Easy recipe for a raw vegan cheese made from sunflower seeds. Sunflower cheese slices, grates and melts so you can use it in place of regular cheese in most recipes. Heart-healthy cheese that tastes great, is cheap to make and doesn’t take long – what isn’t there to love about this recipe? This seed cheese is one of my staples that I often have a batch of in the fridge.
I use fresh garlic and onion as these are widely available and have the most nutrients. You can replace with garlic and onion powder if you prefer, about tsp of each gives the same flavour.
Turmeric gives the sunflower cheddar a bright yellow colour and adds valuable nutrients. You really don’t taste the turmeric in this recipe so do add it even if you don’t like the taste. As it’s mainly sunflower seeds in this vegan cheese it is grey without at least a pinch of turmeric.
The natural and heart-healthy fats in the sunflower seeds are great for giving optimum absorption of the turmeric goodness.
This is a quick and easy vegan cheese recipe as it isn’t fermented so it can be made in a few minutes and sets quickly.
Play Vegan Cheese Video Recipe on YouTube
In the sunflower cheese recipe I usually double the amount of cayenne pepper as I like a bit of a kick. Also you may want to add half a tsp of salt into the recipe, I tend to just have the saltiness from the miso but some might find it a bit bland without it.
The miso is just to give the salty and umami flavour to this vegan seed cheese. Miso paste is added after cooking so that none of the nutrients are destroyed. If you can use fresh unpasteurised live miso as it’s the most nutritious. It works great without miso if you don’t have any – just add some salt instead.
Sunflower vegan cheese is great on a cheese board along with smoked cashew cheese and pistachio cheese. If you are allergic to nuts or on a budget this seed cheese recipe is perfect!
This vegan cheese can be frozen if you like. I recommend to freeze in wedges and enjoy within 3 months. Just defrost at room temperature for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
I often call this a vegan sunflower cheddar as it has a mild cheesy taste similar to the popular cheddar. Some may not like calling this vegan Cheddar but I actually live next to Cheddar in Somerset so this vegan cheese is way more cheddar than most cheddar cheese!
This vegan “cheese” uses sunflower seeds as the base. This means that it is significantly cheaper than using nuts such as macadamia or cashew. It’s actually raw as most sunflower seeds will sprout whereas most nuts will not.
The agar agar is cooked in this recipe, but this is just the thickening agent and nutritionally void. The rest is raw and all the nutrients of the seeds and other ingredients are intact so I would still consider this a raw dish, but some purists raw foodists may disagree.
This is a sprouted sunflower seed cheese as the seeds are soaked in water to start to germinate and activate. It makes it much easier for the body to digest all of the goodness.
Sunflower Cheddar Cheese
This is an easy recipe for a raw vegan cheese made from sunflower seeds. A great vegan cheese that slices, grates and melts so you can use it in place of regular cheese in most recipes to make them plant based. Heart healthy cheese that tastes great, is cheap to make and doesn’t take long
- 1 cup / 140 g Sunflower seeds
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 3 tbsp Nutritional yeast
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 slice of Onion
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp Miso, white is best but don’t worry if you only have brown
- 1 tbsp Agar agar powder, a veggie alternative to gelatin
- 1½ cups / 360ml water
- Soak the sunflower seeds in water for at least 10 mins, overnight is best if you have the time.
- In a pan mix together the agar agar with some water until dissolved. Then mix in 1 cup / 240 ml of water.
- Bring the agar agar mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 mins stirring constantly to prevent any sticking at the bottom.
- Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool for a few mins and continue with the recipe.
- Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds.
- Place everything in a blender, apart from the agar agar mixture, with half a cup / 120 ml of water and blend until smooth.
- Whisk together the sunflower seed cheese mixture and the agar agar until it’s all combined.
- Pour into a dish, about 6″ in diameter, and then place in the fridge for an hour to set.
- You may want to oil your dish, but I tend to use a shiny ceramic dish and the seed cheese comes out easy enough without any oil.
- Take the sunflower cheese out of the dish once set and enjoy this vegan cheese in place of normal cheese. It will last a few days in the fridge.
Links maybe affiliated, meaning I earn a commission from purchases but at no extra cost to yourself.
Amount Per ServingCalories 65Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 611mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 3g
If you like this recipe check out my courgetti with a sunflower seed cheese sauce.
Looking for some crackers to go with a vegan cheese wheel? Check out my oil free five seed oatcakes recipe. Gluten free and full of goodness.
55 thoughts on “Sprouted Sunflower Cheese”
I loved this cheese. and very easy to make, BUT, please read through the recipe before you start this. The reason I say this, no water is mentioned in the Ingredient’s list at all, e.g. how much water for Agar Mix, and how much water for the Cheese mixture itself. I’m someone who likes to have every ingredient listed and ready on my bench to start the recipe, not find out halfway through blending that I needed extra water, sometimes simplicity helps…
It’s lovely and the delicate Lime flavour shines through…
Thanks for the feedback Nancye, I’ll update the recipe to list the water 🙂 Glad you liked it
Try a Chinese supermarket that’s where I sourced it plus some other unusual ingredients.
