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Baked potato with shiitake bacun and easy cultured cheeze sauce

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What you need:

Cultured cheese sauce

  • 1/2 c easy soy yogurt
  • 1/2 c cashews
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/4 favorite salsa (I use Trader Joe’s salsa especial-medium spice)
  • Jalapeño or canned chilis
  • Salt to taste

Shiitake bacun

  • 2 c thinly sliced shiitake
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Drizzle liquid smoke
  • Drizzle tamari
  • Preheated oven at 375 degrees

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Spread the shiitake out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, liquid smoke, and tamari. Bake at 375 degrees, stirring well every five minutes for the first fifteen minutes, then every three minutes until done.

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The bacun will seem almost burned but will still be chewy after twenty minutes or so. Once you take it out it will get crunchy like bacon as it cools.

For the cultured cheese sauce, put all the ingredients into the blender and blend well for two minutes.

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Bake the potatoes and steam the broccoli as preferred. Plate them up and mow them down!! The savory umami of the bacun is perfectly paired with the creamy cultured cheese sauce. Zam! You won’t be disappointed.

I baked up some Brussels Sprouts as well as the steamed broccoli and added a little plain easy soy yogurt in place of sour cream. A few dots of hot sauce and you’re ready to take on the world.

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Nuts are not the enemy!

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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!

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Avellana’s Products – Vegan and Gluten Free!

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Smoked Paprika: This is one of our bestselling cheeses. If you like mild and smoky umami, this cheese is for you. The Paprika peppers are roasted and smoked, then ground into a rich and deep red powder. This smoky spice blends well with hazelnut and hemp cream, adding another layer of complexity to the already smooth and nutty cheese.

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Italian Herb: Another best seller, our Italian herb is a piquant, earthy spice blend (organic Basil, organic Oregano, and organic Rosemary) is a perfect partner for our savory cheese, creating a creamy and satisfying herbed experience.

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Berbere:

Twelve different spices (Organic Paprika, Sea Salt, Organic Cayenne, Organic Fenugreek, Organic Coriander, Organic Cumin, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Cardamom, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Clove, Organic Ginger, Organic Turmeric) are combined to produce Berbere, a spice blend that has its origins in Ethiopia. This wonderfully bold, spice blend adds a complex and zesty heat to our creamy hemp hazelnut cheese.

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Curry: Colorful, fragrant and incredibly rich, this beautiful and creamy cheese invokes the exotic flavors of India. The spice mix contains organic Coriander, organic Turmeric, organic Fenugreek, organic Ginger, organic Mustard Seed, organic Black Pepper and organic Cayenne.

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Pesto: 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.

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Currant: The currant may be small, but it’s flavor is mighty and it blends with hazelnut hemp 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 sublime experience.

Avellana Hazelnut Parmesan

Avellana Hazelnut Parmesan: Handcrafted from organic Oregon hazelnuts, this parmesan alternative has a deliciously addictive nutty, cultured flavor that’s perfect with soups, salads and pasta.

100% Organic Hazelnut Flour

Avellana Organic Hazelnut Flour: Hazelnut flour is low in carbohydrates, high in protein and is a fantastic source of fiber. Sweet with a mildy nutty taste, it’s the perfect addition to pie crusts, cookies, breads and cakes. Simply substitute 1/3 of the called for flour in a recipe with Avellana for delicious and nutritious results.

All of our products are created and packaged in a dedicated gluten free facility.

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Avellana Creamery

Our Mission: To produce divine artisanal vegan cheeses for all fine food lovers, using age-old traditional methods and the finest organic Oregon hazelnuts prepared with craftmanship, consciousness and compassion.

Finally, a great tasting, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free cheese! Once you taste it, you’ll know the difference…

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Oregon Hazelnut Blossom

Purchasing our product has a high value return on many, many platforms. First and foremost, you get the best tasting vegan cheese money can buy! After that, the investments are endless. Whatever your agenda, I’ll bet we’ve got it covered: animal activism, animal rescue, local consumerism, slow food, slow money, organic agriculture, environmentally kind practices, recycling and reusing, food health (soy free, gluten free, organic, paleo-friendly) green packaging, and community building are just some of the campaigns that we will be supporting with our process and with our profits.

