Article via: Lands & Flavors
A 4-ingredient recipe for vegan basic almond cheese that can be enjoyed as is or crumbled on salads, pasta, or pizza.
Author: Lands & Flavors
- 160g or 5.5 oz unroasted, blanched almonds, soaked for 6 hours or more (If you don't have a kitchen scale, the equivalent measurements are 1¼ cups of whole blanched almonds or 1¾ cups of almond flour/meal.)
- 2½ Tablespoons (36 ml) lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ½ clove of garlic
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) water
- Soak the almonds in water for 6 hours or overnight.
- Drain and put the almonds into a blender with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and water.
- Blend on high until the almonds become as smooth as possible. Depending on your blender, this may take a few minutes. Pause and scrape down the sides of the blender occasionally. If it is too thick and is not blending, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time until the mixture blends properly.
- When smooth and creamy, remove the mixture from the blender into a small sieve that has been lined with fine cheesecloth. Place this sieve over a bowl to catch the draining water and refrigerate overnight. This not only removes the excess water, but also improves the flavor by allowing the flavors to marry.
- After the cheese has drained well overnight, carefully invert it onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, removing all of the cheesecloth. You have two options for baking: Bake at 325°F (165°C) for 25-30 minutes for a just set, more spreadable cheese. Alternatively, bake it at 350°F (180°C) for 30-40 minutes for a more set, more crumbly, yet still creamy cheese. You can even keep baking it longer at this temperature for a browned look. It may crack slightly but the flavor will still be great and the cheese will even be sliceable. I tend to prefer the hotter, longer baking method.
- After it cools down, put in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will firm up a little after chilling.
- Use this recipe as a base and play around with it as you see fit. Sometimes I add some nutritional yeast, miso, or rejuvelac for a cheesier taste. Or sometimes I add some unroasted cashews during the blending to produce an even creamier consistency. As is, this cheese is a clean-tasting replacement for something like a light chèvre.
- Speed things up by using the same amount of ground almonds instead of whole or slivered. This allows you to skip the soaking step and blend immediately.