’s lid, put a bottomless springform on it, then put a cheesecloth in. Scoop the mixture into it and lightly pack it down. Fold the cheesecloth over the edges and gently press it down to level the mixture. Use a container to lightly cover it, and let it sit in the coolest area of the house with the temperature is about 53-56 degrees fahrenheit (12-14 ° C) I leave mine in the attic and it works perfect. Let it form for one night.
  7. Day 3: take out the form and unwrap the cheesecloth. Sprinkle some salt on it evenly, then use a piece of parchment paper to cover it and carefully flip the cheese. Remove the cheesecloth and sprinkle salt on this side too. Cover it and put it back in the cool area. Note: the amount of salt used to sprinkle is about ¼ teaspoon (1.25 g), but don’t worry if it’s a little bit more or less.
  8. Day 4 : You can see some blue mold starts to form, but mostly on the sides. Use another piece of parchment paper to flip it, dry the cover if there is moisture on it, and put it back to the cool area. Note: I wipe down the paper with a clean washcloth after each use and dry it. I reuse the same paper until it gets too weary.
  9. Day 5: There is more blue mold today. There are two methods at this point. The first one : use a clean stick to prick the cheese to make holes. Start from the top through the bottom, then from the side through the other side. Prick as many holes as you can, but make sure the cheese doesn’t collapse. Then use a piece of paper to cover and flip. Prick this side through the bottom too. Dry the cover and put it back in the cool area. The second one: crumble the cheese into small chunks, then lightly pack it in the small springform ring. Remove the form, dry the cover and put it back in the cool area. Note: this step is essential to allow air to circulate and create air pockets inside the cheese for the mold to grow. The mold is the key to making the cheese tasty..
  1. Day 6: There is more mold and also more moisture. Use a piece of parchment paper to cover it and flip. This time put a bamboo mat underneath to help ventilate the bottom. Dry the cover and put it back to the cool area. You can put the cheese directly on the mat, but the mold might stain it and it’s hard to clean.
  2. Day 7 to until the mold covers the entire cheese: repeat the flipping everyday , change the mat to a dry one if it gets too wet.
  3. Day 12 or so : the cheese now should be covered with the blue mold. It’s time for slow aging. Transfer the cheese to a piece of parchment paper and wrap it. Put it in a breathable container and keep it in the fridge to age for another 2 to 3 weeks. No need to flip it at this point. Note: the mold didn’t grow and cover the entire cheese with the one that crumbled. I didn’t like how it looked that much, but I covered it and let it age in the fridge anyway.
  4. After 2 weeks or so in the fridge : It should be ready to eat. The one with the hole pricking has mold growth inside where it got pricked. It tasted very good, and it definitely can satisfy my blue cheese craving. You can leave it longer if you like a stronger flavor. I let the crumbled one age for 4 weeks . It isn’t as appealing at first on the outside, but the smell and texture is really close to dairy blue cheese. There are also more small blue veins inside that distribute the flavor. The crumbling does a very good job creating small air pockets for the mold to grow. With a lot more mold distributed, the taste is amazing. Being aged longer with more mold inside, this one is the winner!

    Simply ferment cashews with Penicillium Roqueforti and age it at least 4 weeks. It’s hard to believe this Vegan Blue Cheese is not made from dairy?

    Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing

    Creamy, tangy, full of flavor, this healthy and oil free Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing is easy to make and totally delivers with dressing bliss. It’s perfect for salad drizzling, veggie dipping, and Buffalo Cauliflower wing dunking. Deliciously punchy vinegars and tahini with creamy tofu will hook you with the first bite. This wholesome dressing is sure to absolutely delight your taste buds, making it this week’s awesome Whip It Up Wednesday recipe.

    Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.

    Hi there, Ameera here!

    This week’s Whip It Up Wednesday is our creamy and oh-so-delicious Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing. I was never a huge fan Blue Cheese Dressing prior to becoming Whole Food Plant Based. Mom, on the other hand, LOVED it.

    We’ve been playing around with this recipe off and on for nearly a year because Mom wanted to keep punching up the tangy flavors. She is a “tangy” dressing addict and wants everything to be bold and tangy. It’s hard to reign her in at times. LOL

    We wanted to make something fun, bold, and full of tangy flavors, but not uberly tangy (me, not Mom – LOL). We loved this dressing, even me, who was not formerly a Blue Cheese Dressing lover. This dressing will knock your socks off with its amazingly rich flavors.

    This post contains affiliate links, and we may receive a very small commission if you purchase through those links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures! For more information, see our disclosures here.

    Whip it up Wednesday

    As you already know, every Wednesday, we feature a quick and easy recipe that can be “whipped up” in 20 minutes or less. This recipe can be made in about 10 minutes, which really helps speed things up in the kitchen.

