So, sometimes it’s really good to be recognised. No, I’m not famous or anything. Sometimes you want to go about your business and not be seen, but sometimes it’s good to be recognised.
At first I thought they were thinking I was someone else – but then it happened again.
What am I talking about? When I got back from holiday last week my first stop was the local ‘natural food’ shop to pick up some bits and bobs.
I wanted to get some tempeh as my fridge was bare, and the last time I was in they were doing cheese tasting, and I really wanted to buy some of the mozzarella I tried.
I got to the stall, and low and behold, their fridge was bare too 😦 I thought I would just have a look around to see if there was anything new when the shop assistant came over to me, shuffled around in the fridge and pulled out a packet of tempeh, that they had been ‘saving for me’. How great was that?!
Happily I mentioned that I was looking for the mozzarella, but they didn’t have any so which ‘cheese’ would they recommend, when the manager came around the corner and said that he did have one packet of the mozarella that had come in as a sample, and he would give it to me for half price 🙂 Whoop whoop.
So that was how I came about my vegan mozzarella.
When I first looked into getting vegan cheese, I was initially put off by the carrageenan in the ingredients list. In fact, from a background where I try to buy ingredients that my ‘great-grandmother would understand’ or ‘only food you can pronounce’ vegan cheese looks pretty much off limits.
Ingredients: Water, non-hydrogenated vegetable fats & oils, tofu, soya protein, potato starch, thickeners: carrageenan, locust bean gum; salt, dried yeast, calcium phosphate, spirit vinegar, natural flavouring, acidity regulator: sodium citrate, sugar, yeast extract
But for the sake of keeping an open mind – I tried it anyway.
I first tried it straight out of the packet. I enjoyed the mild cheesy flavour, and the soft but solid texture. Not bad – in fact nicer than some of the cheap mozarellas that I have had in the past.
My first attempt cooking it was with tomatoes and basil in a stuffed coquina squash. I was making Ben pizza, so I thought the stuffed squash would be a good start.
The cheese was too soft to grate, so I broke it into chunks and piled it with cherry tomatoes and basil into my ready cooked squash.
I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the melting ability of Cheezly. I’ve done a quick google, and reviews are mixed. Some say it melts perfectly like real mozzarella, others agree with my experience. I found that it was grainy, and while it did go soft, it certainly didn’t lose it’s shape or go stringy – in my opinion the best bit about mozzarella. Perhaps I should have googled first as I learned this tip:
If you’ve ever used Follow Your Heart brand melting cheese then I would use the same guidelines with Cheezly when baking – always bake at 450 degrees and give it a couple minutes under the broiler if it doesn’t completely melt.
As my experiements with cooking it didn’t go to plan, my second attmpt was a courgette noodle (zoodle) and roasted veg salad, and I just crumbled some of the Cheezly over the top – much nicer!
And how does it compare nutritionally?
Taken from the Cheezly website:
|Nutritional Information||Typical analysis per 100g|
|Energy kj/kcal||1149 / 275|
|– of which saturates (g)||15.9|
|-of which sugars (g)||0.4|
So how does this compare to regular mozzarella
|of which sugars||0.8g|
|of which saturates||12.4g|
I think next time I’m going to try a different brand for melting.
Have you tried vegan melty cheese? What would you recommend?