Skip to main content

The Best Homemade Vegan Cheese & Ice Cream Recipes: Book Review


As I've made clear many times, I eat all food groups.  I'm not vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free or low carb. The only things I limit as much as possible are refined carbs, sugar and red meat.

Nevertheless, I am obsessed with vegan cheese.  Why? For one, I like them (I don't mean Daiya, which is just oils and starches, I mean like ones made from nuts or homemade substitutes). I think nutritional yeast is amazing.  In addition, since I have a husband who is both lactose intolerant and who adheres to a Kosher-style diet which means no dairy and meat products together, they come in handy when I'm cooking for us.

I've made all sorts of vegan cheese sauces and spreads, but have always wanted to try making hard vegan cheeses that can be sliced.  I haven't tried until recently because it just seems intimidating.  I finally gave it a shot but, instead, ended up with a thick spread (still yummy, but not what I was going for).

So when I was offered the chance to review The Best Homemade Vegan Cheese & Ice Cream Recipes by Marie Laforet, I was very eager to agree. Laforet is a Paris-based food blogger and author of over a dozen vegan cookbooks.

Part 1 starts with an introduction to the fundamental ingredients and techniques required for making vegan cheeses.  Most I have on hand in our pantry, except for agar agar.  The fermentation agents include sauerkraut juice, kombucha and kimchi, all which I can find easily in stores around here.  Rejuvelac, made from sprouted grains, however, I'd never heard of.  She gives you instructions for making it yourself but I'll be honest, I am totally freaked out about making fermented food myself because I worry I'll screw it up and make myself, or someone else really sick.  I know this is kind of irrational, but anyways. I did a little research and wasn't able to find any stores in Toronto that carry it, nor anywhere online you can buy it.  So I think I'd just stick to using the other fermenting agents.

There are 3 chapters of vegan cheese recipes:
1. The classics
2. Fermented cheeses
3. Specialty cheeses

The base for most of these is nuts, soy, and or other legumes.  They all sound delicious and I would definitely try them.  But one thing many recipes call for is "hulled, drained, brined lupini beans".  If that just means standard canned lupini beans, I can find them easily, but I am not certain this is what she means.  Other recipes call for lacto-fermented tofu. I don't think I've ever seen this product and a Google search did not lead me to any place you can purchase it online.

One thing to remember is that these products are not low in calories or fat.  Sometimes they have more than the standard dairy variety, so just switching from dairy cheese to these products, is not a great weight-loss strategy.  They are, however, pretty nutritious and perfect for vegans or those with dairy allergies or intolerances.

The section on ice creams doesn't interest me at all.  First off, most recipes require an ice cream maker and we gave ours away years ago.  Second, they may be vegan but most are made with
'cane' sugar, which is a fancy name for plain old sugar.  Some use agave, which nutritionally isn't much better, and some of the fancier frozen desserts are made with refined flour.  Thanks, but my family gets too much of this crap already so I don't use it in our home.

The dessert section has the following 3 chapters:
1. Ice cream and sorbet
2. Ice pops, bars and cones
3. Delicious frozen desserts

There are lovely photos, however, not all recipes are featured.  The instructions are clear and concise and Laforet provides many serving suggestions, tips and variations.

So do I recommend this book? I absolutely do if you don't find having to source out some potentially difficult to find ingredients and time consuming recipes.  If you are vegan or don't eat dairy for any other reason but miss things like cheese and ice cream, its a great guide to get started from.  You can always experiment with the ingredients to suit your tastes and dietary needs (I am sure some of the desserts can be made with healthier sweeteners and flours).

Disclosure: I was asked to review this book, but all opinions on this blog are my own.

Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. Best Ice Cream Maker

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blackfly Coolers: Product Review

Summer is over! Well, at least if you're a student. Officially it doesn't end for a few weeks, and it certainly still feels like summer. Yeah, I hate it. This f*cking hot, humid weather needs to end NOW! We made the most of our last weekend of the summer with our annual trip to the CNE on Friday, with a crowd of friends. It wasn't unbearably lot, thank goodness, and the girls and their friends had a blast on the rides.  Saturday I had to work, and Sunday was errand day. Monday we took the girls berry/apple/pear picking but didn't last long due to the heat. I organized the house to prepare for the construction workers starting back up yesterday, while Adam took the girls for a swim in our neighbourhood pool.

Yesterday was the first day of school. Grade 2 and Grade 5. Yep, the girls are growing up.  We are fortunate that the girls don't have much anxiety about school, they are so much more confident than I ever was as a kid! But now, in the midst of our reno chaos, …

Live Clean

I have been committed to living a healthy life through nutrition and fitness for over 20 years now.

It took me a lot longer to pay attention to what I was cleaning the house with and what I was putting ON my body as opposed to IN it.

When I got pregnant with Big A I started reading about the toxins in a lot of commercial cleaning products and switched to the all-natural, eco-friendly stuff. When I became pregnant with Little A, I switched to all-natural, eco-friendly personal care products.

I am all for being environmentally friendly for the good of the planet, but to be honest, what really motivates me to make these types of changes is concern for my family's health.

You may remember I mentioned giving up my favorite perfume a while back because it apparently is full of nasty chemicals. I switched to the "Red Tea" scent made my Roots, which is supposed to be somewhat "natural". This was only after a number of trial and errors. I first found a woman in …

Panang Curry

When we go out for Thai food, one of my favorite things to order is the panang curry. But there is no doubt when this dish is made in a restaurant, it packs a hefty wallop of fat, sodium and calories.

My version is lightened up, but still rich and flavourful and it is super simple to make.

Traditionally, panang curry is made with either beef or chicken, but I made it vegetarian, using dried seiten (wheat gluten) I got at T&T a few weeks ago. If you are not sensitive to gluten, this is a great source of vegetarian protein. If you cannot find it dried, you can get it prepared at most health food stores. Alternatively, you can use tofu, or the more traditional chicken or beef options.

This dish also doesn't usually have much vegetable matter in it, but I love how yummy veggies taste when simmered in this sauce, and it makes this a healthy one-pot meal. Use whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand.

Protein of choice (2 cups seiten or 1 lb organic tofu, boneless skinless ch…