February 25, 2013 § 3 Comments
Vegan Almond Cheese (vegan, gluten free, raw if blanching almonds is considered so?)
2 cups raw whole almonds, soaked in water overnight
1 cup water
1 tsp (dairy-free if vegan) probiotic powder (if using capsules, break open – I used 4 or 5)
1 tsp salt
2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
extras: pink peppercorns, dried dill, garlic powder, sea salt
Drain soaked almonds, then plunge into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Drain again and when cool enough pop the skins off (hence why I prefer time saving macadamias, but they’re too expensive to buy shelled, and take waaaay too long to shell individually at home).
Put blanched almonds in Vitamix or similar with water and probiotics and blend until smooth.
Line a sieve with cheesecloth and sit it over a bowl. Pour mixture onto cloth, then cover with more cloth and weigh down with some heavy jars (fill jars with water for extra weight). This is to squeeze the excess moisture out.
Leave on benchtop for 12-24 hours to culture. When it starts smelling like soiled baby nappies you’re ready to add the flavours! Test for your preferred level of cultured-ness though (I like mine tangy).
Pop firmed up cheese into a bowl, and add salt and nutritional yeast and mix well with a fork to combine. This is your basic ‘feta’. You can either serve like this or mould some into rounds and cover in crushed peppercorns and salt, or add dill and garlic powder, then pop in dehydrator for about 6 hours each side until it forms a rind.
Serve with crackers! In a salad! Or straight from the fridge like I do….
Will keep in fridge for about a week.
There are plenty of variations of this online if you google raw vegan cheese – can use cashews or macadamias, I’m even looking into walnut blue cheese. Plus you can use miso or rejuvelac as the kick starter for the fermentation process too. Have some fun with it!