Is there anything I can substitute the miso for? It’s hard to find where I live.
Hi there, sure you can replace it with anything salty – a bit of yeast extract, bouillon or stock will work great 🙂
Thanks Bastian. Do you make any other Cheese like this, perhaps with herbs. Thank you…
Hi Nancye, not yet but it’s something I’m working on this year – hopefully to have half a dozen vegan dairy free cheeses 🙂
Thanks for sending the photo of your cheese Nancye, it looks great! https://s24.postimg.org/e347bhoqt/15902445_10211477252829107_334897376_o.jpg
You are welcome, and I’m going to try it with herbs…we’ll see how it turns out!! <3
Since this only lasts a few days in the fridge, could you freeze some of it?
I haven’t tried, but I don’t think it would work – the freezing would probably ruin the texture. I’ve never had any of this vegan cheese go bad, it rarely lasts a day and I live on my own 🙂 It’s quite an easy recipe so maybe just make a smaller batch?
Sounds like a lovely recipe! Could you use kuzu instead of agar agar though??
Thanks Lizi, I haven’t used kuzu but it sounds like it will be similar to corn starch so might not work for this. You can try it and the worst case scenario is getting a sunflower seed cheese spread rather than a solid block. It will still taste as good 🙂
good recipe…..i didn’t buy any agar powder yet but have some new tapioca starch ….you can’t substitute this for agar? ( I’m guessing the tapioca starch is more for ‘stretchy’ cheese than holding the cheese together?)
Afraid it won’t set using the tapioca starch, but that will make a good stringy topping for a pizza
What am I doing wrong. The first time I made it perfect, the second and third the agar agar is chunky in the mix. Cooking to long? So frustrating because Agar isn’t cheap. Thanks in advance.
Hi Cami, sounds like you could be heating too quickly/high and not stirring enough so the agar forms chunks. What I do is start on a low heat and constantly stir for 5 mins with a wooden spoon to stop and lumps of agar forming. I’ve had the same problems as you before – it has always set but sometimes with gelatinous chunks of agar when I didn’t stir enough or tried to heat too high. 🙂
So I just tried this recipie (somewhat modified b/c I’m too lazy to go to the store), and while it smells fantastic it was not a mixture I could pour out of anything. I guess I misjudged the amount of water, metric vs. imperial measurements you know ^^
Do you think it will have an effect on the finished cheese?
Hi Eira, was it too thick after blending? It may need some more water. Or it can get set and get thick very quickly after mixing with the agar agar. It will still taste good either way 🙂
hello, could you tell us what are the biscuits or the bread you have with this cheese? it looks yummy and healthy. thanks.
Hi Gabriela, they are some oat cakes with chia seeds. I’ll hopefully make my own recipe soon as lots have been asking for it 🙂
Hi could you please tell me if I don’t use onion and garlic will I still get the same taste?
Is there a substitute for yeast as I am allergic. I do see this a lot in vegan recipes for cheese. Can have real cheese either as I am allergic to mold too.
Hello, if you are allergic to yeast I would add more garlic and lemon juice. Coconut aminos would also work well, but these can be difficult and expensive to get hold of 🙂
LOVE this cheese – just wondering if you can freeze it?
Yes, some people have frozen it and say it works really well 🙂
Hi there, can you use chickpea water (aquafaba) instead of agar agar? Thanks
Hi Susan, sorry that won’t work as the aquafaba won’t set it. What some people do without agar agar is to use corn or tapocia starch and cook it all for 5 mins then bake in an oven to help it set. It doesn’t quite work out the same but its a way to get a reasonable set cheese without agar agar.
Wow! This looks so good. I am going to have a go! Thanks for the recipe.
Wanting to try your cheese, but unfamiliar with miso. Is miso and paste? I’m finding it in paste form.
Hello Niecy, yes it is miso paste – sorry I could have made that a bit clearer! But it’s not vital for the recipe I just like to use it to add a salty flavour and some nutrition 🙂
I have just made your smoked cashew cheese recipes it was lovely but I will put less cayenne pepper next time. My husband dorset normally like this like this but he sure liked this one. My girlfriend loved it to and was going home to make. Should the agar agar be really thick before you added the other ingredients. I am making the pistachio cheese tomorrow and would like to make the. Oat cakes recipe as well thank you so much for the tasty cheeses.I am trying to get off dairy although I don’t use very much.
Hi Margaret, Thanks for letting me know that’s always so lovely to hear when someone likes a recipe. Sorry if the cayenne was a bit too much – I probably add it to everything savoury so I’ve got a high threshold. The agar agar mixture shouldn’t be very thick, it’s still quite watery even after simmering to activate. Just make sure none sticks to the bottom of the pan as that’s where people can go wrong. That’s great to hear – nest and glow isn’t about telling people to never have dairy its just trying to encourage people to have more plants through recipes. Vegans and non vegans are very much welcome here. If everyone did have less it would add up to a big change. Hope you like the other recipes, have a great day!
