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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{ 185 comments… read them below or add one }

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.

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!

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?

JAN March 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Have you ever tried making cheese with just sunflower seeds?

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

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. :-)

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?

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!

Anna March 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Hi,

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

Alyssa March 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm

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

Susan March 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm

You need something to drain the cheese. :-)

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?

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 :)

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.

Chris P April 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

Can you use an oven instead of a dehydrator?

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.

Michelle April 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

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

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. :-)

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.

Michelle April 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

how long does it keep for?

Stephanie April 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

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

Susan April 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

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

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.

Stephanie April 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

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

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?

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!

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!

Jacqueline May 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I thought you can age the cheeses for a couple of months? Also muslin works great for draining the cheeses.

Susan May 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm

You can age cheeses. But this recipe is made to be a quick one. Cheers!

Susan May 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm
Christopher Michaels May 8, 2013 at 2:41 am

I have found Chux Paper wipes (clean and unused of course) are a good alternative for cheese clothe if you don’t have other options.

Susan May 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

I would be careful to make sure there aren’t any bleaches, etc., that could be left in the paper from manufacturing.

jenny cestero May 26, 2013 at 9:09 am

I am so happy to find these wonderful, life giving recipes online! I used this recipe last night… I altered it a bit… removed 3 tablespoons of water from the recipe but added 3 large sundried tomato. I have a gas oven with a live pilot always on, so while oven was off, I let the mix sit there 4 hours to dehydrate it covered with paper towel I padded the mix with. this morning, I made 1 inch balls out of it, gently rolled it in Italian fresh finely chopped herbs from my garden and a sprinkle of sea salt. the meat eaters in my home almost didn’t leave me any LOL Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!!! btw I left the skins on the almonds… Im lazy LOL

Abell June 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Can I use left over nut rind fro my almond milk I made?

Susan June 12, 2013 at 10:34 am

I do not believe that nut milk pulp will work in this recipe.

Amt July 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

Can I leave out the oil?

Susan July 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Please feel free to experiment. I haven’t done it that way so can’t give you any advice as to how it will turn out. Cheers!

Megan July 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

Wow is all I can say! I made this (without a dehydrator), and it took about two days but it’s totally worth it! I followed the recipe for the most part, left it in the fridge overnight, then took it out, rolled it in Italian herbs and dried dill, then popped it in the toaster oven with the door open at the lowest setting with a fan pointed at it for about 2 hours, on and off. It’s firm on the outside but like a soft, ricotta texture on the inside. It tastes amazing. Even my pizza and mozzarella stick eating roommate said it was good! New found love for nut cheese!

Susan July 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

Megan…wonderful!!!!!

Barbara July 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I don’t have a food processor, but I do have a VitaMix, could I make it that? I’d probably have to double the recipe in a VM, but that’s okay. And thanks for your recipe.

Spirit Wolf August 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

I don’t have a dehydrator and hesitate to buy one because our place is really tiny and I hesitate to buy something that will take up that much room and only be used very occasionally. Can anyone tell me what power setting to use in my 1200 watt microwave to try dehydrating it that way? Thank you in advance. This is my first time making any kind of cheese at all; and if it is as good as the residue in the food processor, I’m going to *really* love it! :)

Spirit Wolf August 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

P. S. My power settings on my microwave are from one to nine. I’m thinking maybe three, four, or five, but I don’t know for sure and *really* want to do this right.

Susan August 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Spirit Wolf: Because you are depending on heat AND air with a dehydrator, I honestly don’t think this will work in a microwave. Sorry…

Sharon August 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Susan, is it possible to make the macadamia nut cheese with Rejuvelac or other substitute for probiotic?

Susan August 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Yes!!

Spirit Wolf August 5, 2013 at 8:59 am

Thank you for your response, Susan. I find your advice most helpful. :) I have made this cheese twice so far. The first time I followed the recipe exactly. I thought the results were a little to “wet” and bland. So this time I upped the lemon juice to four tablespoons instead of three, increased the salt, added garlic and onion and a little bit of basil (don’t know why, it just smells so good! LOL) and cut the water from 3/4 cup down to half a cup. I am very pleased with the result. Aside fro being a little too overboard with the salt, it tastes fantastic! Also, the water reduction did exactly what I thought it would do: gave it a firmer texture and more what I thought a freshly made raw cheese texture should be like. There wasn’t even any residual excess moisture to drain off whatsoever! Right now it is sitting on my countertop covered with a napkin, as I plan on dehydrating it that way to see how that turns out. My first batch I dehydrated and then ground it into “powdered” cheese with my trusty Magic Bullet.
My questions are: once it’s dehydrated and “powdered,” can it be kept in a jar on my countertop, or do I need to store it in the refrigerator? Also, how long can I expect it to keep in this form?
Thank you so much for your time and attention and quick responses. I just love this page and reading everyone else’s comments! :-)

Spirit Wolf August 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

I knew it: I forgot one of my most important question! :/ So here it is now: Once dried and powdered, will this cheese melt in cooking? For example, if I decide to use it to make a cheese sauce for, say, macaroni and cheese, will it melt and produce a nice smooth sauce just as real cheese would? So Far I have tried spreading a little over a microwaved potato and heating for thirty seconds but it didn’t show any signs of melting that way. If it woun’t produce satisfactory cheese sauces when needed, I’ll need to figure something else out. I prefer to dry and powder it because I figure it would keep as long as possible that way, and I don’t know it fresh and unpowdered would do any better or whatever tor this purpose. Thank you.

Clau August 9, 2013 at 12:03 am

For those of you that dont have nut milk bags or cheese cloth and thinking about some crazy ideas.. JUST USE A PILLOW CASE! For making nut cheese, cow cheese and tofu, works just like a cheese cloth BUT its much cheaper and you dont have to take an extra ride to the store to get it. :)

ashton August 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I am allergic to raw almonds. Will this recipe still work if I roast the almonds beforehand?

ashley September 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

hi!
would love to try these recipes. when you say “dehydrator” do you mean one with the different different levels for drying fruit, or a different kind? I don’t have one, and would like to order one, and I’m sure I’ll be making a good amount of cheeses in the near future :)

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