Danish Startup Develops DIY Vegan Cheese

Anna Starostinetskaya wrote . . . . . . . . .

Danish startup CheeseItYourself recently developed a vegan cheese product that minimizes liquid waste.

The startup was formed by four technologists—Hernán Gómez and Carmen Masiá from Spain and Ioanna Anagnostara and Panagiota Dima from Greece—who came together for the common goal of reducing food waste while working on a masters program at the Technical University of Denmark.

CheeseItYourself is made with cashews and comes in powder form, allowing users to create their own cheese by adding liquid ingredients that would typically be wasted—such as “aquafaba” (or the brine leftover from a can of chickpeas)—to the mixture, cooking it for five minutes, and refrigerating the resulting base to create solid cheese that lasts for four to five days.

“We looked at the market and saw that among vegans there was a demand for quality cheese as part of their diet,” Masiá said. “A number of vegan cheeses already exist in the market. They are most often spreadable and based on coconut oil and water. They have a low protein content and nutritional value—an obvious drawback given that vegans need the proteins they don’t get from meat. In addition, many consumers think current options taste artificial, with the quality leaving something to be desired. In other words, there’s a market for a new, unique product,” says Carmen Masiá.

The cheese powder comes in biodegradable packaging that furthers the team’s mission.

“We wanted a product that to the greatest extent possible aligned itself with the intentions of the UN’s sustainability goals,” Gómez said. “In terms of our product, this primarily means reduced food waste—but it doesn’t stop there. Since there is no water in the product, it also has a low weight, which in turn has a positive impact on transport and thus climate footprint. We had four parameters to live up to: Environment, food waste, nutrition, and price. And we’ve succeeded with all four aspects.”

The startup has already received interest from the restaurant sector and is looking for industrial partners to scale production.

Source: Veg News

Vegan Corn Dog


4 vegetarian Sausages
2 large hot dog buns

Corn Flour Batter

75 g plain flour
45 g yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp vegan egg replacer
1 tbsp water
125 ml oat milk
sunflower oil

Seasoned Flour

50 g Plain Flour
1 tsp cayenne seasoning
1 tsp paprika seasoning
pinch of salt and pepper

Tobacco Onions

1 slice white oion
2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
100 g plain flour


1 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped
chili jam
vegan barbeque sauce


  1. Firstly, make the Corn Dog batter by combining the plain flour, yellow cornmeal, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Then add in the egg replacer with the water and gradually mix in the oat milk until you get a smooth batter.
  2. Next, make your seasoned flour by mixing together the plain flour, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl. Roll the Linda sausages in the seasoned plain flour to cover the full sausages. Set aside to cook later.
  3. Next make your tobacco onions, by thinly slicing an onion into half-moon shapes and tossing them well in plain flour and Old Bay seasoning.
  4. In a large pot over medium heat, add enough sunflower oil to come halfway up the sides and heat to 170ºC. Dip the sausages into the corn batter mix and then fry in the oil until golden brown – around 5 minutes. Ensure you turn the sausages throughout cooking to ensure an even cook and golden colour. Once cooked, remove the sausage from the oil and place on kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
  5. While the corn dogs are resting, cook your tobacco onions. Use the same pan of oil as you did for the sausages and add the onion mixture to the oil and deep fry until golden brown – around 4 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain.
  6. Serve two sausages in each of your hot dog buns, topped with crispy Tobacco onions, chili jam and barbeque sauce. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Vegan Food and Living

In Pictures: Fall Home-cooked Meatless Dishes

Grilled Sweet Potato & Herb Salad

Pumpkin Soup with Millet

Broiled Persimmons with Greek Yogurt

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

Vegan Butternut Squash

Candied Yams

Study: Fitter Bodies Make for Healthier Brains

Alan Mozes wrote . . . . . . . . .

If you’re looking for incentives to hit the gym, new research suggests that staying in good shape may help preserve brain structure, boost memory, and improve the ability to think clearly and quickly.

The finding follows an analysis of fitness and brain health among more than 1,200 young adults, average age 30. All underwent brain scans; tests to measure memory, sharpness, judgment and reasoning; and a speed-walking trial to assess cardiovascular fitness. (Muscle strength was not assessed.)