Hi there, I’m excited to see a nut-free vegan cheese recipe! I severely allergic to tree-nuts. Does this cheese melt? Like to use on pizza or cheese toastie…
Hi Samantha, it melts a bit but because it’s a healthy oil free one it doesn’t melt to the same level of normal cheese – more like a how a low fat cheese melts. Let me know how you get on with it. See this for how it kinda melts https://www.nestandglow.com/healthy-recipes/gluten-free-quinoa-crust-pizza-recipe
I’m excited to try this recipe as my son can’t have dairy or nuts. Have you tried using anchovies as the salty flavoring to add flavor for those who aren’t vegan?
Hey there, I’ve been vegan for a long time so don’t know anything about fish! I think miso is a better choice personally
Do I use raw sunflower kernels or do dry roasted kernels work well?
I use raw sunflower seeds for this sunflower cheese. I expect it would work well with the roasted if you prefer roasted seeds though 🙂
could I use gelatin instead of agar agar.
You can, but as all my recipes are non-animal it’s not something I would recommend.
When I tasted the ingredients after I blended them I deff tasted the cheddar flavor and saltiness tasted perfect but after I mixed it with the agar it was hard to taste anything does the flavor come through more after it’s placed in the fridge and has hardened or will it most likely taste like it did after trying it all mixed in with the agar I doubled the recipe so idk if adding more agar and water had anything to do with it or maybe next time I double the recipe that goes in the blender but don’t double the agar this is my first time doing anything with agar so I don’t know what to expect
AH sorry it didn’t work out for you – I would double the spices and all the other flavours to make it much stronger or add less water. Let me know how it turned out the next time you tried this sunflower cheese
Hi vegans I tried to make the sunflower seed cheese with arrowroot
But is stayed like pudding, I can use it now as spread 😉 on crackers or as dipping paste bij raw vegetables….
But I ‘d like to no if it’s possible with arrowroot?
Did you ever tried it?
Hi there, afriad with arrowroot it just isn’t possible – it will thicken it but not set enough to slice or grate. If you don’t have agar agar I would just leave it out to make a spread rather than a firm vegan cheese
I tried to make the sunflower cheese with arrowroot
It didn’t work out like I hoped it would do
It stayed like a very thick sauce
Well no problem I use it as a spread on bread or dipping vegetables in it as a starter.
But….. did I anything wrong? Or is just agar agar making the consistand firm?
Hi there, no you didn’t do anything wrong other than not use the agar agar. It’s vital for this vegan cheese recipe and to set properly. Great as a spread though!
Bastian, apparently the miso paste will ‘ferment’ the sunflower cheese a bit ( as I saw with one cashew cheese recipe elsewhere) as long as it’s the ‘live’, refrigerated miso paste…..so miso is great for an extra tangy flavor to the cheese…..by the way, I’m glad you posted this recipe, as I’m not sure if I want to start experimenting with expensive almonds or cashews yet -sunflower seeds are just fine here
Kia ora. Could I use guar gum instead of the agar agar?
Hi there, afraid that doesn’t work to give the right sliceable and grate-able texture 🙁
Hi – I made a batch this week, using the exact ingredients you indicated but it turned out like salad dressing or sauce, and failed to congeal in the fridge after several hours.
First, I found it difficult to follow the video – it goes too fast. The amount of water used in the video is not the same as what is listed in the recipe. It seems you need 1 cup to soak, then discard the soaking water, then 1 cup added to the saucepan with the agar, and the remaining half cup to blend the other ingredients. Is this correct? I did not include nutritional yeast as I can’t have it. Does the yeast cause the blend to congeal? If not, then why it come out like goop when I made it?
I even tried to correct the recipe, by heating up 2 more TBs of agar agar and then pouring the mixture back in the blender, blending it again and then putting it back in the fridge. Still no result.
Please let me know why this has happened.
Hi, so sorry it didn’t work for you – as it’s high in natural produce it can vary a lot. Were you using agar agar powder? It’s important to use that and not the flakes as the powder is much more potent.
I made this for the second time today and I think it is absolutely delicious and ridiculously easy to make. =D I guess I am on a bit of a learning curve though as both times it has come out rather on the watery side. I can’t really shred it. I think I should use less water?…. Anyway, it is really good and I thank you for this recipe. <3
Hi- I’ve now tried this recipe twice. I have agar-agar flakes and this time I used 3 TB. instead of 2 TB. I did everything exactly as you specified, and used the exact ingredients. The only thing I omitted was the nutritional yeast, as I’m not allowed to have yeast. After leaving the finished batch overnight in the refrigerator, the cheese failed to congeal, and was goopy like hummus. Is the nutritional yeast necessary to make it congeal, or did something else go wrong? I followed your directions on everything and am very disappointed.
Hi there, sorry to hear that. Did you use the agar agar powder? Most go wrong by using the flakes