*if squeezing seeds sounds a little strange and unfamiliar, here’s a tiny primer: most commercial plant milks contain potentially harmful gums and emulsifiers (yikes) for thickening and shelf-stability, but it’s easy enough to avoid those additives by making plant milks at home. if you’re interested in learning how, take a look at beth’s excellent tutorial. she provides recipes for different nut milk, but the process is the same for seed milks. i like using sunflower seeds because they are cheap and accessible — just about any decent bulk goods section will have hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds. in addition to saving money and skirting questionable food additives, making plant milks at home yields beautiful, nutrient and fiber-rich pulp which can be turned into all / sorts / of / things. try it in place of chickpeas to make a crazy delicious hummus or mix it with a few savory flavors to create this delicious, versatile cheese.
if you have trouble finding sunflower seeds in bulk locally, this 5-lb bag currently looks like the best deal on amazon.
- sunflower seed pulp (leftover from making milk with 2 cups sunflower seeds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- herbs, optional (fresh or dried parsley/thyme/oregano)
- spices, optional (ground chipotle/cayenne/paprika/cumin)
- savory additions, optional (garlic powder/onion powder/miso)
- put the sunflower seed pulp in a big bowl.
- trickle, drizzle, toss, and sprinkle the other ingredients in and mash together with a fork.
- taste it--is there enough of a pleasant, acidic bite? does it have enough salt? is it savory and flavorful enough? this stuff is so flexible and forgiving -- keep playing with it until you have something that tastes wonderfully umami with a bit of richness and tang.
the nutritional yeast enhances the cheesy, umami flavor, but feel free to leave it out if you don't have any.
spread the cheese between two corn tortillas and heat in a frying pan till slightly crispy for a super simple quesadilla.
stuff it into burritos or crumble it on top of tacos.
mix a parsley-olive-oil-lemony version with some fresh, sweet onion and scoop it onto a bed of baby greens and cucumbers for a sunflower seed salad salad (like tuna salad salad, but with sunflower seeds).
sunflower seed cheese also bakes reasonably well (although the outside edges darken slightly), so it does pretty well as a stuffing for crepes or tortillas going for a stint in the oven with sauce overtop (manicotti / enchiladas).
play with the seasonings, too--with additions of garlic/parsley/olive oil, the cheese makes a great base for tons of veggies on a flatbread or pizza. it's good as a sandwich spread, too.