The investigators found that study participants who moved faster and farther over the two-minute walking test performed better on thinking tests than their less-fit peers. Fitter men and women were also found to have healthier nerve fibers across the white matter portion of the brain. White matter is critical for high-quality neural communication, the researchers noted.

Study lead author Dr. Jonathan Repple offered several theories as to what might explain a strong body/strong brain connection.

For one, “exercise decreases inflammation, which then, in turn, is beneficial for brain cells,” said Repple, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist with the University of Muenster, in Germany.

Being fit may also promote better nerve-fiber insulation, and greater growth across nerve cells and nerve connections, he explained.

It may also be that fitter men and women simply have a “better blood supply to the brain,” Repple added.

Dr. David Knopman, a professor of neurology with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., seconded that thought.

“It is my opinion that these results reflect a pattern of general improved vascular health in individuals who are more physically fit,” said Knopman. He is a fellow with the American Academy of Neurology and was not part of the study team.

But Knopman said that it is also likely “that physical fitness is a characteristic of people who are more health conscious and practice better health behaviors.” In that case, a constellation of healthy behaviors ultimately might come together to foster better brain health and structure.

For couch potatoes, could a link between body and brain health mean that getting just a bit fitter might be a win-win?

Study volunteers ranged from 20 to 59. Repple said the findings held up even after accounting for factors such as age, gender, high blood pressure, diabetes and body mass index (a standard measurement of obesity).

However, he said, because the study merely observed each individual’s current status, he cannot say for sure that the newly fit will actually enjoy improved brain health (“cognition”).

But Repple did note that the fitness-brain health connection seemed to be on a sliding scale, meaning that “if you get 10 ‘units’ better on the walking test, you improve three ‘units’ on the cognitive tests.”

Also, “a lot of other studies showed that, independent of age, it is always beneficial to start exercising,” Repple said.

Knopman offered a cautious take on the study’s implications: cardiovascular fitness while relatively young “probably has beneficial consequences in mid-life and later life.” And that likely means that “the earlier one begins to practice good vascular health behaviors, the greater the benefits will be,” he said.

“The sooner the better,” Knopman added.

Repple presented the findings Monday at a meeting of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, in Copenhagen. The report was simultaneously published online in Scientific Reports.

Source: HealthDay

How the Eyes Might Be Windows to the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Scott LaFee wrote . . . . . . . . .

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) begins to alter and damage the brain years — even decades — before symptoms appear, making early identification of AD risk paramount to slowing its progression.

In a new study published online in the September 9, 2019 issue of the Neurobiology of Aging, scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine say that, with further developments, measuring how quickly a person’s pupil dilates while they are taking cognitive tests may be a low-cost, low-invasive method to aid in screening individuals at increased genetic risk for AD before cognitive decline begins.

In recent years, researchers investigating the pathology of AD have primarily directed their attention at two causative or contributory factors: the accumulation of protein plaques in the brain called amyloid-beta and tangles of a protein called tau. Both have been linked to damaging and killing neurons, resulting in progressive cognitive dysfunction.

The new study focuses on pupillary responses which are driven by the locus coeruleus (LC), a cluster of neurons in the brainstem involved in regulating arousal and also modulating cognitive function. Tau is the earliest occurring known biomarker for AD; it first appears in the LC; and it is more strongly associated with cognition than amyloid-beta. The study was led by first author William S. Kremen, PhD, and senior author Carol E. Franz, PhD, both professors of psychiatry and co-directors of the Center for Behavior Genetics of Aging at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

The LC drives pupillary response — the changing diameter of the eyes’ pupils — during cognitive tasks. (Pupils get bigger the more difficult the brain task.) In previously published work, the researchers had reported that adults with mild cognitive impairment, often a precursor to AD, displayed greater pupil dilation and cognitive effort than cognitively normal individuals, even if both groups produced equivalent results. Critically, in the latest paper, the scientists link pupillary dilation responses with identified AD risk genes.

“Given the evidence linking pupillary responses, LC and tau and the association between pupillary response and AD polygenic risk scores (an aggregate accounting of factors to determine an individual’s inherited AD risk), these results are proof-of-concept that measuring pupillary response during cognitive tasks could be another screening tool to detect Alzheimer’s before symptom appear,” said Kremen.

Source: University of California San Diego

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