Raw Recipe: Simple Almond Cheese

by Susan on January 6, 2011

Simple Almond Cheese

(recipe at end of post)

Nut cheeses are a great item to have in your raw food recipe collection. They are tasty, easily support the addition of many herbs and spices, and will impress your raw and non-raw friends a like! There are a couple of different ways to make nut cheeses.

Macadamia Nut Cheese made with probiotics.

(From the Rawmazing Holiday Book)

Probiotics: Probably the easiest, but most expensive way to make the “cheese”  is to use probiotics. I love how this “cheese” tastes and the texture is wonderful and it is quite fail-proof. The only drawback is the cost of the probiotics. Most recipes require at least a teaspoon, which can be more than half a bottle of capsules. On the plus side, the cheeses are wonderful, the probiotics don’t require advanced preparation.

Cashew Cheese made with Rejuvelac

(recipe here: Cheese)

Rejuvelac: Raw Cheeses made with rejuvilac also have great taste and texture but can be a little more temperamental. Plus, you need to add a couple of days to your process to make the rejuvelac. The grain needs to be sprouted first and then made into rejuvelac. It can be a bit time consuming. That said, it makes a great cheese with wonderful, tangy taste and good texture.

Simple Almond Cheese (recipe follows)

Simple Cheese: Simple cheese spreads and simple cheeses can be made with just nuts and no fermentation process. I usually prefer these cheeses for spreads, but they can also be firmed up and dehydrated to form the rind.

Different nuts not only taste different, but also will give different textures. Almonds make a clean tasting cheese that is a little grainy. Macadamias make a beautiful, creamy cheese that develops good firm texture. Cashews make a smooth, easy to flavor cheese that has a bit of a softer texture.

Today’s recipe is pretty simple. I started my “cheese” when I got up. I threw the ingredients in the food processor, spooned it into a nut-milk bad and tossed it in the refrigerator. The next morning, I took it out, patted it into a round and tossed it in the dehydrator (to form a “rind”). By the evening, it was ready to go!

I hope I have inspired you to try your hand at nut cheese making. It is fun and tasty!

Simple Almond Cheese

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked, drained and skins removed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch Himalayan Salt

1. Soak almonds overnight in water. Drain and pop off skins.
2. Place all ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. This will take a bit of time, don’t rush.
3. Place nut mixture in nut-milk bag or colander lined with cheese cloth.
4. Give a light squeeze and place in refrigerator over-night to set up.
5. You can use the cheese at this point or if you want it more firm, place it in the dehydrator for 6+ hours (at 115 degrees) to form a rind.

Soaked almonds with skins removed. It takes a little time but is very easy. They just pop right off.

The almonds should be well blended and smooth.

The mixture in the nut-milk bag, before putting it in the refrigerator.

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{ 184 comments… read them below or add one }

Nadia January 6, 2011 at 9:55 am

I love the taste of simple cheeses too.

They are lovely eaten on their own or as a addition to a raw/vegan pizza, sandwich, salad, whatever…

My technology is a little bit different though, I leave my cheese out in a warm spot for 24 hours and then refrigerate it to form a cheese ring. No dehydrator needed. :)

P.S. I love your blog, learned so much from here!
Have an amazing successful year with lots of happy moments and smiles :)

Susan January 6, 2011 at 9:59 am

Yes…the cashew cheese above forms it’s own rind while fermenting. And both the probiotic and rejuvelac cheese require warm air fermenting. If you want a really good rind, like the photo of the macadamia cheese, the dehydrator is a great place to do that. :-)

The almond cheese goes right into the fridge and doesn’t require the warm air fermenting. So many different ways!

Elizabeth January 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

Gosh your photos are beautiful, what a gift you have.
I have yet to make raw nut cheeses or Rejuvelac for that matter..I can’t believe that! I will do both this year.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Peace & Raw Health,
Elizabeth

Jessica January 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Perfect timing!I have been working dairy out of our diet and it is time for me to tackle the cheese issue. It is going to be a tough tranisition I think (esp for my boys, I hope they take to it) I’d love any other links or tips to point me in the right direction!

Debra January 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Yum! I have almonds- I need to try this! Thanks for sharing.

Eco Mama January 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Wonderful post Susan! I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time but it seemed daunting. Thank you for the step by step and mouthwatering photos!
xo
Eco Mama

Scott January 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for the recipes. Fermented nut cheeses are new territory for me.

