Monday, November 20, 2017

Holiday Helpers! Easy Vegan Cheese Ball


This purty little gal was originally featured in The Complete Guide to Even More Vegan Food Substitutions. (Fairwinds Press, 2015) by me and Celine Steen. But I have been making a variation of this ball since way back in 2006 when we were working on 500 Vegan Recipes. What can I say? I love balls!


This is a simple stunner that is perfect to bring along to holiday potlucks and parties, and of course for your own festive gathering (even if it is a gathering of you and your furbabies spent on the sofa binge watching the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!)

This is it. In it's very plain and unadulterated state. Which is fine. It works. People like it that way. But, when I want to get really festive, I add in some dried cranberries or currants to the outside. I also like to use a variety of dried herbs and spices tossed with the almonds before coating.  Once I made a cracked peppercorn crust and that was a reeaaalllllly good one. Get creative! Have fun with your balls!

Sharp Almond Cheese Ball
*No added oil
*No added sugar

8 ounces (227 g) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegan milk
1/2 cup (48 g) almond meal (raw almonds ground into a fine powder)
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons (16 g) arrowroot powder
1 to 2 tablespoons (18 to 36 g) miso to taste (the more the miso, the sharper the cheese)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) tamari
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 onion powder
1/4 cup (20 g) quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (45 g) sliced almonds (toasted or un-toasted, your call!)

Place all ingredients, except for the oatmeal and sliced almonds, into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. The mixture should be thick, not runny, about the same consistency of creamy peanut butter.
Transfer to a pot and mix in oats.
Heat over medium high heat for 10 minutes, constantly scraping and turning with a rubber spatula to prevent the mass from sticking to the bottom and scorching. The mixture will not boil. 10 minutes over medium high heat should be plenty of time to cook the oats, and activate the arrowroot, as well as evaporate excess moisture.
Remove from heat and cool completely in the refrigerator to thicken.
Place sliced almonds on a plate
Once cold, roll mass into a ball about the size of a navel orange in the palms of your hands. It will be sticky, but manageable.
Set ball on plate of almonds, then wash those hands clean.
Press almonds all over the ball by rolling the ball in the almonds on the plate.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Yield: one cheese ball
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni