Vegan Almond Dairy-free cheese recipe makes one of many nut cheeses that are too delicious to be served only for a plant-based diet.
Simple Ingredients For A Rich Vegan Cream Cheese
Having lived a few years in New York, before having kids, I came to love Bagels, Cream Cheese and Lox for a lazy weekend brunch.
Fast forward to after having kids and discovering that some of them were lactose intolerant, the weekend luxury stopped.
With just a few simple ingredients, I could make a rich vegan non dairy cheese, a yummy almond cream cheese, that would enable me to restore my favorite weekend brunch for my family!
Store Bought Almond Cheese vs Homemade Almond Cheese
I tried, I did try to like some of the brands for vegan dairy-free cheese options in the store, but being totally honest with you, they lacked flavor.
Also, like so many other products from the grocery store, such as almond milk, there are preservative ingredients I would prefer not to have in my food.
Call my a snob, but I would like to live long enough, healthy enough, to be about to see my grandchildren grow up, and so I am not interested in preservatives in food, unless they preserve me too! (wink)
An Almond Cheese Recipe Everyone Will Love
Having made a cashew cream cheese years ago, I knew it was time to try my hand at an almond cream cheese.
The first time I made the cashew cheese it was a bit easier, only because there was no skin on the cashews, so they were ready to work with right away.
However, I found with just a simple 5-minute preliminary step, I was able to remove the almond skins quickly and have a beautiful white almond to work with.
This cheese is not only a great vegan alternative but one that everyone will love, simply by adding a few ingredients that make a simple cheese into a delicious recipe.
Tips Important To A Great Finished Product
While you might be tempted to simply use an almond flour to speed the process up, or a tapioca starch to thicken an almond milk into a cheese, please don’t.
First, you will end up with way too much liquid to be able to obtain a soft cheese texture, and the flavor won’t be the same.
We want as much of the natural oils from the almonds to bring rich flavors to the almond mixture, almond flour has lost much of the oil.
Also, don’t skip using a bit of nutritional yeast in the recipe because it’s yeasty flavor, along with the tang of vinegar and citrus create the acidic tang found in dairy cheese.
One last must is the added flavor of the fenugreek powder which does something very unique in the flavor of the cheese.
Homemade Almond Cheese And Homemade Crackers
Maybe I just grew up with a generation that ate cheese and crackers for those ‘other meals’ outside of main meals.
My guess is because of the dairy intolerance so many have these days, and I totally get not wanting to eat something you love, only to suffer tummy troubles later.
This luscious and flavorful dairy-free almond cheese is totally worth celebrating because it allows us to put cheese and crackers back on our ‘yummy eats’ list!
Vegan Almond Cheese And Dairy-Free Almond Milk
If you are also a lover of almond milk, let me show you how you can use your prep time in making this almond cheese and also end up with a quart of almond milk too!
Once the skins are removed from the raw almonds and the almonds have been roughly ground, simply pour several cups of filtered water over the ground almonds.
Allow to sit for the day, room temperature to extract flavor from the almonds into the water.
With a nut milk bag, strain the mixture, reserving the soft almonds to proceed with this almond cheese recipe and transfer the creamy white almond milk to the fridge!
Ingredients For This Recipe
Like I said earlier, if I want a quick store bought vegan almond dairy-free cheese that has little flavor, I don’t need to make this recipe.
However, I’ve found that by using a few specific ingredients in a homemade almond cheese, the flavor is fantastic, as is the texture, and no preservatives!
- Raw Almonds – when using almonds for almond cheese that have already been roasted or blanched, much of the natural oils have already been diminished. If we blanch the almonds ourselves, we need only drop them in boiling water for a minute to soften the skins to remove, leaving the integrity and nutrients of the almonds intact. We don’t know how long store bought blanched almonds were boiled.
- To maintain the fiber of the raw almonds, simply make the cheese without removing the skins. It will change the color of the cheese to a light golden brown, and make for a little texture to the cheese. Your choice.
