New Formulation!

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We have an exciting announcement!! Avellana Signature Cheeses have a new name and a new ingredient: Avellana Hemp and Hazelnut Signature Vegan Cheese! We’re super excited about the shift because it makes our cheeses SO MUCH MORE AWESOME. The body of our cheese is now firmer, less oily, and more beautiful while maintaining our usual unique Avellana flavor. Using fresh milk made from organic hemp seeds together with fresh hazelnut milk makes for a creamy, slightly nutty and ridiculously delicious vegan cheese.

Hemp seeds are a well-balanced and easy to digest vegan protein source that includes all of the essential amino acids. Hemp has many other benefits including antioxidants and minerals, abundant fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins and omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. Hemp seeds are arguably the most nutritious seed in the world making them a hearty and healthy addition to our Signature cheeses. Best of all, hemp seed is incredibly eco-friendly, requiring less water, fertilizers, and land than other plants used for similar purposes.

We’re counting the days until we can use Oregon organic hempseeds, but in the meantime our organic hemp hearts are still grown in the Pacific Northwest Canadian province of British Columbia. Give it a try and let us know what you think! Saving animals and protecting our environment has never been so delicious.


Pasta Primavera with Creamy Avellana Cheese Sauce

IMG_4041There are many uses for Avellana cheese aside from putting it on crackers and bread. This evening I used a block of Italian herb to make a delicious, rich and creamy sauce for pasta primavera. Here’s how I did it.Italian Herb fb

What you need:

• One block of Italian herb Avellana cheese (available for purchase at VeganEssentials.com)

• a few cloves of garlic

• vegetables good for roasting (I used cauliflower, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and yellow squash)

• salt

• 1.5 C Eden soy milk or another high quality non-dairy milk. (You can use less for a thicker sauce.)

•one package of fettuccine pasta

IMG_3920 First, Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, cook the fettuccine al dente and set aside. Do put a dash of salt in the water, it shortens boiling time and makes the noodles more flavorful. IMG_3928 Chop up the vegetables, drizzle olive oil and salt to taste, then roast the vegetables in the oven for about 10 minutes total. I like the cauliflower and garlic to get a little browned so I put it in first for about five minutes and add the squash, asparagus, and tomatoes for the last five minutes. IMG_3935 IMG_3951 While the vegetables are roasting, pour soy milk into a saucepan (use less soy milk for a thicker sauce). Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. I use coconut, but the type isn’t super important. You can also use a different type of milk, but the vinegar is used to curdle the protein, so it will need to be a good, high quality non-dairy milk. Non-dairy milk that has been highly processed and diluted with additives will not thicken. Eden unsweetened is my favorite commercial soy milk. IMG_3959 You can see it thicken up right way as you pour the vinegar in and whisk it. Curdled milk has a MUCH higher flavor range and is creamier than uncurdled milk. I’ve never tried to curdle coconut milk, so I’m not sure how that works. IMG_3967 Add the block of Avellana Signature Italian Herb Cheese and continue to whisk until smooth and creamy. (Tip-You can heat this up a little to speed up the whisking, but heat is not necessary and will reduce the amount of probiotics in the finished product.) IMG_3998 Place your noodles in a bowl, toss some roasted vegetables on top, then pour a little creamy sauce over everything and you’re good to go! You can decorate your final dish with a little smoked paprika or leave it as is. IMG_4016  YUM!IMG_4026


Introducing Avellana Currant Hazelnut Cheese!

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We have an extra special treat for you today. One of our BEST flavors yet! Avellana Currant Hazelnut Cheese is a true winning combination…The currant may be small, but it’s flavor is mighty and it blends with hazelnut cream like a dream. It’s a little bit tart and a little bit sweet and a whole lot divine…try it on crackers or toast with fresh fruit for a truly etheric experience. Available now online at VeganEssentials.com and in our Eugene and Portland stores.


Fair Trade is Cruelty Free

One reason that sourcing local products as ingredients for our cheese is so important to us at Avellana is because we believe in fair compensation for work done in fair conditions. When a product is produced in far away countries with minimal laws protecting workers, it is easy for human rights to fall through the cracks. Buying local is often more expensive, mostly because the labor involved in making the product has not been artificially reduced at the cost of quality of life for the the laborer.