Neven January 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Yum, I haven’t made raw cheese in a long time. That needs to change.

Emily January 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Ummmm… can’t wait to try. What crackers are pictured with it?

Susan January 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm

What else do you wish to know?

Dina January 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm

wow i’d never heard of nut cheese before. this is very cool. i’d like to try it!

Susan January 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Emily, they are a raw BBQ cracker that I created yesterday.

ginger January 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

wow. i have never made nut cheeses. but so excited to try the simple almond first. curious about the garlic

Kat January 7, 2011 at 12:43 am

This looks good and sounds simple I want to try making it

Peggy January 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

Wow… this blows my mind. Never thought of nut cheeses before! Definitely interesting!

Suzanne January 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I am so going to try this!

Karen January 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Can I use the vitamix instead of the food processor?

Susan January 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Sure.

ginger January 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I used a blender (I don’t have a food processor). My cheese turned out smooth. Though I let it run a good amount of time.

Jeani January 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Wow, that really did take a long time to get to a good, smooth texture, but I have a very old GE food processor.

I have everything sitting on the counter so that in the morning I can throw together the walnut-mushroom burgers (your recipe). I will put them in the dehydrator with the sweet potato fries (your recipe) that are marinating in the fridge overnight. Late tomorrow afternoon I will have a cheesy burger on some onion bread (your recipe that I modified a little), and I KNOW it will be a delicious meal. My house will smell good all day long while we get a little bit of snow here in Delaware.

Thanks for sharing your gift, Susan. You make this so much fun.

Christiane January 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

Are you going to share the recipe for those crackers? Because they look AMAZING!

ginger January 9, 2011 at 5:46 am

I just finished making walnut cheese (the simple version). I let it sit overnight, but it turned out REALLY soft. I thought it might be from not using a food processor (though it turned out smooth using my blender), but I also did not add the lemon juice (NOT on purpose … I forgot to pick it up at the store the other day). Though it tastes dam good, it does need the lemon juice.

Susan January 9, 2011 at 8:30 am

Ginger…I think you are referring to the almond cheese? It is a softer cheese. If you want it to firm up even more…you will need to put it in the dehydrator. Also, it must go in the refrigerator. And yes…there is a reason the lemon juice is in there. :-)

Dianne January 9, 2011 at 9:50 am

Have tried several of your recipes and they are all winners! My question is about almonds. I would like to understand why it is recommended to blanch almonds. Is it simply for aesthetics or is there a science behind it? I know several raw and non-raw recipes recommend this technique and sometimes wonder if it is truly necessary. Thanks. (I enjoy your site tremendously and am looking forward to following you this year.) Happy & healthy new year to all.

Susan January 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

Dianne, for this recipes, we are not “blanching” almonds, we are just removing the skin. Blanching involves a soak in boiling water…

For this recipe, yes, it is just aesthetics. Also, the addition of skins would change the texture and make it less “cheese” like.

Elena Lipson January 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I made this tonight … added chipotle powder & some rosemary..YUM!!

Jeanne January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

You know, instead of adding all the extra ingredients, you can just soak a given nut in water (the initial sprouting process), blend that, and LET IT FERMENT ON ITS OWN, with its OWN ENZYMES. That’s the easiest and least expensive way! No added probiotics/rejuvelac needed! It tastes amazing. And then you can dry the fermented stuff the way you want (when it ferments, the “cheese” floats to the top and the remaining liquid (the “whey”) stays underneath, so you want to scoop up the top layer so it won’t be too soggy. The “whey” can be kept to drink or to be used as a culture for fermenting other things faster). Cheers!

Susan January 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

So interesting…I was just given a bottle of whey today and told all about the curds. I guess that is what they mean by curds and whey!

D. Zemira January 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm

As always, your recipes are gorgeous! Would you tell us what the crackers are in each of the photos? I’m interested each cracker, but the one with the poppy seeds looks especially ravishing. I went through the recipe list, but couldn’t find them. Much, much appreciated.

Susan January 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

They are a new BBQ cracker made with chia seeds. I have not posted the recipe yet. The other crackers are the mushroom crackers that are in the Holiday Book. Both turned out great!

