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"I can't give up my cheese!"

I've heard this so often when people find out I ditched dairy for my health. Cheese is highly addictive, a concentrated source of saturated fats and high in sodium, none of which are health promoting. To break the cheese addiction and the casomorphin hit that comes from dairy, there are many commercial plant-based alternatives. However, many of these are high in saturated fats from nuts and coconut oil. This recipe for chickpea cheddar is low in fat compared to other nut-based cheeses but still delivers the Umami flavour of regular cows milk cheese. It is delicious with flaxseed crackers and a little bit of beetroot relish and avocado.


1 cup besan (chickpea) flour

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 1/4 cups water, divided

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons tahini


Line a rectangular loaf pan with cling wrap. In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, paprika, onion powder and salt. Mix the water, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk liquid into dry ingredients until blended and smooth. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1-1/4 cups water to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and whisk in the chickpea mixture and tahini. Whisk constantly for 4 to 7 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Immediately scrape mixture it into the pan, smoothing the top. Cool the cheese to room temperature and then place it in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 2 hours until very firm.

Slice, grate or cube according to your needs!

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