Dairy-free Brazilian “cheese” puff

Or “pão de queijo” is one of my favorite Brazilian snacks. One isn’t enough. Unless it’s a giant cheese puff (yes, they make those too).

Giving up on cheese is probably my hardest struggle and what’s been holding me back to becoming a vegan. However, I do understand all the animal welfare and environmental issues that go along with the dairy industry, so my choice is to avoid dairy. Period.

Plus, last time I had pizza I felt so crooked later on that the decision to stop eating dairy came easier this year than last year’s first attempt in going vegan.

But I’m not advocating for either sides. I believe it’s unhealthy to cut something that you really enjoy eating out of your diet. After a while, it can be a torture to avoid that food. I believe you can help protect the environment, fight for animal welfare, and feel happy.

At least, that’s my opinion.

Hence, I’m not a vegan. I eat eggs, especially my chickens’ eggs because I know they’re really free-range, they’re happy chickens, and are loved. Besides, if I don’t eat their eggs, they’ll still lay them, right? With all the hunger in the world, how could I throw their eggs away?

But like I said earlier, I’m not advocating for anything here, nor do I want my blog to be politicized.

I just wish to share with everyone out there that my vegan and vegetarian recipes are directed at those with dietary limitations and allergies, or those who choose to lead a healthier lifestyle, by promoting homemade meals and snacks, and to support those people who grow their own vegetables and fruit.

Also, to help those like me who can’t always afford the exorbitant prices that shops charge for organic, gluten-free or any special food products.

In my case, it’s a lifestyle choice to avoid dairy and gluten. I feel healthier and more energetic. But that’s me.

With some patience, research and time, we can make several of our own “special” dishes. And we can indulge in not so healthy dishes too, every now and then, as a reward.

We have to be happy in order to make those around us happy too, don’t you agree?

And by thinking about our shopping choices we can assist in the fight for proper farming techniques, support those who use the least agricultural inputs, those who respect the natural cycle of animal breeding and milking. If we understand the seasonality of animals, crops and fruits and end the mentality of wanting everything to be available any time of the year, all year long, then we can reach a good balance and achieve a fairer farming system. Hence, more humane farming practices.

But enough ranting. Today’s post is about the dairy-free version of the Brazilian cheese puffs.

Made with tapioca starch, eggs and nutritional yeast.

After first mixing the starch, salt, the egg, nutritional yeast and about 50 ml of vegetable oil, add about 1 cup of warm water (1 cup water to 1 cup of starch).

Stir with a wooden spoon. Stir hard and beat the dough until there are no lumps left.

Careful when adding the water, because warm water turns the tapioca starch into gum. That’s what you want for this recipe. Just enough water to make the gum.

So you have to keep beating the dough for a couple of minutes until the mix is uniform.

Hot dairy free cheesy puffs

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