Mmmmh, mozzarella…the Italian soft cheese that makes such beautiful strings on pizza and is cut into fine slices as caprese is one of the most popular cheeses. For vegans, eating vegan mozzarella has long been an under-fulfilled dream, because there were either no vegan mozzarella alternatives at all – or they simply couldn’t hold a candle to the original made from buffalo milk.
Fortunately, there are now very good plant-based mozzarella alternatives and with our recipe you can also easily – and with a little patience – make a vegan mozzarella ball yourself.
Vegan mozzarella: ingredients & alternatives
But what is mozzarella actually and what vegan alternatives are there? The term “mozzarella” refers to an Italian soft cheese that is traditionally made with buffalo milk, but nowadays also more and more often with cow’s milk.
To make mozzarella, the so-called curds are poured with hot water and later kneaded and pulled into a long strand. Pieces are cut from these strands, which in turn mature in brine. Classically, mozzarella is known as a ball or as a spread cheese version.
So while mozzarella is not traditionally vegan because of its basic ingredient, cow or buffalo milk, it is often not even vegetarian – because it contains rennet. Cheese rennet is a mixture of different enzymes, which is produced in the stomach of calves, for example, and is used to make cheese. Meanwhile, however, there is also vegetarian mozzarella without rennet.
We have now clarified the question of whether Italian mozzarella is vegan. But is there a way to get or eat mozzarella vegan? The answer is as short as it is simple: Of course!
Plant-based and dairy-free mozzarella alternatives consist of either one of the ingredients or a combination of these:
- Tofu / Silken Tofu
- soy yoghurt
- tapioca starch
- rice / rice starch
- potato starch
- coconut oil
One question remains – what are the advantages of vegan mozzarella over classic cow’s or buffalo’s milk mozzarella? As so often in life, the answer is: it depends on what is important to you. Plant-based mozzarella alternatives are a blessing for anyone who suffers from lactose intolerance or does not want to consume animal products.
In addition, depending on how it is made, the vegan mozzarella alternative may be lower in fat and have fewer calories than “real” mozzarella.
Vegan mozzarella: DIY recipe
Making vegan mozzarella yourself takes a little effort, but it’s worth the effort because you’ll be amazed at how delicious this plant-based mozzarella alternative tastes. There are different ways to make vegan mozzarella – sometimes with, sometimes without psyllium, sometimes with cashews as a basis or even without nuts.
With the following mozzarella recipe you only need seven ingredients and not that much time – and you use cashew nuts and tapioca starch as the basic ingredient. You can find these in Asian supermarkets as they are a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine (e.g. they are used to make “boba”, the small balls for bubble tea).
- 75g cashews
- 30-40 g tapioca starch
- About 1 liter of water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or
- rice vinegar
- 1 pinch of salt
- Boil half the water and pour it over the cashews. Soak for at least five minutes, but preferably an hour.
- Drain the cashews and place in a blender along with about 300 ml fresh water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and tapioca starch.
- Puree until a homogeneous mass is formed.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly.
- As soon as the mass begins to form lumps, continue stirring until the mixture becomes very thick and viscous.
- Remove from the heat and use immediately – cut into pieces with a knife and shape into small balls.
The vegan mozzarella can also be stored in the fridge, but it will then become even firmer and more difficult to portion.
Recipes for gratinating
With vegan mozzarella you can prepare or refine many dishes, e.g.
- Vegan Grilled Cheese
- Vegan Tortilla Pizza
- Vegan Lasagna
- Vegan Quesadillas
At bedda you can find many more recipes for vegan mozzarella alternatives.
bedda Mozzarella Style – Vegane Mozzarella from bedda
Do you already know bedda Mozzarella Style, the delicious vegan mozzarella alternative? Bedda Mozzarella Style is perfect for spreading and melts on your pizza, gratin or lasagna and pulls real strings!
Learn more about the bedda Mozzarella Style and how it tastes here!