Avellana Creamery is a company founded on preserving the health of our planet and the health and well-being of all beings who live here. Our goal is to make delectable vegan cheese products to show consumers that there is a whole world of culinary possibility outside the realm of dairy, to show the world that we can have it all, compassion, health, and delicious artisanal food. Our hope is that the product itself will begin the process of raising questions in the minds of consumers, leading to an examination of whether our habits match up with our beliefs where food is concerned.

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Organic sprouted hazelnuts from Meridian Farm, Aurora, Oregon

What goes into making Avellana cheese? First of all, we start with whole, unbroken hazelnuts. Whole nuts retain their flavor better than broken nuts and so make a richer final cheese product. Whole nuts cost more, but we feel the end product is worth it. What makes our cheese different than other vegan cheeses?

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Avellana Cocoa Nib Boursault

Most vegan cheeses are made by grinding nuts into a paste then flavoring with salt and/or other spices. At Avellana Creamery we treasure the ideas of the past. We make our cheeses using the same ancient traditions that carried through century after century. We make our cheese not from nut paste, but from hazelnut milk. While we do have to finely grind the nut to make the milk, we remove all the fiber from the hazelnut, using only the remaining smooth, rich cream. It takes over two pounds of hazelnuts to make one pound of cheese. This increases the cost of our cheese compared with other vegan cheeses on the market, but the difference is evident in the final product. We focus on using fair trade, local, cultivated without chemicals or organic spices to finish our product. With no thickeners like agar or tapioca starch, no need to add nutritional yeast or miso to enhance the flavor, our vegan cheese is bursting with rich flavor all on its own. The essential flavor of the hazelnut is not masked by the fiber of the nut or covered over with outside flavorings. The cultures ripen only the most flavorful elements of the hazelnut producing a totally unique, healthy and divinely decadent experience in vegan cheese.

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Italian Herb, Smoked Paprika, and Berbere Spiced Boursault hazelnut cheeses

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COMING SOON: A New Renaissance in Cheese

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Our Mission: To produce divine artisanal vegan cheeses for all fine food lovers, using age-old traditional methods and the finest organic Oregon hazelnuts prepared with the highest level of craftsmanship, compassion, and consciousness.

When I think about artisanal cheese making, my first thought is always of a cheese monger at a busy street market in the times of the Renaissance. She has on an apron and her hair is covered with a white cloth. Her wares are neatly displayed, wrapped in brown paper, tied with strand of twine. She’s in the middle of a sale with the local vintner who always buys from her because her cheeses are the finest and pair best with his famous wines.

The Renaissance cheese monger has a deep relationship with the land around her because if the land is in trouble, her livelihood is threatened. She knows her neighbors and her understanding of community is wide, because she depends on the connections she makes within her community to survive. She works hard to make the best quality product that she can because of her passion for her trade.

All aspects of our cheese making methods hearken back to a time when products were made by skilled workers, artisans, workers who used old and time tested recipes, workers who knew their trade like the back of their hands. And yet, while we always honor the wisdom of the past, our product also brings a breath of new life and compassion to the  traditional methods by making the shift from dairy cow milk to fresh hazelnut milk. Like the Renaissance cheese monger, we deepen our connection to our community by purchasing organic hazelnuts from Meridian Hazelnut Farm, a 48 year-old family farm right here in our Emerald Valley.

The alchemical processes that are required to make liquid milk into solid cheeses are different with hazelnut milk and dairy milk. It took me a year of experimentation to get the exact recipe right, toiling over a bubbling pot, stirring, measuring, timing the addition of ingredients down to the second. The secrets are in the details, but overall we use the most basic of all cheese making formulas to release the smooth, rich cream from the fibrous cellulose of the hazelnut. We make our cheese the way cheese has been made for thousands of years and we do it without exploiting animals. We feel that the time has arrived to spiral upward in evolution, to bring a new wave of compassion and consciousness to these processes.…and all that passion and love of the trade is evident in our final insanely delicious product.

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Avellana Blueberry Basil Boursault

Times are changing and people are becoming more and more aware of the effects their individual choices make on the whole interconnected organism that is our world. Organic hazelnut milk  means less exploitation of other living animals, less strain on our already overtaxed environment, and better health for you, the compassionate consumer.

Our cheese will be available at the Eugene Farmer’s Market in June of 2014 and other venues , stores and restaurants as we grow!

 

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