Human beings are a members of the animal kingdom and as vegans, we at Avellana support the rights of animals. All living beings deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Buying local or fair trade certified products can help ensure these rights are being honored.

We purchase hazelnuts directly from Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon. We’ve visited the orchard and met the family that grows all the hazelnuts we use.

Mary Claire and David, owners of Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon.

We purchase most of our spices from Mountain Rose Herbs, a company that takes great pride in their trade policies. They are certified by the Institute for Marketecology’s Fair for Life program, a program that goes deeper than traditional fair trade programs by requiring and tracking ethical practices from the starting point of the product all the way to the finished salable item. From their website:


  • Fair Price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair Labor Conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct Trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and Transparent Organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
  • Community Development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement training, and organic certification.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

At Avellana, we believe in treating the inhabitants of our world with kindness and compassion and we strive to ensure that our products reflect that belief.


Avellana Morel Poppers


You’re going to need to sit down for this. But you won’t be for very long after your first bite. My first bite got me up and dancing around the living room in ecstatic food bliss. I promise, you will not be disappointed by the results of this combination of flavors, it’s at the very least magnificent.

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Here’s what you need:

Some morel mushrooms- It’s springtime in Oregon, and you know what that means….morel season! We had a great time going out and finding our own, but if you’re not mushroom savvy or don’t have the time, many grocery stores that carry local produce will often have fresh morels for sale. We used about 2 cups worth for this recipe

  • 1 cup Gluten free tempura
  • Faux egg replacer (two eggs worth)
  • Avellana Signature cheese

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Making these poppers is actually quite easy… put about a cup of gluten free tempura flour (I used this one, which is pretty good) in a quart size ziplock bag. Mix up two faux eggs using Ener-G egg replacer (one T egg replacer and five T water).

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Brush or wipe any dirt off the mushrooms and carefully split them down one side. Fill each mushroom with as much creamy Avellana signature cheese as would comfortably fit inside the hollow centers. It was surprising how little of the block it actually took. I used our spicy Berbere, but you could use any flavor you like best.

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Then, dip them in the egg replacer, put them in the bag, and shake it up. I like a thicker breading on my mushrooms, so I repeated the egg replacer dip and the bag shake to get a good coating. You could do it up to three times, but it gets a little messy by the third time.

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Put a good amount of oil into a skillet and fry them for a minute or two on each side, until they get to the right crispy-ness. Here’s an image of the popper cut open showing the delicious layer combination of Avellana Signature Cheese, morel mushroom and crispy tempura.

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Oh My Goodness- too good! I tell ya, too good! Wow! They may look a little funny, but what a beautiful taste! 


Nuts are not the enemy!


Even though we don’t do much with almonds here at Avellana, we really do love all nuts and seeds almost equally. As the threat and reality of drought comes clearer to us on the west coast, I’m hearing more and more talk about how much water it takes to produce almonds. This has definitely left me scratching my head at the twists and turns the human mind will take in order to avoid looking at the white elephant sitting in the cheese drawer of the fridge.

If it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce one almond and there are around 100 almonds in a pound, it stands to reason that one pound of almonds uses 110 gallons of water during it’s production. In comparison, it takes 1,817 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. It takes 700 gallons of water to produce one pound of cheese.

Dairy products contribute the single largest share of farm income [in California’s economy.] (from Wikipedia)

Meat and dairy production have a far greater negative impact on drought stricken California. Why are almonds taking the blame? Do away with almonds and you’ll still have the problem. We fear our beloved hazelnuts will be next! Not really, but the hard truth is that animal agriculture ravages the environment. The time for cognitive dissonance has passed. It’s time for a new renaissance in our food choices! We can make fully informed decisions on what we buy and how it affects our Earth.

Rock on nuts and seeds!


New Flavor Release!

10968481_654538967985300_5291122902177713509_nWe’ve got a new amazing flavor for all of you to try. Introducing Avellana Pesto Hazelnut Cheese! Made with organic basil, garlic and lemon pepper- the flavors mix together to create a warm and fragrant cheese that will practically transport you to a European pub in the 1800’s. Avellana Hazelnut Pesto Cheese pairs perfectly with a glass of wine, ale, or strong hot tea. Find our new Pesto flavor online at Veganessentials.com and in our Eugene locations (Sundance Natural Foods and Capella Market). Need some Avellana cheese in your area? Let your store know you’d like our product there!