View Full Version : Slicing Cheese with Chia Instead of Agar
12-28-2009, 10:47 PM
I experienced something interesting with a batch of cashew cheese. At first I was just going to make a sauce but then I thought I'd add a bunch of unsoaked Chia seeds (about 4 really good Tablespoons) while blending just to make it a bit thicker. It ended up really smooth and thick and when I packed it into a square container and refrigerated it, it came out so nice and solid I could slice it and grate it!
I was so thrilled as I used to make this kind of thing with agar, but that needs to be heated to melt. I never got around to trying it with warm water and the high speed blender to see if it would work.
But I know the Chia seeds work. In fact, it is a firmer cheese than my old recipe with agar! Great! Chia has a lot of nutrition and benefits.
If you're working with a regular blender you might want to soak the Chia first. A lot of people keep some soaked Chia Jell handy for use in recipes for thickening. It makes great pudding and pie filling with fruit, vanilla or chocolate etc.
12-29-2009, 05:38 AM
Thanks for Sharing. How about Sharing the Recipe, this sounds Very Interesting. What about spraying the container with a Spray Release such as Pam or using an Oil before you put it in the container.
12-29-2009, 08:30 AM
I'll post the recipe when I get back home.
No need for pan release. I used a plastic container and it just slipped right out. I even got this cute mold that looks like a big wedge of Swiss Cheese so it's a great thing for esthetics - that is unless you object to the idea of making it TOO much like a cheap copy of cheese. I've never posted a picture on here, but maybe I'll try to post this as it looks so cute.
12-30-2009, 04:39 PM
You home yet mate? I'm interested in that recipe + pics.
12-30-2009, 09:39 PM
12-31-2009, 12:24 AM
I'm SO SORRY!
I meant to get this recipe made, photographed and onto the site...but I'm moving.
I'll have to ask you to be patient until next week when I get all my equipment set up at the new place.
01-02-2010, 05:51 PM
Love the idea of using chia. I try and have some chia gel every day, but this sounds great.
01-02-2010, 07:51 PM
Cool! Thanks for sharing.
Did you grind the chia, or leave it whole. Thenk if whole, were there "flecks" in the cheese?
If you don't have time to answer, I'll be patient! LOL
01-05-2010, 04:38 PM
Internet JUST back up today. What frustration.
Move not half done yet because of extreme cold weather.
I just saw the question about grinding the chia and I can tell you that it ground very well in my KTec. If it makes you more confident, grind it in a coffee grinder separately first, then put it in the blender with the other ingredients when blending them. As for specs, I used the lighter colored seed so I can't tell you if the darker ones would produce specks.
I think this idea would do well with almost any cheese recipe. Until I have my stuff back together and able to post the recipe, I'll tell you that I just used a regular vegan cheese recipe with cashews, nutritional yeast, red peppers, some lemon and garlic, etc. I didn't use any oil. There are lots of those recipes floating around. I just added a bunch of dry chia before I blended it, as I thought if I used soaked seeds, that would make it more juicy and harder to thicken.
I remember there was another post quite awhile ago where they poured a cheesy sauce onto a teflex sheet and dehydrated it. Then they flipped it as soon as it was firm, scored it, and had cheese slices. I tried that and it wasn't too bad. Adjust seasonings until it suits you. I held several of those slices together and grated them and that worked well.
Oh yes, if you want feta, leave out the red peppers, add a lot of salt, and vinegar or lemon to the mixture and ferment it some. Once it's solid you can try immersing chunks of it in some very salty water in the fridge, although I don't know how long that would last. That's about as close as I've gotten.
Happy New Year everyone...now on with my unpacking....
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