Americans consume way too many animal products. The average American diet is completely unsustainable.
THE AVERAGE AMERICAN DIET
Only 4% of the American diet comes from fruits and vegetables. Just a quick scroll through my Facebook feed, and I see people proudly parading pictures of their dinner plates. Not a single one has vegetables. It's all pastas and breads with meat stuffed in more meat and covered in cheese. It has to end. Our highly processed diet is killing us and the planet.
I'm severely allergic to cow dairy. Sheep, goat, and buffalo are all fine, but practically impossible to find in bulk. So, we're here with vegan cheese. I checked out Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner from the library, and it was amazing! I also really like her story which you can read here.
You'll need a clean 16oz and 32oz mason jar, some cheese cloth or loose knit fabric or a mesh sprouting lid, and a cup of millet. Millet is a common grain found in bulk. It's gluten free, and has a lemony, cheesy flavor. You can use other grains, but please do research on the proper technique for fermenting it specifically. This is a long process, and can be tricky. I did a lot of research on the topic, and I'm going be super detailed. This was my first time, and it turned out great. Don't be discouraged.
- STEP 1: Put the millet in the 16oz mason jar and fill with filtered water. Filtered water comes out of my fridge. If you don't have access to filtered water, boil some and then let it cool. Let the millet and filtered water sit over night.
- STEP 2: In the morning, dump out the water. Rinse the millet, place back in the 16 oz jar, cover the top with the cheese cloth and turn the jar upside down to drain.
- STEP 3: Repeat step 2 when you get home from work or before you go to bed. Rinse the millet, place in the jar, cover the top with the cheese cloth and turn the jar upside down to drain. Repeat this twice a day until you start to see tiny tails sprout.
- STEP 4: Move the sprouts to the 32 oz Mason Jar and fill the jar almost all the way with filtered water. Place the lid and the top on, but don't screw it down. Let it sit for 48 hours away from direct sunlight and where the temperature is constant. I kept it in the pantry.
- STEP 5: Congratulations, you have rejuvelac! Now drain the liquid into a glass container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- STEP 6: You can use the grains twice, but the second time it only takes 24 hours. After that, compost your grains.
- NOTE: IF AT ANY TIME ANYTHING SMELLS BAD, TASTES BAD, OR YOU SEE SIGNS OF MOLD: THROW IT OUT.
Now how about that cheese!? This recipe makes around a pound, and should fill up 3/4's of a 32 oz Jar.
1/2 Cup of Rejuvelac
2 Cups of Cashews soaked overnight
3 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
1 Teaspoon of Salt
In a food processor combine the cashews and rejuvelac. Let it blend for several minutes. Place the mixture in a glass bowl, cover, and leave on the counter up to three days. I used a dish towel to cover it. I didn't experience any mold. But if there is any mold in this stage, it's fine. Just scrape it off - we are making cheese.
Stir in the salt and nutritional yeast, and store in fridge for at least 6 hours. You can also add any herbs you like. Now devour it with anything! It's so good. It tastes just like goat cheese. I like it on crackers, pizza, tarts, sandwiches - you name it! Plus, it will keep in the fridge up to a month!
I know this seems like a lot of work, but it's not. Total active time may have been 30 minutes. It's just a lot of waiting. But, it's exciting, delicious, waste free, and great for the environment. It's a total win. Will you give it a try?