    Our Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing is the perfect accompaniment for your veggie/salad bowls, or over some steamed veggies or as a great dunking dressing for your Buffalo Cauliflower Wings.

    Salad Bowl Fun

    Here’s how we prepared this bowl of healthy tastiness:

    • Salad greens
    • Sliced tomatoes
    • Carrot ribbons
    • Chopped cucumbers
    • Red onion slices
    • Brown rice fusili pasta
    • Chickpeas tossed in paprika
    • Sprinkle of hemp seeds
    • Vegan Blue “Cheese” Dressing

    We hope you enjoy our new Whip It Up Wednesday quick and easy ideas! If you try it, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do!

    If you try this flavorful salad, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.

    Whole Food Plant Based Salad Dressings

    We have a gathered a roundup of Whole Food Plant Based Salad Dressings, Vinaigrettes, and Sauces. Be sure to check them out (click link above).

    Products Used:

    • High-Speed blender

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    Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing

    • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
    • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
    • Total Time: 10 Minutes
    • Yield: 1 ½ cups 1 x
    • Category: Dressing
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    Creamy, tangy, full of flavor, this healthy and oil free Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing is easy to make and totally delivers with dressing bliss. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.

    Ingredients

    Base Ingredients:

    • 1 – [ 14 oz. package ] firm tofu, divided *
    • 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon tahini
    • ¼ cup water
    • 3 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar *
    • 2 teaspoons ume plum vinegar *
    • ½ teaspoon organic maple syrup
    • 1 Tablespoon miso *
    • 1 to 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (+/-) *

    Spice/Herb Ingredients:

    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onions
    • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard powder
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *

    Optional Blue “Cheese” Crumbles:

    • 7 oz . pressed firm tofu (from divided above)
    • Sprinkle sea salt
    • Sprinkle dried dill weed

    Instructions

    1. Divide the 14 oz. package of firm tofu into 2 pieces. Place one half (7 oz.) directly in a high-speed blender. Take the 2 nd half (7 oz.) and place it on a thick paper towel covered plate, then place another thick paper towel on top of the tofu. Then place another plate on top of the stack and place a can of beans on top for weight. This creates weight to press and pull out the moisture in the tofu, often called “pressing the tofu.” Press for 10 minutes.
    2. In the meantime, place all the other Base Ingredients and Spice/Herb Ingredients into a high-speed blender with the 1 st half of the firm (unpressed) tofu, blend on high until smooth and emulsified.
    3. Taste test the dressing and add more seasonings, if needed.
    4. Place the dressing into a bowl, then add the Blue “Cheese” crumbles (see recipe notes on how to season the pressed tofu) into the dressing to create the “blue cheese” like texture that Blue Cheese Dressing is noted for, stir well to combine.

    Notes

    *Tips for Success: Test the flavor of the dressing out on some lettuce to determine if you need to add more distilled vinegar and nutritional yeast. The determining factor really depends on how much salad dressing you typically like on your salad. If you tend use very little salad dressing, then you may need to pop the tang with some extra distilled white vinegar and nutritional yeast. We like to create a very tiny salad of lettuce (about one cup), then toss in some of the dressing, mix well to distribute, then taste test to determine if the dressing has enough flavor pop to it.

    *Firm Tofu: Firm tofu is found in the refrigerated section. It typically comes in a 14 oz. package. Drain and discard the water. You may or may not use all the “tofu crumbles” from the 2 nd half (7 oz.) of pressed firm tofu. Our family was divided over how much crumbles to use. Some preferred more than others. You may have left over crumbles that you can add to salads or other dishes.

    *Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. If you are going to live the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle, then you will quickly find that miso is your friend.

    *Ume Plum Vinegar: We used Eden Ume Plum Vinegar. Ume Plum Vinegar is perfect for this recipe as it has that deliciously tangy flavor which Blue Cheese Dressing is know form. It is relatively inexpensive. We use it quite frequently and it worth requesting it from your local grocery or ordering off of Amazon in our humble opinion. There really isn’t a great substitute for it. You can leave it out with the understanding that the flavor will be different.

    *Optional Blue “Cheese” Seasoned Pressed Tofu Crumbles: After you have pressed the tofu, break it into small pieces about the size of a small pea. Then sprinkle a little sea salt and dried dill weed over the top. Press the seasoning into the tofu crumbles, then add to the Blue “Cheese” Dressing.

    *Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

    *Serving: Makes approximately 1 ½ cups of dressing (without the crumbles)

    *Storage: Refrigerate and use within 7 days.

    Creamy, tangy, full of flavor, this healthy and oil free Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing is easy to make and totally delivers with dressing bliss.