This book is truly up my alley. While I get giddy about all of the exciting new vegan products entering our stores, my own journey with vegan cooking began with the basics. So, I will always be drawn to making things from scratch. It’s not always easy with three kiddos. There’s a lot I don’t make from scratch, but I love knowing how to make certain foods like nut cheeses, granola, nut butters, plant milks, and sauces. You will find recipes for these… and oh-so-much more in DIY Vegan!
DIY Vegan is one of those “essential” books you’ll want in your kitchen. For those of us that don’t have access to specialty products like vegan cheeses, or who want to make milks and nut butters from scratch because they are cheaper or have better flavor, or because we can customize the flavors and ingredients. If this is your kind of vegan cooking, this is your kind of cookbook. Nicole and Lisa use easy-to-find, whole food ingredients to make recipes including plant-based milks, nut butters, home-ground flours, ice creams, sauces, and snack foods.
This is the first published cookbook by Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman. However, their work is well-known and cherished in the vegan community. They have worked on two ebooks together, and Nicole was also the photographer for my PP15 ebook and for Plant-Powered Families. They both have popular vegan blogs, and are two of the most compassionate people I know. Truly, they are a gift to the community and this book is a gift to us plant-based home cooks.
Lisa and Nicole have offered to share their recipe for Buffalo Mozzarella. I made it over the weekend, and even though the recipe mentions a couple of steps, it was still quite easy to make! I used my Blendtec with the twister jar to make this recipe. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can still make this since the cashews have been soaked and will blend fairly smooth. However, if you are thinking of investing in a rambo blender, look at the Blendtec, and pick up a twister jar too.
Give it a whirl, kids, and enjoy this smooth and mellow vegan mozza!
Buffalo Mozzarella (from DIY Vegan)
Missing that summer salad staple, composed of stacks of sliced tomato, creamy mozzarella, and bright, bold basil leaves? The wait is over—vegan mozzarella is here. This recipe makes what seemed impossible undeniably easy. Sure, it takes some time to prepare, but think of it as a B plot: a few minutes of effort here and there in between your life’s A-plot adventures (work, sleep, play). When it’s time for the exciting culmination, your mozzarella will be ready to star in a Caprese salad, amid roasted vegetables or thinly sliced atop a classic Neapolitan pizza. Makes 4 balls, about 1/3 cup each.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 6 hours
½ teaspoon probiotic powder
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup agar flakes, or 2¼ teaspoons agar powder
1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
2. In a blender, combine the cashews, probiotic powder, and 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and set aside to ferment for 24 hours.
3. In a blender, combine the fermented cashew mixture, nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, and salt and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. In a small saucepan, whisk together the agar and ⅔ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking often, for 10 minutes until all the agar has dissolved and the liquid begins to thicken.
5. In a shallow medium bowl, combine the blended cashew mixture and the agar mixture. Whisk until the agar mixture is completely incorporated.
6. Transfer the bowl to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
7. Divide the cheese into quarters. Put each portion on a square piece of plastic wrap. Pull the corners of the plastic wrap together over the cheese and twist to form the cheese into a tight ball, just like the classic buffalo mozzarella shape. Return to the fridge to chill for an additional hour or two before slicing. Store any leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Reprinted from DIY Vegan. Copyright © 2015 Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman. Published by St. Martin’s Griffin.
That’s not all… Lisa and Nicole have offered a giveaway of DIY Vegan for you, enter below!