A vegan Danish blue cheese made from fermented oats was recently developed by research chef Maynard Kolskog at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s new Centre for Culinary Innovation. The cheese, made using oats, probiotics, and nutritional yeast, is part of a two-year research partnership with the University of Alberta and Canada’s Prairie Oat Growers Association to create new products from fractionated oats—where the whole grain is separated into oat protein and fiber through dry milling. The goal of the research project isn’t just to help Canadian oat producers find new uses for their crop, but also to satisfy the public’s growing appetite for plant-based food. “We’re looking at experimenting and doing things that haven’t been done before,” Kolskog said. “The potential is really amazing with this product.” Kolskog is still working to improve the texture and mouthfeel of the oat-based blue cheese and plans to incorporate cold-pressed canola oil to perfect the product. “That’s what I like about a lot of these projects,” Kolskog said. “The challenge is to do quite extraordinary things with them.” In addition to his work with oats, Kolskog has helped the University of Alberta develop a plant-based ice cream using lentils and barley, and industry partners turn pulses into soy- and gluten-free vegan meat.

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