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A Fine (Vegan) Cheese

Whole Foods Market loves cheese! That’s why we continue to search for new, innovative cheeses to share with our customers — no matter their dietary requirements. So what happens when traditional cheesemaking methods meet dairy-free alternatives? Kite Hill, a new line of fine plant-based cheeses made from pure nut milks (no animal products!), answers that question — deliciously!

Cheesemaking Process

The team behind Kite Hill combines deep culinary, cheesemaking and scientific expertise to produce new, innovative cheeses. Kite Hill has distinguished itself by the quality of their ingredients and because their cheesemaking technique adheres so closely to the time-honored artisanal technique for dairy cheeses.

Kite Hill cheeses begin with a blend of nut milks made from almonds harvested in California's San Joaquin Valley and macadamia nuts. The only other ingredients then added are enzymes, cultures and salt, mirroring traditional cheesemaking. The cheeses are crafted and aged in California using the highest-quality French equipment. The result is a flavor profile and texture that closely resembles traditional dairy cheeses.

Offerings

  

Available in six-ounce wheels, these Kite Hill cheeses are now available in our US stores:

Soft Fresh, Original is a supple, creamy soft fresh cheese, rich and complex with sweet and balanced aromas. This fragrant cheese is best served right out of the refrigerator. It can be spread on crackers or paired with olives, nuts, pickled vegetables and fresh fruit or sliced into a salad.

Soft Fresh, Truffle, Dill & Chive is a supple, creamy, fresh cheese with earthy, black truffle overtones. The curds are hand mixed, combined with fresh truffle oil and a mixture of herbs, and then shaped and pressed immediately before packaging to ensure ultimate freshness. This fragrant cheese is best served right out of the refrigerator.

Soft Ripened is a velvety cheese with a white, fluffy rind. It has a tangy mushroomy flavor profile with a rich, silky texture and pungent aromatics. This cheese is best served straight from the refrigerator and pairs well with white grapes.

Ricotta is smooth, moist and incredibly versatile. Made from almond milk, it has sweet, and cultured overtones, and a buttery finish. Use as a filling for pasta andin lasagna, as a substitute for any recipe that calls for ricotta. Its silky texture makes for a great mascarpone substitute and is ideal for desserts, even baked desserts like cheesecake. Kite Hill has kindly shared their exceptional recipe for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake.

Kite Hill Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients for Crust:

5 ounces graham cracker crumbs

1 ounces organic sugar

3 ounces vegan butter

Method:

Melt butter, allow to cool. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar in food processor, and pulse to mix. Add cooled butter to dry mix and stir with spoon.

Sprinkle crumb mixture into the bottom of 10-inch spring form pan and press evenly to ¼ of an inch thick. Store pan in freezer for 10 minutes to chill butter in the mixture.

Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling:

20 ounces Kite Hill Ricotta

4 ounces organic sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fresh Meyer Lemon juice

1 tablespoon egg replacer, hydrated in 1/8 cup of cold water

Method:

Blend all ingredients for filling in food processor (except egg replacer) until smooth and creamy consistency is achieved.

Add to mixing bowl blended cheesecake filling and egg replacer and stir evenly. Pour mixture into pan. Place onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 300°F for 25 minutes. Rotate pan in oven halfway through baking. Allow to cool thoroughly and refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Are you a fan of Kite Hill yet? Share your favorite variety in the comments below!