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Miyoko Schinner's ARTISAN VEGAN CHEESE---Betsy's experience

I first read about Miyoko’s vegan cheese when I read a review of her book in VegNews in 2012 so I went to Barnes and Noble, looked at the magazine, complete with pictures, and bought the magazine not having a clue as to what I was getting in to. I like food challenges and making vegan cheese certainly was one for me, i.e. what is rejuvelac, etc.? Fortunately the article gave a nice summary of the “new” ingredients which was a big help.

I made my first batch of cheddar in early 2013 keeping very complete notes on the whole process which was a huge learning experience for me since I had never fermented anything before. Sprouting the grains was easy since I have sprouted seeds for 30+ years, however, making the rejuvelac was new since you take the sprouted grains, add water and let them ferment for several days until they develop a nice tang! After several days of closely watching the bubbles bouncing up and down I knew something was happening! After several days, I tasted the rejuvelac which was nice and tangy and proceeded with the recipe from the magazine. I think the most difficult part was blending the liquid (rejuvelac), nutritional yeast, nuts and miso since they liked to hang up in the vitamix. With lots of trial and error I succeeded and had a winner.

After just about destroying the magazine, since I was trying to make notes in both my notebook and magazine with wet hands-- I am sure all you cooks can see how that could happen-- my next step was to purchase Miyoko’s book, which I did and although some of the recipes are just a little different from the magazine, I went on to make the non dairy yogurt, the cheddar cheese (8th batch has been started), the cream cheese and the tomato/basil cheese. Am I an expert, by all means no, but I feel more confident about trying additional cheeses from her book.
---Betsy Shipley

Book Publishing Co. c. 2012