We've talked about aquafaba (the magical vegan egg replacer hiding in your jar of canned chickpeas) before...
...but our minds have been focused on desserts—vegan meringues, mousses, muffins—and mayonnaise.
The possible uses for aquafaba, it turns out, extend to the world of cheese, too. The same proteins and starches that make aquafaba a capable emulsifier in vegan mayonnaise also make it a key ingredient in semi-firm, melting vegan cheeses (which are a notoriously evasive source of much vegan grief: Soft cashew cheese and liquidy cashew queso are great, but not breaded and deep-fried.)
On the blog Avocados and Ales, Lacey uses aquafaba as an emulsifier (in place of soy lecithin, frequently added to dairy-free butters and cheeses) to make vegan cheddar and vegan mozzarella that can be sliced, shredded, and melted.
You'll still need some specialty ingredients—either agar or kappa carrageenan to act as a binder and lactic acid (lemon juice can suffice as a substitute) to add tang—but the rest of the process is simple, as demonstrated in this video from Mary's Test Kitchen:
If aquafaba makes homemade vegan mozzarella possible, what's next? Tell us how you've experimented with aquafaba in the comments!
The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).Order now