Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Raw Vegan Goat Cheese

...and the final piece of the puzzle falls into place.
Raw Pine Nut "Goat Cheese"
Raw pine nut goat cheese spread, served with whole grain crackers.

Not to be too much of a curmudgeon, but I'm not generally too big on faux meat and dairy products. Don't get me wrong, they're great transitional foods for those easing slowly into a more vegetarian/vegan diet, and I certainly won't deny scarfing them down from time to time. Tofu dogs on the grill in the summer, vegan cheese on a pizza, and of course the occasional vegan grilled cheese or macaroni and cheese (thank you Daiya), but these things are more of a novelty than everyday food.
Nut-based cheeses are a whole different story.
Healthy, plant-based whole ingredients combine to create a final product with the
creaminess and texture you'd expect from a dairy-based cheese.

This is the great uncharted west of the homemade vegan world, people.
An entirely new frontier just waiting to be further explored.
There are a handful of nut-based cheeses on the retail market, but they are hard to come by (or way too expensive) for the majority of us.
As has been stated on this blog before, I am a cheapskate (the alternate working title for this blog was Cheap-Ass Vegan...) and an obsessive DIY-er.
So, not surprisingly, I've been experimenting with some recipes.
I've got a pretty good recipe for raw cashew ricotta under my belt
and now, after a little experimenting, a raw pine nut goat cheese recipe
to share with you, dear readers.

Raw pine nuts, post soaking and roughly doubled in volume.

Raw Vegan Pine Nut 
"Goat Cheese"
(makes about 4oz)

1/2c raw pine nuts
1tsp extra virgin olive oil
1tsp lemon juice
1/8tsp lemon zest
1/2 clove of garlic, finely minced
2tsp nutritional yeast
1/4tsp ground black pepper
1/4tsp salt
plus extra for topping

Place pine nuts in a glass jar or bowl and cover with an inch or two of cold, filtered water.
Soak overnight.

Drain pine nuts and toss into a blender or food processor with all other ingredients.
Blend for 3-5 minutes until completely smooth.

Scrape the blended cheese into a small glass jar,
a 4oz mason canning jar works perfectly.
Tap the jar on the counter a couple of times to get out any air bubbles,
then use a spatula to smooth the surface.

Blended and peppered cheese, about to go into the dehydrator.

Sprinkle a little additional pepper on the surface and pop the jar into your dehydrator*.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees
for 6-8 hours.
The cheese will form a rind on top and firm to the texture of spreadable goat cheese.
Serve the cheese directly out of the jar, as a spread.
Alternately, you can spoon the blended cheese into a rectangle of cheese cloth, roll it into a log,
twist the ends and place it in the dehydrator for the
same amount of time.
This will give you a small log of cheese, which can then be served as is or
rolled in fresh herbs.

*If you are dehydrator-less, do not fear!
The cheese can be "dehydrated" in the oven, set to 170 degrees, for 3-4 hours.

The finished product.


  1. Fantastic blog! Such diversity. Absolutely love it.

  2. Do we keep the lid on the jar if we are using an oven? Thanks! looks awesome!

  3. No lid necessary, just make sure the oven is at it's lowest setting. Enjoy!

  4. How long will it keep and does it need refrigeration?

    1. Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, Laurie! The cheese should be stored in the fridge and will keep for 5-7 days.

  5. I have just made this today and I love it :D. Most non-dairy cheeses are based on cashews, but I have an intolerance to those. So I love this for an alternative!