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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{ 191 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Taylor March 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I loved the simple almond cheese! I added a tablespoon of plain sheep yogurt to mixture after it came
out of fridge to give it a more cream cheese taste! Thanks for sharing!

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Muse March 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Thats a fabulous idea Can’t wait to try it. Now for a dehydrator! Well done on your site Susan. xo

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Maryann March 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm

This “cheese” looks heavenly! I’m soaking my almonds and I cant wait to try it! I was wondering if lime juice would work the same as the lemon?

Thanks!

Maryanna

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Holly April 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

Do you need to use raw almonds? If so, where can I get them?

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sunnie slade April 13, 2012 at 10:10 am

i have soaked my nuts before and never had this problem. the skin wont come off the almond, does that mean my nuts are old .
would it make a lot of difference if i leave the skins on? i have made nut balls before and used brazil and left the skin on and it just had specks of brown in it. but this is your recipe. so get back to me…
thanks,

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Susan April 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I have had that happen occasionally. You can certainly leave the skins on. It just won’t be as light colored. Cheers!

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Debbie April 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Just wondering if you added coconut oil or coconut creme to the batch of cashew cheese to make it firm because it looks similar to the cheese cakes I make using coconut oil? Also, I’m not sure if rejuvelac contains gluten?

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Susan April 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

You can make rejuvelac with gluten free grains. I don’t know about the coconut oil or coconut creme for these recipes as I have not tested it with that product. Cheers!

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Aziza May 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Tried the almond cheese recipe came out perfect ,after it drained I wrap it with a couple of towels and put a weight on it for overnight in the fridge ,perfect texture ,,,,thanks

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Troy June 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Can not wait to try. Has any one tried to add Lecithan? I know several people are anti soy, bus think I’ll try it for creaminess.

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Carol June 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

When you are putting the almonds thru the food processor, is the creamy texture you are talking about almond butter?…or is it a stage before this? Thanks

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Carol June 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

When processing the almonds in the food processor, does creamy mean they are at a nut butter stage or is it an earlier stage of the processing? Thanks

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Debby August 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I am just starting a Paleo diet and was disappointed to learn no dairy products, as cheese is my favorite food – so thanks for the recipe!!

QUESTION: I like making my own almond milk, but don’t because I hate wasting the “leftovers” after straining. In your opinion, do you think I could use these to make the cheese? That would make me so happy!! Thank you!!

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Susan August 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Debbie:

You should continue to make almond milk. It is wonderful fresh! You can save the pulp and make almond flour. You can not use the pulp for this recipe. Cheers!

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Lisa September 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I just made the almond cheese and it is now in the fridge. How long will it keep? Can I freeze it?

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Susan September 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

I have not tried freezing the cheese. It should last for about 5 days in the refrigerator. Use your best judgement. CHeers!

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claire October 4, 2012 at 2:52 am

You don’t need to buy probiotic pills to make your cheese probiotic. You can add a bit of any vegan or dairy probiotic product… a spoonful of (soy, coconut “cultured”) yogurt or a bit of Good Belly juice, whatever, and add it to your blended sprouted nuts, and allow to ferment before adding seasoning. Then, you just save a spoonful of this unseasoned “cheese”, to add to the next batch. Its the same principle as keeping a yeast starter.

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Susan October 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm

The probiotics are used for taste. I would be hesitant to add a processed (vegan yoghurt) food to my raw recipe. But, feel free to do as you wish! Cheers!

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san October 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

can you make nut cheese from leftover meal this way (specifically leftover almond milk from making almond milk)? thanks

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Susan October 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I would not use left over pulp. It is a left over. Makes great almond flour but not cheese. Cheers!

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san October 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm

leftover almond meal* (from almond milk)

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Andrew K Kirk October 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

This looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it right away.

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Arlene November 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Hi Susan,

Am so happy to find your easy nut cheese recipe. How many tablets of probiotic do you suggest for your recipe. So excited to make it. I’m a cheese lover!

Thanks,
Arlene

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Sarah November 12, 2012 at 10:58 pm

How would you incorporate nutritional yeast into a recipe like this? I know alot of the cashew cheese recipes have that.