Laura January 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Gosh I can’t wait to try this cheese. Your photos make all your recipes look to good for words. I look at your website everyday.

Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood January 14, 2011 at 10:02 am

Hi, I was lurking around your blog and thought I should finally say hi. :)

I LOVE cheese, so this recipe is definitely something worth recreating in my kitchen this weekend. Thank you!

Laura January 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I agree with D. Zemira, those crackers are gorgeous. Hope you post the recipe soon.
Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and most of all the photos. You inspire me!
Blessings, joy, love and peace.

D. Zemira January 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I’m whipping up another batch of this amazing, delicate “cheese,” which so far, in my experience, comes the closest to a ricotta. It’s marvelous, to say the least. My desire to procure a dehydrator is re-surfacing with a vengeance (but the real problem is WHERE to put it)! I’m so keen on pairing this with my own crackers. ❤

Joy Verning January 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm

When you add the Rejuvelac to your receipe to make cashew cheese, do you just add the water or do you add the sprouted wheat berries also? And how long will the sprouted wheat berries last in the frig?

Joy Verning January 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm

By the way my 92 year old Aunt had some of the Cashew Cheese and she loved it. That is remarkable because she is an old time eater not wanting to try new things.

Susan January 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Rejuvlac is the liquid only. The wheat berries last a few days in the fridge.

sarah January 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Just put everything together tonight. I’m excited to see how it turns out! What are some herbs/spices you might suggest to put in the almond cheese? Thank you for your amazing website, and recipes.

Nerissa March 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Would it be possible to make a cheese like these out of raw peanuts? I have a bunch so I thought I’d try it, but I’m not sure if it would work out the same.

Susan March 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

Personally, I would not make a raw cheese out of peanuts.

sheri frazin July 25, 2011 at 4:04 am

i tried it and it came out really grainy. i guess i didnt let the food processor run long enough. it tasted horrible and not like cheese at all. i will try it one more time and see if it is any better. sometimes it takes doing things a couple of times to see if it your palate vs. maybe really not doing it correctly.

Anna July 25, 2011 at 6:17 am

Oh my gosh, I thought this was a wonderful recipe. It is a basic recipe so you can add all kinds of things to it for flavor. It you are expecting a nut cheese to taste exactly like a dairy cheese, they don’t. But this is still a delicious recipe. I think it is a little grainer because Susan made it accessible for people who don’t have high-speed blenders. Which is really nice. All together, I have made this a couple of times and love it.

Michael U July 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Just read the blog and comments! Great project you’ve got going here, Susan! Can’t wait to make this out of almonds! I am however, a bit confused on the whey issue. It is the plasma that drains out of the strainer bag? Or cheesecloth?

Carmen September 8, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for these recipes. This is my first attempt at cheese and I am going to use the Simple Almond Cheese recipe.

As I was buying the almonds today, it just occurred to me. Technically, wouldn’t you agree that this is not a cheese recipe as there is no fermentation. Rather, it is a recipe for Almond butter, similar to Peanut butter.

Susan September 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Actually, no, it has much more of a cheese texture than a almond butter texture. It isn’t even close to that. :-)

Carmen September 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Thanks Susan, I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow. I’m looking forward to this, the almonds are now soaking :)

Carmen September 11, 2011 at 2:41 am

Hi Susan,

Just wanted to say that we made the almond cheese this weekend and it was a hit. On another website, there was a recommendation to “bake” the cheese in the oven at 350-degrees for 40 minutes. I did do this and had a nice small rind on top.

Susan September 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Wonderful to hear. Just a note, if you have made this with truly raw almonds, you can put a rind on the cheese in the dehydrator, keeping the temp under 115 degrees thus not compromising the raw status.

Carmen September 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Yes, I read that you created the rind using a dehydrator. Up until now, there was never a need to have one, so for this first round, I didn’t have one available for the cheese I was making.

I think my next purchase will be a dehydrator.

Maxine October 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

Hi Susan,
I’m so glad I found your site. I’m a singer and must cut out everything dairy. So, I was searching for a way to make nut cheeses. And I agree with the others; the crackers look great! (I am also off gluten.) I am very interested in eating more raw and healthy foods. Thanks for your website. I will be taking time to check it all out. It looks as though my dehydrator will finally get some use.

Incidentally, is there a way to make parmesan cheese? I’m a parma-holic!

: )
Maxine

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