You know how I love my dairy-free cashew and coconut “cheese.” They’re full of probiotics and so delicious. However, they aren’t hard cheeses, and not everyone can tolerate nuts. I didn’t think there was a way to make a hard cheese without dairy or nuts. But Hayley did. She created a nut-free and dairy-free cheese (safe for the Autoimmune Paleo Diet), which is now known all over Instagram as “Zucchini Cheese”. Her recipe uses zucchini, nutritional yeast, and gelatin. My mouth fell open when I saw it. (She has a blog now)
I’m sure it’s awesome, but I never actually made Hayley’s Zucchini Cheese, so I don’t know if our proportions are similar (she measures her zucchini before steaming and pureeing.) I used cauliflower puree in my variation. A few notes before I give you the recipe:
So does it taste like real (dairy) cheese?
Taste is subjective. I find it similar and delicious, but you may not 🙂
Can it be made without gelatin?
I’m sure it can, but I haven’t yet. Normally I use HALF as much agar powder as gelatin, but again, I haven’t tested it with agar yet.
Will it melt like cheese on pizza or burgers?
No. When it becomes warm it turns into sauce. If you want to put it on pizza or a burger, make sure they’re room temperature first.
You can grate it?!
Yes! I think it’s easiest to grate if you freeze it for an hour first though.
Are the onion and garlic powder necessary?
I think so. I think such small amounts aren’t really noticeable, but really bump up the flavor. Like, “Mmm… what’s that flavor? I’m not sure, but it’s goooood.”
Autoimmune Paleo Diet Nut-Free and Dairy-Free “Cheese”
2 cups steamed cauliflower puree (rutabaga also works, but I preferred the cauliflower version)
1/2 cup grass-fed gelatin (see above for note on agar powder)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (THIS ONE is free of synthetic folic acid, a major no-no with the MTHFR mutation)
1/4 cup coconut cream concentrate (also sold as coconut butter or coconut manna) You can leave this out, but I think it adds creaminess and texture.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fine pink salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
the contents of enough dairy-free probiotic capsules to equal about 25 billion
optional: herbs and spices to taste, HERE are the AIP-approved ones
UPDATE: We have been loving this will Herbamare in place of the pink salt. I DON’T know if it’s AIP-friendly.
- Steam one large head of cauliflower until fork tender.
- In the food processor with the S blade puree the cauliflower until smooth.
- Measure out 2 cups of hot pureed cauliflower, then transfer any extra puree to a glass container with a lid.
- Quickly put the 2 cups of puree back into the food processor, and turn the machine on. (It will stay on as we add the rest of the ingredients.)
- Place a funnel over the feed tube and immediately add your gelatin. (It’s important that the puree is still hot for the gelatin to emulsify.)
- Next add the nutritional yeast the same way.
- Now we can remove the funnel and add the rest of the ingredients. (The puree should be cool enough to add the probiotics by the time you finish adding everything else.)
- Line a loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper, then fill with the cheese puree, and chill to set. (You can speed up the process by freezing for an hour before refrigerating.)
Makes about 8 servings — About 12 grams of protein per serving