For those of you who are not familiar with almond cheese, it is a dairy-free and vegan alternative to traditional cheese. It has an amazing texture that will make your taste buds sing! The cheeses we buy in the store are filled with preservatives and don’t have much nutritional value. This recipe is easy to make, doesn’t require any fancy equipment (just a food processor), and tastes great on sandwiches or crackers. You can also eat this as dessert by topping it off with some fresh fruit!
You will need:
-½ cup almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed*
-¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
-¾ cups filtered water or more as needed for desired consistency ** Process: -Combine the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth; this usually takes about one minute. Add additional liquid to get your preferred texture. The cheese will be soft at first but once it cools down it hardens much like dairy cheese does! Serve by itself or on crackers with sliced apple or pear topping. Tip: Keep leftovers covered in the fridge up to five days Recipe makes approximately ½ cup of almond cheese**** **** *If you haven’t soaked them overnight, then you’ll want to do that now.
- If your almonds are still whole, use a knife or food processor to finely chop them up into small pieces.
- In a pan over medium-low heat add almond butter and maple syrup (or honey). Stir until mixed well together and slightly reduced in volume. If it’s too dry, add more almond butter or sweetener of choice.* Add the chopped nuts to this mixture one by * time, stirring after each addition. Keep cooking for 15 minutes on low heat while stirring occasionally. Once all the water has evaporated from the saucepan and everything is completely combined, turn off the stove top burner.* The next step is optional but recommended: place plastic wrap directly onto surface of the saucepan, and let the mixture cool for an hour at room temperature.
- After an hour has passed, transfer almond cheese to a container of your choice using a spoon or spatula. Cover with plastic wrap (or lid) and chill in refrigerator until completely set.* Serve on crackers or baguette slices as desired
Tips on how to make sure your recipe is successful:
Make sure your Almonds are soaked in cold water for at least eight hours.
Make sure your mixture is completely smooth by adding more almond milk if necessary.
If you are using a cheesecloth, make sure it has been thoroughly washed and dried before use. You can also line the cloth with parchment paper to avoid sticking or tearing of the cheese as it dries out on top of the lining material.
Add salt to taste (I find that about one teaspoon per cup of nuts works well) before processing in your food processor but adjust according to how salty you want the final product to be). I would also recommend tasting a small amount first so that you do not process accidentally too far! Try with different types of salt–coarse sea salt may have good flavor.
Pour the cheese into a container and cover with plastic wrap to seal off from air exposure.
Salt can be added for taste after sealing, but it is important that you keep salt away from any surface of the cheese which will not get processed through again (i.e., on top). It may also crystallize as dry salt does when in contact with moisture or liquids at high temperatures, so add if desired before placing in your refrigerator! Covering should help inhibit this process too.
Refrigerate fresh almond-based dairy products within two hours of processing and consume within one week to preserve quality; freezing beyond this time period is not recommended due to potential loss of flavor and nutrients over extended periods of storage BUT some people prefer to freeze their almond-based dairy products for convenience (such as people who may only use cheese on occasion and want it to be available immediately).
The cheese should be eaten after you make it as with any dairy product, so if your plans are to store the cheese for later use then do not add salt until you open and eat the first piece! This is because bacteria will proliferate when exposed to air, which can lead to spoilage.
Use a mandoline or food processor fitted with shredding blades in order to process almonds into thin slices that will melt easily, but avoid over processing (this may give an unpleasant grain-like texture).