Vegan Mozzarella Block

Are you looking for a low-cost vegan cheese that is like the dairy mozzarella you are used to? This vegan mozzarella block is the perfect non-dairy cheese that is low in fat, and really tastes like cheese.

grated vegan mozzarella cheese on a plate

This amazing cultured vegan mozzarella block cheese recipe can be grated, sliced, and melted. Made from economical, allergy-friendly, and healthy ingredients, this vegan cheese has no nuts or coconut.

The surprise ingredient in this dairy-free cheese is oats. Healthy, heart-friendly, cholesterol-lowering oats make a low-cost and healthy vegan cheese base. With just a small amount of canola oil, this vegan cheese is healthy, too!

Finding the perfect vegan cheese

I am always looking for easy vegan cheese recipes. In my attempts to find a cheese that is cheap, healthy, and simple, I have tried many alternatives. Some of my attempts at vegan cheese have been good, but others along the way have been disappointing. Have you ever tried vegan cheese that doesn’t taste cheesy? Or the texture is all wrong? It is frustrating to use expensive ingredients to make a vegan cheese that is less than delicious.

I was so excited to find an alternative to nuts that would work to make a convincing vegan cheese. I wanted a vegan cheese that tasted good and had a normal cheese texture. Something that could be eaten cold, by itself or with crackers, and not need other flavours or things added to make it taste good.

The number one test of a vegan cheese, for me, is pizza. Some vegan cheeses seem too liquidy or sticky when heated, and they just don’t feel like cheese. Cheese sauce has its place, but I just do not like cheese sauce on pizza.

Does the cheese grate normally so it can be sprinkled over the pizza? Is the cheese meltable and stretchy when melted? Does it retain a normal mouth feel when melted?

This cultured vegan mozzarella block is all of these things! It is easy to slice and grate (as-is, without freezing!). It is a firm enough block of cheese that it can be handled easily. This vegan mozzarella melts nicely, and it has the right texture for pizza (and anything else that needs cheese: lasagna, nachos, anything grilled…).

Making healthier vegan cheese: is it possible?

Some of the vegan cheese recipes that I like are not very healthy. They use large amounts of oil, usually coconut oil, and nuts. The result is a high fat cheese that should only be eaten in moderation. I wanted to make a dairy-free cheese that was just as delicious, but cheaper to make and low in fat.

Would a nut-free, nutritional yeast-free, coconut-free non-dairy vegan cheese have the melty, rich characteristics I was looking for? I experimented with different ingredients until I could say YES! This cheese looks like, feels like, and – most importantly – tastes like mozzarella cheese.

This recipe was inspired by Jay Astafa’s cashew milk mozzarella recipe. Jay Astafa’s recipe involves making cashew milk, allowing it to culture, and then making the mozzarella. I decided to adapt this technique and to try making vegan mozzarella with oats as a base instead of cashews.

Cultured vegan mozzarella block cheese ingredients

First, make cultured oat milk using these ingredients.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • Probiotic powder (2 capsules or about 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy lecithin 

Then, use the cultured oat milk plus the following ingredients to make vegan cheese.

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1.5 tbsp kappa carrageenan
  • 2 tsp salt (to make a low sodium vegan cheese, use 1 tsp of salt)
  • 1/2 tsp lactic acid

Steps for making cultured oat milk

You will need a high speed blender such as a Vitamix to create a perfectly smooth oat milk. You can soak the oats in advance, but this is optional.

Add the oats, water, probiotic powder and soy lecithin to the blender, and blend on high speed for about 40 seconds or until smooth. There should be no pieces or particulates left. You should have a perfectly smooth oat milk. Optional: blend for another minute or two until the mixture is warm.

Once the mixture is completely white and smooth, pour the oat milk into a jar. Place the jar in a warm place and cover with a clean towel. Leave to culture for 8-12 hours.