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Sarah November 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Also what would you use this cheese for?

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Susan November 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm

This cheese wasn’t created for the addition of nutritional yeast. That said, you could try adding it to taste. I am not sure what you are asking for your second question…eat it? Spread it on crackers? Top a raw pizza with it? There are many ways you could use the cheese. Cheers!

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Carol December 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Susan, Thank you so—— much for your recipes and your endless patience in answering all the questions for people! I am learning so much from you and since I am new to all this, I desperately need this information. I really don’t have the money to order all the books so I depend on the internet for my information. I do order food and other raw food products from the internet and slowly but surely I am learning and getting my health back. Unless you have been ill, you have no idea how much that means. This diet helps so much more than any medicine you could take to recover health and vitality. God Bless You!

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Susan December 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Carol, thank you! Your words are an inspiration to me. :-)

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Idgie January 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Hi Susan! I am really excited about trying this recipe and I am in the midst of it at the moment. When you say “a light squeeze” you mean I am not attempting to remove all liquid? The mixture goes immediately into the fridge in the nut milk bag? Thank you so much! xoxo

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Mary Crum January 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Greetings! This was at the top of my search for nut cheeses after I became curious when a newly-vegan friend posted a photo of her first try at nut cheese. I, myself, have not made this attempt, but have recently begun hearing about this after the discovery of a raw food restaurant in Chicagoland. Though I do not eat sugars, I will admit vegan cheesecake sounds very tempting! After reading through the recipes and comments, I clicked on other recipe links and happened upon one that uses yeast flakes as the probiotic. After yet another search, I found these are inexpensive, vegan, gluten-free, soy free, etc., and readily available. NOW brand is probably the least expensive. I hope this suggestion helps out!

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Christina January 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Do you have a recipe for those awesome looking crackers with the orange flecks?

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Susan January 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Look in the Recipe Archive under crackers and breads. :-)

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Valerie Samuel February 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Hi, I found your site on search for nut cheese recipes. I was expecting the process to be labor-intensive, but I’m excited to see it’s not! Thanks for the clear instructions…I AM inspired to try this!

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Brandon February 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Have you ever mixed it with herbs or spices for flavor? The simple almond cheese looks to have a cream cheese consistency. I was thinking it would go well with some mashed kewee or strawberry as a spread.

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Bianca February 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I have just put my ‘cheese’ in the fridge. Hoping it turns out ok! I may have given it more than a gentle squeeze, so I had plenty of leftover cashew milk (which I think tastes like sour cream, I will add it to dinner tonight). Is it normal to have that much leftover milk? Say 1/2 cup? And is the bag supposed to be suspended? Mine is sitting in a small bowl. Is this right?

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Vera February 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Can I use almonds insted macademia nuts with probiotics? Do I have to soake them overnight?

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Una February 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I just realized (after I threw it out, doh!) that if you add probiotics and then drain the cheese over a bowl the water in the bowl could probably be saved as starter for the next batch? Seems worth trying as it would make virtually free starter culture..

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Michelle February 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

Does the cheese need to be covered once refrigerated to set?

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Veronica February 20, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Is ok to make the cheese without the probiotics?
Thanks

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Chris February 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm

There is no need to use that much acidophilus in your nut cheese. I’ve been successful using anywhere from two to five small capsules to a 16oz (1lb) bag of cashews or macadamias. I’m not sure if it takes longer to ferment, but it generally takes me from 48 to 72 hours to get a nice tangy cheese. If it is warm even less time. I’ve notice other recipes calling for tons of acidophilus but can’t figure out why. Maybe the brand I use (Jarro) is stronger? I’ve also found cashews to produce a firmer cheese than macadamias. I am still toying around with sunflower seeds (much cheaper alternative), they definitely need to be soaked ahead and seem to have a sunflower taste to the cheese. Not bad if you season up the end product.

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Helena March 1, 2013 at 2:52 am

Hello! Thank you very much for the recipe. It is very tasty! Although I liked the liquid state (do not wring). I add this “sauce” in a salad of tomatoes and greens. Great!

