Vegan cashew mozzarella is a great alternative to traditional mozzarella made from buffalo milk or cow’s milk. It is just as creamy as dairy-based mozzarella, has a delicate texture, and melts when heated. Unfortunately, however, the fact that it is made from cashews means that it has a very poor ratio of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA) to omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid, LA).
Mozzarella, whether traditional or vegan, is most commonly used as a pizza topping, or eaten fresh with tomatoes and basil as caprese salad. Mozzarella can be cut into slices, eaten with bread, and used to make gratin.
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Vegan mozzarella made from brown rice and psyllium husks are increasingly common in supermarkets. You may be able to find them in it mainstream supermarkets such as Walmart, Whole Foods Markets, Kroger, and Safeway (United States); Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, and Holland & Barret (Great Britain); Metro, Extra Foods, and Goodness Me (Canada); Coles, Woolworths, and Harris Farm (Australia). Brown rice vegan mozzarella is very common in organic supermarkets and health food stores.2 Mozzarella with a cashew base is easy to make yourself; we have listed the ingredients below.
Making your own Vegan Cashew “Mozzarella”:
General information: There are several ways to make vegan mozzarella. If you make it yourself, you can use silken tofu or cashews combined with psyllium husks. Psyllium husks are the shells of the seeds of various species of the genus Plantago. The husks contain polysaccharides, which have a high water-binding capacity and act as gelling agents.2
It is important to use psyllium husks and not whole psyllium seeds. The seeds also gel in water; however, their consistency does not work to make vegan mozzarella. Grinding the psyllium husks will help them to gel even better. After you soak and drain the psyllium husks and cashews, simply puree the mixture and add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper.1
- For one large mozzarella ball (around 300 g), you will need: 80 g cashews, 200 ml water (or plant-based milk such as almond milk), 2 tablespoons ground psyllium husks, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes, and a pinch of salt.
- Procedure: Mix 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks with about 200 mL water or plant-based milk and leave to gel for 2 hours. Simultaneously soak the cashews in a bowl of water for two hours and then drain. Puree the psyllium gel, the cashews, and 1–2 tablespoons lemon juice in a food processor to create a smooth mixture. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and yeast flakes. Pour the mixture into a round bowl to give the mozzarella its shape. Refrigerate for 2–3 hours until it develops a thick consistency.
Homemade vegan mozzarella can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.
Cashews contain an extremely high quantity of the essential amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential nutrient in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Cashews are also a good source of minerals such as magnesium and iron. Unfortunately, however, cashews contain a poor ratio of omega-6 (linoleic acid, LA) to omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA). When cashews are raw, their ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is at least 48:1, and this goes up to 130:1 when heated. The ideal ratio of fatty acids is 2:1, while the average ratio of fatty acids in a Western diet is 10:1. Health authorities are advocating for a ratio of 5:1. Vegans and vegetarians often eat a diet with a ratio of between 17:1 and 24:1. This is largely because of the popularity of cashews in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Eating a diet with a poor ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids encourages all kinds of inflammatory processes in the long term. This is because the receptors for inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids are the same and the acids compete with each other to be absorbed.
Psyllium husks are used in cooking as thickening and binding agents. They are rich in dietary fiber, being made up of 80 % dietary fiber, and are easy to digest.2 They also contain a lot of copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Nutrients of this sample recipe: The nutrients contained in this vegan cashew mozzarella can be found in the nutritional tables below. The nutritional information is based on the quantities listed above (assuming that you use water, not a plant-based milk).
Traditionally, mozzarella (from the Italian verb “mozzare”: to separate) is an Italian pasta filata cheese made from water buffalo milk, cow’s milk, or a mixture of the two types of milk.3
Literature — sources:
- Smarticular.net.Mozzarella-Alternative selber machen aus drei Zutaten, smarticular.net/vegane-mozzarella-alternative-roh-laktosefrei-cashew-flohsamenschalen-rezept/
- Wikipedia. Flohsamenschalen, de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Flohsamenschalen
- Wikipedia. Mozzarella, de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Mozzarella