May 3, 2021
Remember when you were a kid, in the middle of a cold Canadian winter, staring at a frozen pole, wanting to lick it, but knowing you can’t. As an adult, I still know this feeling well. Not because I still want to lick a flagpole, but because I am lactose intolerant. This is the same feeling I have felt, my entire life, approaching the cheese counter at my local grocery store. Until now.
Like an oasis in a dry desert, Calgary Co-op has the vegan cheese selection. Oh, happy dance! I still feel like a kid, but for the first time I feel more like a kid in a candy shop. Calgary Co-op has not just one, but a variety of plant-based vegan cheeses, that, wait for it … actually taste like cheese.
Nuts for Cheese is one of the many amazing cheese lines - is made of one hundred percent gluten-free, dairy-free cultured cashew products. This tasty new line-up, made from fermented cashews to replicate the real deal, is hand-crafted in Ontario. I have had the pleasure of trying three varieties of “cheesy” goodness from this line. Un-Brie-liveable, a versatile semi-firm wedge with creamy rich flavour, is sure to delight your senses from being used on a cheeseboard to creating a roasted garlic cheese melt. The next cheese, Chipotle Cheddar - a zingy, orange, semi firm wedge – is slightly spiced topped with crushed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This cheese pairs amazingly with fresh apple slices and crunchy tortilla crisps. Lastly, Nuts for Cheese’s Super Blue Cheese is sharp, creamy, and marbled with spirulina. Spread this blue cheese onto celery and top with Divino Sour Cherry Spread for a vegan and lactose-free taste explosion! Luckily, these jams and spreads are also located on this cheese island for convenient pairing.
Calgary Co-op also offers Okanagan Soya Co.’s Brick Cheddar. This semi-firm cheese is reminiscent of classic American cheese with a lovely mild taste. This Brick Cheddar is perfect on a cracker and can also be used as fantastic vegan melting cheese, to complete your sandwich or in a “cheesy” sauce. If you’ve always wanted goat cheese, Calgary Co-op Market has Vegature Garlic & Leeks cashew cheese. This vegan “goat cheese” is beautifully balanced, lightly acidic, and silky smooth. Spread this cheese on some of my Power Grain & Herb Crackers (please see recipe below ) to create a nice snack. This treat is easily turned into an appetizer or as an addition to a cheeseboard for your next covid-19 safe gathering.
With the many plant-based cheese options available at all Calgary Co-ops, I can now build the cheeseboards I always imagined, in a delicious victory; without the pain of getting my tongue stuck to a frozen pole.
Power Grain & Herb Crackers
1 cup (136g) AP Highwood Crossing flour , sifted
1 cup (136g) Highwood Crossing Dark rye flour , sifted
1 cup (165g) Highwood Crossing cereal grains
½ cup (64g) parsley, dried
3 tbsp (45g) Founders & Farmers onion powder
3 tbsp (45g) Founders & Farmers garlic powder
1 tsp (5g) baking powder
½ tsp (2g) chili flakes
½ tsp (2g) True Lemon powder
⅓ cup (80g) Highwood Crossing Canola Oil
¾ cup (150g) water
Preheat oven to 400°F
In mixer using paddle add all dry ingredients, mix in oil then water. Mix until all incorporated. Roll out dough thin as possible. Cut out your desired shape of cracker. Dock with a fork.
Place crackers on sheet that has brushed with oil. With pastry brush, lightly brush top of crackers then with sprinkle with Maldon Sea salt. Bake 15 minutes.
Place on cooling rack ~ Enjoy !!!
Written by Chef Chabot
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