Semi-Soft, Plant-Based Cheese Recipe

Discover how to craft easy and delicious short-aged, semi-soft plant-based cheeses from a kefir culture with this recipe.

| April 2019


Photo by CarlaMc/Getty Images

Short-Aged and Semi-Soft Cheeses

Again, the classification system I am employing is solely mine, and primarily one I use to help me understand the processes I am working and experimenting with. There is nothing like working with live cultures to teach you that you know very little about many things. The world of microbes is a fascinating one that is integrally tied with human evolution.

The short-aged and semi-soft cheeses I refer to here generally use a kefir-based culture (coconut, water, or otherwise nut-based). I work a lot with coconut and water kefir and so I'll refer primarily to these starter cultures within the recipes and processes provided. I particularly enjoy the level of acidity healthy and happy kefir cultures provide, and find that they allow the cheeses to age well.  However, the methods described here can be used with other lactic acid-­producing cultures such as rejuvelac or probiotic capsules .

While these cheeses will not have all the characteristics of dairy-based cheeses, my goal is to present something that can be understood as a new form of cheese in its own right, rather than attempting to copy or mimic traditional dairy cheeses.

Below I detail three types of kefir curd that I commonly use for making short-aged and semi-soft plant-based cheeses. They can all be used as young, fresh cheeses, or as the bases for short to longer ­aged cheeses, or cheeses to which secondary cultures are added.



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