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nikki March 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm

thank you for the lovely recipe! I was curious – how do you get the cheese into such a nice looking wheel shape?

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JAN March 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Have you ever tried making cheese with just sunflower seeds?

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JAN March 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm

CAN THE ALMOND CHEESE BE MADE FROM SUNFLOWER SEEDS?
THANKS FOR ALL THE RECIPES, ANXIOUS TO HEAR FROM YOU.
JAN

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Susan March 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I have not tried making it with sunflower seeds but you certainly could try and see what you get. Thanks for asking. :-)

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Aaron March 26, 2013 at 10:19 am

Is the 3/4 cup water used to soak the almonds or is it added when processing all ingredients together?

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Susan March 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

No, as mentioned above, you soak, drain and rinse the almonds. The 3/4 cup of water is listed as an ingredient so is added to the recipe. Cheers!

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Anna March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Hi,

How long does the simple almond cheese keep in the refrigerator? Thanks!

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Alyssa March 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Can the almond cheese be made without a nut milk bag or cheese cloth??

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Susan March 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm

You need something to drain the cheese. :-)

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Terry March 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm

The skins easily come off from non-raw, pasteurized almonds … but if you have truly raw, unpasteurized almonds, it is very difficult to remove the skins. Can you make this cheese leaving the skins on?

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Valentina April 1, 2013 at 8:08 am

@ Terry: I never tried to make almond cheese, but standard ways to remove skin from almonds are:
a) boil almonds in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain them and put them on a big napkin. Brush them with the napkin to peel them easily. You have to allow almond to dry before using them for common recipes.
b) grill then for some minutes in the oven, under the hot grill, then use a napkin to peel them. They will have a grilled taste after, but you don’t need to wait them dry.
c) put the almonds in a microwave safe bowl covering them with water, cook them at full power for 1 minute, them peel them squeezing them with your fingers, or brushing them with a napkin. Allow dry.

All techniques works with all other nuts, as far as for what I know :)

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Susan April 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

Unfortunately, when you have raw nuts, truly raw nuts, the application of heat destroys the raw status.

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Chris P April 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

Can you use an oven instead of a dehydrator?

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Susan April 2, 2013 at 12:03 pm

These recipes are formulated for a dehydrator. You could try but I don’t have instructions for that and can’t guarantee results.

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Michelle April 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

If you don’t have cheese cloth what can you do?

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Susan April 18, 2013 at 7:41 pm

You need either cheesecloth or a nut milk bag for this recipe. So, I would suggest that you get some. :-)

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efrat April 21, 2013 at 5:28 am

Thanks, that’s a great recipe. I’m going to experiment a bit this cheese making.
In the meantime i want to share one of the bi-products of this process:
i blended some dates with the “milk” that was filtered from the cheese untill it became smooth and thick (enough) paste.
The outcome was delicious. It reminded me dulce de leche. Off course, you need to have good dates. And i suggest to soak them in water for 10 minutes and peel them before blending.

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Michelle April 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

how long does it keep for?

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Susan April 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

It keeps for about a week in the fridge or a few months in the freezer.

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Stephanie April 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

Do you need the probiotics to make this cheese? Or not?

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Susan April 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

I am not sure what your question is…there are no probiotics listed as an ingredient for this recipe.

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Stephanie April 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

thanks for the response! Good to know that it keeps for a week in the fridge.

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Peter Sabin May 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

For those who are asking about a nut bag…

Hardware and paint stores sell mesh bags used to strain old paint. The ones I use are large (designed to strain a gallon of paint), good mesh size, strong and very easy to clean. And did I mention they are inexpensive at a hardware store?

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Susan May 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I have heard of people doing this but honestly, since they are not designed to be used with food, who knows what might be in the mesh. Another cheaper alternative is to get the produce bags at your coop. They are designed to be in contact with food and I believe a bit safer. Cheers!

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Jacqueline May 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

The nut cheeses look great but what crackers have you got the almond cheese on they look devine!

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