I was wondering if it was possible to make a vegan cheese substitute from legumes as they are such a healthy food. Legumes are cheaper than the nuts used to make most cultured vegan "cheeses", and contain more protein than the purified starches used in most non-cultured vegan "cheeses". In addition they contain fibre, a dietary essential not present in dairy cheese.
After experimenting with many different legumes, mung dal proved to be the most promising. The recipe I have developed is given below. It is not a "melty" cheese substitute, as it only softens when heated, but it slices and grates well.
When stored in the fridge in a paper towel or cloth bag (cheese bag), it slowly dries out to give a parmesan-like consistency.
The vegan flavours from the Edlong company are optional but give extra cheesiness to the flavour and aroma.
As mung dal is already yellow, no colouring additive is needed.
I hope that offering this recipe inspires others to improve it or develop other legume-based "cheeses". If vegan cheeses are ever to become a common part of the diet, they must be both economically priced and nutritious. This "cheese" is I hope a step in that direction.
150g mung dal (yellow split mung beans)
15g mung bean starch
10g nutritional yeast flakes
0.5g Edlong flavour #1411344 (powder) (optional)
0.5g Edlong flavour #1412069 (powder) (optional)
100g rice bran oil (or your preferred vegetable oil)
6g salt, plain
1.5g liquid smoke flavour
0.6g lactic acid (concentrated liquid)
0.5g Edlong flavour #1411433 (liquid) (optional)
2 tsp white miso
- Dry grind the Group 1 ingredients for one minute in a Vitamix (or other powerful blender) on full speed. Brush down the resulting flour. Grind for a further one minute. You should now have a fine yellow flour in the blender.
- Stir in the rice bran oil with rubber spatula. Blend for 30 seconds on half of full speed.
- Add the Group 3 ingredients. Stir in thoroughly. Blend one minute at full speed. Scrape down. Blend for a further minute at full speed.
- Remove the now thick mixture from the blender and cook for one hour in a sous vide cooker at 90-95 Celsius in two heat-sealed sous-vide plastic bags.
- Cool for one hour at room temperature then store in refrigerator (still in sealed plastic bag).
- Either leave in plastic bag until required to be consumed.
- Or remove from plastic bag after 24 hours and store in refrigerator wrapped in a paper towel. This results in the cheese slowly drying and acquiring a parmesan-like consistency.