Dairy-free zucchini cheese is a great soy-free and nut-free alternative to cheese. It's perfect for those struggling with the strict AIP paleo diet.
I'll admit that since moving to a dairy-free AIP paleo diet, I've really been missing my cheese. And, since most cheese alternatives contain soy or nuts, they aren't an option.
Searching for a dairy-free cheese to curb my cravings, I stumbled upon a recipe that's compliant with the autoimmune protocol diet. And, it's made with simple ingredients that are easy to find.
I'm talking about zucchini cheese which is probably one of the few cheese substitutes you can have on the AIP plan. It's a recipe that's basically a zucchini gelatin. You can see the original recipe here on Gutsy By Nature.
It may sound kind of strange to make a cheese out of zucchini. But, when you think about it, zucchini has little taste or color so it makes a great vegetable base for cheese.
The main protein in milk, casein, has been shown to trigger inflammation in the body. That's why it's recommended for people like me with autoimmune disease to eliminate from their diet.
Most of the recipes I've seen for dairy-free cheese use nuts. But, nuts and seeds are eliminated on the AIP plan. Thankfully, zucchini cheese is free of nuts!
I plan to stick with the AIP diet for at least a month to calm down my immune system. After that that initial phase, I'm hoping to give some of those nut based cheeses a try.
Because of my autoimmune conditions, I've decided to eliminate dairy. My plan is to stick with a low carb paleo diet. Dairy has been the only thing keeping me being completely paleo.
I've also eliminated all sweeteners for a month while doing the AIP elimination plan. Except for special occasions, I only use concentrated monk fruit and stevia anyway. Both of those are acceptable for paleo.
If you aren't on a strict elimination diet, zucchini cheese may not be for you. To be honest, it's just gelatin squares made with pureed squash. So, you could use any similar vegetable puree.
It's been almost a year since I had a results showing high immune activation based on a salivary neurotransmitter test. All of my neurotransmitter levels were elevated with serotonin, histamine, and dopamine full scale.
In a few months, I'd like to have the neurotransmitter test taken again to see if my levels have improved. I did show a strong reaction to egg whites and I didn't completely give them up until recently. Eating eggs likely made my condition worse.
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise. The most common conditions are thyroid related. I wish I had known about how to reverse my Grave's Disease before having my thyroid ablated.
Although environmental factors and genetics play a role, the biggest role for triggering disease does seem to be diet. That's why I went low carb and gluten free.
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to say good-bye to dairy as well. Since cheese are cream are such popular low carb ingredients, I'll likely continue to offer recipes with them. I just won't be eating those dishes.
If you've started an AIP elimination plan and need a little treat, check out my blackberry fat bombs. They are totally compliant with the autoimmune protocol if you leave out the stevia.
Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free Zucchini Cheese Recipe
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Zucchini Cheese - Dairy Free AIP Paleo
- 2 cups zucchini
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- nutritional yeast optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Line baking pan with parchment paper. (I used a 9x9-inch)
- Steam zucchini for about five minutes.
- Puree steamed zucchini with coconut oil and lemon juice in blender or food processor until smooth.
- Blend in gelatin, salt, and nutritional yeast (if using).
- Pour mixture into lined pan then sprinkle herbs on top.
- Refrigerate until set. Slice into squares.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 4 [calories] => 43 [carbohydrates] => 3 [protein] => 1 [fat] => 3 [saturated_fat] => 3 [sodium] => 135 [potassium] => 151 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 100 [vitamin_c] => 19 [calcium] => 10 [iron] => 0.2 [serving_unit] => squares )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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Have you tried to freeze the cheese to preserve shelf life after it is made?
I haven't so I'm not sure how it would work out.
Is the Zucchini chopped or grated?
The zucchini is sliced and then puréed in a blender.
Can I substitute the zucchini with canned pumpkin purée? Or acorn squash?
It should work, but I haven't tried it myself to say for sure.
This came out surprisingly good, with one problem. It has a slight coconut taste which totally ruins the cheesy thing. Is there any chance I could substitute butter for the coconut oil?
You should be able to use unsalted butter. I'm not sure if salted butter would make it too salty. However, it wouldn't be dairy-free. You could use a vegan butter if you still want it to be dairy-free cheese.
I also have dairy & egg sensitivities. However, it concerns me that you are using a salivary test. Quote: "I’m aware that saliva tests are widely promoted on the Internet to check levels of a variety of hormones including estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, testosterone, melatonin and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Results supposedly determine your need for various “anti-aging” supplements, often sold on the same Web sites that promote the analysis. Don’t waste your money on such tests. - Andrew Weil, M.D."
Most of the saliva tests were for genetic tests. I had bloodwork done too.
Hi, I am wondering about size. I am wanting a 1 carb serving - in your nutrition facts you say 4 squares are 3 carbs. What are those measurements so I can get the correct serving for me. Thanks 🙂
I cut the entire thing into 36 small squares so you'd just have to adjust depending on how many equal squares you get.
I am assuming the zucchini needs to be peeled?
Yes. The zucchini is peeled first.
Hi mam, thanks for another option for cheese that we can use. I have AS, an autoimmune disease. I thought we could also use almond cheese or coconut cheese, made in similar way but replacing zucchini with almond or coconut. Can't we?
There is a way to make cheese from nuts, but it's a different process. You need the liquid from the zucchini in this recipe. I'm not sure if fresh coconut would work as I haven't tried that.
could i use something like kale instead of zucchini, do you think? Trying to think of a way to get different veggies in there, but I LOVE the recipe!
Kale likely wouldn't work, but you can use another squash like yellow.
Could you sub agar agar for the gelatin please?
You should be able if you are looking for a vegan sub.
how much yeast should i add, thank you
You can add about 2 tablespoons or so.
Is the ½ cup of water for blooming the gelatin??
I believe it is for properly dissolving the gelatin.