- Vinegar added to the cheese provides that extra hint of tangy flavor often found in a dairy version of cheeses. Using white balsamic or apple cider vinegar won’t affect the white color of the cheese as other vinegars might do.
- White Pepper – for an extra hint of surprise without changing the color.
- Sea salt – is an important addition to all cheese, both dairy and non dairy as it adds not only flavor to the cheese but it helps with texture development and moisture. For dairy cheese it also helps to control the growth of bacteria, though this is not as necessary in a nut milk, since almond cheese does not need to age to develop into cheese. We will do that job ourselves.
- Lemon juice or lime juice is used for the same reason as vinegar to add acidity to an otherwise gentle flavored nut, but the citrus addition also adds an element of brightness to the end result of the cheese.
- Garlic is an element added not only for flavor but raw fresh garlic also has its own aspect of nature oils to help make for richness, not to mention added health benefits to our almond cheese. This may not be the case should we swap it for garlic powder, only the taste is the added benefit.
- Nutritional yeast – added to the almond cheese brings a rich, yeasty, nutty flavor to nut cheeses, offering a type of mimic affect as is found in dairy cheese. The nutritional B complex aspects of nutritional yeast is one of the best ways to bring those vitamins into your diet, something I have added to my daily nutrition routine since the pregnancy of my first child and have maintained all my life. Fabulous for hair and skin too, by the way.
- Fenugreek powder – is a definite in all my nut cheeses because it adds an interesting sweet, nutty, almost maple syrup or burnt sugar aspect to the cheese.
- Almond milk – in order to obtain the desired texture, thin or thickness of the cheese, some type of liquid needs to be added to control its texture. Rather than use water, I found the almond milk drizzled in until the texture is obtained, supports the flavor of the almonds rather than dilute them.
- Food Processor or Powerful Blender
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Airtight Container or Mason Jar
Other Almond Recipes To Love
Having grown up in a Mediterranean influenced home, almonds have always been part of our recipes and culture.
I would love to share some of my favorite almond recipes with you, which vary in dietary preferences.
- Almond Milk Cranberry Orange Sorbet – with warm spices and homemade almond milk, makes for a refreshing, autumn or winter dessert.
- Unique Almond Pizza Crust – using both almond meal and barley or spelt flour for a nutty flavor and crisp texture, offers a swap from wheat dough.
- Almond and Garden Fresh Basil Pesto – with sweet almonds, aromatic basil, and lemon whirled into a fresh pesto for summer or winter meals.
- Button Cups with Homemade Almond Butter and Strawberry Jam – shortbread cups with a button top, filled with jam and almond butter.
What Else To Do With The Blanched Almonds?
If you’re like me and make extra when given a tedious kitchen job, there will be extra blanched and peeled almonds.
Oh boy do I have a delicious idea for those extra almonds!
Let’s make Cocktail Almonds, lightly roasted in olive oil, sea salt and rosemary, and placed out for cocktail hour!
While visiting Portugal several years ago, where they have an abundance of almonds, lightly toasted and salted almonds were always set out for cocktails!
Vegan Almond Dairy-Free Cheese Recipe
- food processor or strong blender
- Small saucepan
- 16 oz airtight container
- Vegan Almond Cheese Ingredients
- 2 cups Raw almonds
- 1 tbsp White balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp White pepper
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp Fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- 2 Fresh garlic cloves or pinch of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp Fenugreek powder
- Water as needed
- 1/2 cup Almond milk, or as needed homemade
- Removing Almond SkinIn a medium heat proof bowl, place the raw almonds and pour enough boiling water over them to cover. Soak the almonds for just a minute. Pour off the hot water and replace with cold water. Rub the almonds between your hands to loosen the skins. One by one, pop the white almond from its shell.
- Preparing Vegan Cheese RecipeIn a food processor or high-speed blender, place the white almonds and pulse until the almond pulp is soft and creamy.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the ground almonds and puree until creamy. The almond cheese will be thick. To obtain a different texture simply drizzle in a little almond milk until the desired texture is obtained. To obtain an almond ricotta texture or an almond cheese spread, less almond milk is required.