The culturing process occurs when the probiotics you have added are allowed to grow. This creates a complex blend of acids that gives the cheese its finished flavour.

Steps for making vegan mozzarella

Once the oat milk has cultured, you are ready to make the vegan cheese. The oat milk will have become thick. Oats create a stretchy, slimy liquid, so do not be alarmed at how thick and stretchy this liquid appears.

Pour the entire contents of the jar of cultured oat milk into a blender jar and add the canola oil, tapioca flour, kappa carrageenan, salt, and lactic acid.

Blend the mixture, starting on slow speed and gradually working up to high speed to avoid splashing. Blend for about 20 seconds or until everything is fully mixed together.

Pour the thick mixture into a pot, using a spatula to scrape down the blender jar. Before you begin heating the vegan cheese, get a container ready for the finished mozzarella block. A loaf pan or other dish works well. I used a greased glass baking dish with a lid.

Heat on medium, and use a whisk to stir constantly. You will need to heat the mixture for about 5 minutes. It will become thicker and thicker as the heat reacts with the kappa carrageenan. After about 3 or 4 minutes, switch to a spatula instead of a whisk and keep stirring. Make sure to keep the cheese from sticking to the bottom or sides of the pot. Stop when the cheese is very thick and glossy.

Pour the mixture into a container and smooth the top quickly with a spatula. Tap the container and shake it from side to side to remove air bubbles. The cheese will solidify quickly, so do this within 30 seconds.

A note about lactic acid for vegan cheesemaking

I used liquid lactic acid, the kind used for home brewing. Lactic acid powder is fine, too. I have also made this cheese using citric acid (before I was able to find lactic acid), and it worked well but the flavour was not as good. Lactic acid definitely makes a more cheesy flavour.

Vegan Mozzarella Block Cheese

Amazing vegan mozzarella block cheese can be grated, sliced, and melted. Made of economical, allergy-friendly, and healthy cultured oat milk.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Resting time (to culture the oat milk)12 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Keyword: cheese, cultured, easy, healthy, oat milk, vegan cheese, vegan mozzarella
Servings: 14
Calories: 57kcal

Equipment

  • High Speed Blender

Ingredients

Cultured Oat Milk

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 capsules probiotic powder About 1/2 tsp. Remove the capsules and just use the powder.
  • 1/2 tbsp soy lecithin granules

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

  • cultured oat milk from above recipe
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1.5 tbsp kappa carrageenan
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lactic acid

Instructions

Cultured oat milk

  • Add oats, water, soy lecithin, and probiotic powder to the jar of a high-speed blender. Mix at high speed for 40 seconds or until completely smooth. Optional: blend for another minute or two until the mixture is warm. 
  • Pour the oat milk into a jar, cover the top with a towel, and set aside in a warm place. Do not put a lid on the jar. Allow the oat milk to culture by sitting for 8-12 hours.

Vegan mozzarella cheese

  • The oat milk will now be quite thick. Add the cultured oat milk, canola oil, tapioca flour, kappa carrageenan, salt, and lactic acid to the jar of a high speed blender. 
  • Blend for about 20 seconds on high speed until fully mixed together. The mixture will be thick.
  • Get a container ready for the finished cheese and set it aside. Pour the mixture into a pot and heat on medium heat, stirring constantly. Start with a whisk, and when the cheese becomes too thick to continue whisking, use a spatula to keep stirring. Heat for about 5 – 7 minutes until the cheese is very thick and shiny.
  • Quickly pour the cheese into the container. Shake remove any air bubbles and quickly smooth the top with the spatula.
  • Allow the cheese to cool for 10 minutes and then cover with a lid and refrigerate for at least an hour to fully solidify. The mozzarella is then ready to serve.

Full nutrition details for vegan mozzarella

I used about 1/4 of a recipe to make a large pizza (pictured below). Each slice of this 6-slice pizza would have about 30g of cheese, and 1-2 slices of pizza would be enough for a meal.

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