Updated: Aug 16
It may not look like it from the pictures ... but just follow the the sequence and I will explain all.
Looking at Lough Derg from the hill in Tipperary, Ireland. Today we decided to go for a walk in a heather field that leads to the top of the hill overlooking part of the Shannon waterways.
Did you know that the Shannon is the longest river in all the British Isles?
Fact of the day.
Cheese is a tough one. I was speaking to a young lady the other day. When she found out about my Hungry Soul she said, " I was vegan for several years". This meant that she was no longer vegan. So I asked why she was not today. Her answer: " It was the cheese, I just could not do without the cheese".
I understood exactly what she meant. I felt the same way as I was trying to go vegan. There is something about cheese that affects us. A superb as easy to read book by Dr. Barnard, The Cheese Trap, explains it much better than I can.
The Truth about Cheese with Dr. Neal Barnard, MD, FACC ... listen to this if you want. Click here . A short piece by Dr. Barnard.
He basically says that the fat and salt in cheese and the type of protein are actually addictive.
... and than there is pizza cheese - mozzarella. What to do about pizza? We need cheese for pizza right?
The vegan food community has been working very hard to come up with a cheese like mozzarella, that melts and is stretchy ... because the biggest demand for cheese in the world today is for pizza! But it is not easy because most plant based foods do not have the same protein structure as cheese. What to do?
Maybe think outside the box? ( sorry about the cliche )
What do we need in a pizza cheese?
- We want that fatty taste
- We want saltiness
- We want a light not too overpowering taste to allow all the other toppings to 'speak'.
Read more below.
This is Carmel, my wife happy to be walking on the hill with her dog Sally and me :) !
This is me with that stupid grin and the new hair cut. Time I cut it and go lean.
What does that have to do with cheese? Wait, we are getting there.
Notice the lime green backpack? In it is a little picnic, a reward for getting to the top of the hill.
At the top of the hill I opened the bag and gave Carmel the first piece from our picnic. I think her reaction upon biting into it was, " Hmmmmmmm divine, Jacques, that is absolutely divine".
A closer look at a slice of pizza.
Did you know that the way to tell the quality of the pizza is by eating it the next day? If it tastes even better than the day before it is a top class pizza.
Second fact of the day.
Our picnic of several pizza slices made yesterday.
But this was not like any other pizza. This pizza had vegan cheese made by the Hungry Soul Company - prototypes I am subjecting various people to. So far nobody is complaining, in fact in this case the reaction was super positive.
I think we have finally hit on something that tastes really really good, is not made from oils and starches and is not heavily processed.
PROTOTYPE No. 17 ... I think we have something here... FOR PIZZA!
Organic cashews, water, cultures, and salt... and that's it, and time, a little time.
A raw food, busting with probiotics, billions of them and zero cholesterol and the best part ... works wonderfully on pizza!
Do we now have breakthrough for all the vegan pizza lovers?
This cheese does not go on top, but it could if you wanted to put it on top. I have found it works best if put it on first with the sauce and then load it up with everything you can find in the fridge... Real Organic Vegan Goodness.
The good thing about Hungry Soul pizza cheese is the culture. Fermented and cultured cheese just taste different. Not only does it taste sooooooo good but it is a super healthy food!
Soon you will be able to buy this in the shops... well first for people living in Ireland, then the world!
If you cannot wait, why not make some yourself, very easy.
Try this recipe using natural organic cider vinegar as the culture.
Cashew Cultured Cheese
2 cups of cashews
Filtered water ( chlorinated or cooled from the kettle )
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of sea salt ( taste it at the end, you can always add more then )
- Soak the cashews in water overnight.
- Next day, drain and put them into a blender or food processor. The blender will make a smoother texture.
- Add 4 to 8 tablespoons of water, enough that it will all blend smooth.
- You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides.
- Once nice and smooth add 1 Tbsp of cider vinegar and 1 tsp ( or less ) of salt.
- Blend again for 1 minute, done.
- Put contents into a clean bowl, cover and leave to culture and ferment in a warm space ( 20 to 30 C is what you want) . Allow to culture 12 to 24 hours.
- Taste it at 12 hours and see if it is tangy. If yes and you like it, it is ready. If not or you prefer tangier leave it another 12 hours.
- It is now ready to eat - cultured cheese.
- Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. ( will be good for two weeks or more )
You can also add flavours such as garlic and chives ( my favourite ) or black pepper, smoked paprika ... well almost anything that you like.