Almond Mozzarella Cheese

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If you think you can’t give up dairy because you love cheese, try my nut cheese recipes. This one is made from almonds. It makes a lot of cheese. I freeze it and only use a little at a time.almond cheese

Makes about 4 cups

1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for 4 hours or more (other nuts like cashews or macadamia nuts can be used or sunflower seeds if you have nut allergies)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3 cups unsweetened soymilk or any nondairy milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup agar flakes (about 1 ounce)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (add more lemon juice for a tarter cheese)

After almonds have soaked, remove the skins by gently pressing the nut causing the skin to slip off.  Drain the water.  In a blender, put the almonds, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder.  Pulse a few times, stirring to mix when off and then pulsing again. Add a cup of nondairy milk and blend.  Slowly add the remaining nondairy milk, a cup at a time.  Then add in the oi, lemon juice and water.  Pour mixture in a large saucepan and mix in agar.  Cook, whisking regularly over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until the agar has dissolved.   Pour into a bowl, loaf pan or other container for cheese to harden in.  Let cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  When chilled and firm gently run a knife along the edges, turn over the bowl or pan and remove cheese.  It should be a solid block.  You can now cut the block into smaller pieces.  I like to wrap and freeze most of the cheese and keep a little in the refrigerator.  Cheese will last for months in the freezer, and about 4 days in the refrigerator.  This cheese can be sliced, grated and melted.

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  36 comments for “Almond Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Matt
    December 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Why do you use agar flakes? What purpose do they have? Thanks!

    • realworldwide
      December 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      The agar flakes are a plant-based gelatin. They firm up the mixture so that it hardens and you can grate the cheese or slice it. You can make it without the agar and it will taste delicious, but it will be more like a cheese spread.

      • Alexis
        January 31, 2014 at 1:18 am

        Do you think using xantham gum will give the cheese the same effect?? Agar agar is so expensive and hard for me to get

        • realworldwide
          February 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm

          I have not tried xanthan gum with this recipe, but it should work as a binder. The texture will not be exactly the same. It may be more like a spread, and will still melt when cooked.

  2. January 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Sincerely appreciate the alternative to regular cheese but I have two questions:
    1. Is there a substitute for the yeast as I am allergic.
    2. Can I substitute other milks, such as almond milk for the soy milk?
    Thanks so much.

    • realworldwide
      January 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Great questions. 1. The yeast is just a flavoring and you can absolutely leave it out. 2. Yes, you can substitute milks and it should be an unsweetened variety unless you want a dessert/sweet cheese. Let us know what you think of it when you make it.

  3. Holly
    January 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Hi cheese looks good. How much agar powder do i need to use? and did you try it with agar powder?.thanks

    • realworldwide
      January 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      I did not use agar powder which is why I put the amount in ounces as well so you can weigh whatever kind of agar you have to get the right amount. 1-2 ounces of agar is what is needed. More agar will make a harder cheese, less will be a creamier softer cheese.

      • Holly
        January 18, 2013 at 11:58 pm

        Ok Thanks:)

  4. Monica
    May 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I am slowly transitioning to a dairy free, more plant based diet. This “Cheese” is so delicious and creamy it totally satisfies my cheese addiction. Thank you so much!!!

  5. Bridget
    May 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Do you know if the soaking process would be quicker if I use slivered or sliced almonds rather than whole almonds? I have made cashew based cheese before, which was delicious. I am looking forward to trying an almond based cheese, as my husband seems to have tree nut allergies (cashew, peanut, pistachio) but seems ok with almonds. Thanks in advance.

    • realworldwide
      May 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      If there are no skins on the almonds the soaking process should be faster but I have never tried this to know how long would be necessary. Let us know how it comes out.

  6. Leon
    May 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. All I can find is agar powder, though. What changes would I have to make to the recipe if i use that instead of flakes? I read you need to boil less if using powder, but not sure exactly. Thanks!

    • realworldwide
      May 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Powder is always better than flakes. If you can weigh it, that would be best. 1 ounce will give you a spreadable cheese. About 2 ounces will make it hard enough to slice. Cook it until the agar appears to have dissolved. Powder dissolves easier.

      • Leon
        May 10, 2013 at 9:24 am

        Thanks! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  7. kayleen
    May 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if there is a way to leave out the oil or use a substitute. I am currently cutting out oils and would still like to try this!
    Thanks!

    • realworldwide
      May 29, 2013 at 12:06 am

      Yes, you can make it without oil. The oil makes it melt better and have a smoother texture. You can take any nut or seed, soak them, drain the water, blend them with a little water until creamy and add seasonings to make a cheese-like spread. The agar will harden it making it more like cheese. Like this sunflower seed cheese spread, so simple, no oil: http://responsibleeatingandliving.com/?p=5160.

  8. June 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Can you use roasted almonds instead of raw? It is hard to find raw almonds. Plus they are so expensive.

    • realworldwide
      June 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Yes, you can use roasted almonds. Unfortunately, in the U.S. it is no longer possible to get really raw almonds. In 2007 the USDA regulated that almonds must be pasteurized. This was in response to some salmonella outbreaks several years back. You can get raw almonds imported. Personally, I prefer the really raw almonds first, the pasteurized “raw” almonds second and the roasted one last, and always organic – for taste and nutritional value. But yes, you can use roasted.

  9. sharon
    June 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Hi, I’ve just made it and had some whole wheat pasta leftovers from my baby’s lunch so I took a half cup from the cooking pan and mixed with the pasta it came out amazing, creamy. Wow !

  10. Ann Hostrawser
    August 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Would like to know if I can substitute rice milk for the soy milk.
    Son in allergic to soy and many other foods.

    • realworldwide
      August 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Absolutely!

  11. laura
    October 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I am curious if coconut milk will work for making cheese and what would I need to do differently. Thank you for your help.

    • realworldwide
      October 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Yes, you can use coconut milk. The only thing I would be concerned about is that coconut has a strong flavor. Most people use cashews in a cheese like this, or macadamias or pine nuts because of the creamy texture and a mellow flavor. I will have to try coconut milk. It should be delicious. I like the mix of coconut and basil so I would probably add some basil flakes. You can add hot red pepper flakes if you want to spice it up. Let us know how it comes out.

  12. Cynthia
    November 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    What would you sub to replace the almonds – we have a nut allergy in the house?

    • realworldwide
      November 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Almonds and cashews are the most popular choices for this kind of cheese recipe because when soaked and blended they get very creamy. But sunflower seeds can be used. The flavor is mild, but different. Without the agar agar to hard this recipe you can make a sauce or spread like our Sunflower Cheese Spread, http://responsibleeatingandliving.com/?p=5160. Someone recently asked if coconut milk could be used. I have not tried it but am sure it works fine, but the taste will be noticeably coconut. Sesame seed, in the form of tahini would work too. In fact, I need to try that! I love tahini.

  13. Michelle K.
    December 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Have you made dishes, like lasagna, using this faux cheese? I have mine setting up right now. The flavor is great!

  14. Brittany
    December 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I have no idea what i did wrong but the taste before it cooks is awful, i am cooking it right now, but i just dipped my finger in for a quick test and almost gagged! I had to use lemon juice from the bottle because i had no real lemon, but besides that, (and i didnt use as much lemon juice ) can you please tell me that it will taste awful before cooking?! that it is normal??! I am not having any luck with all the nut cheese recipes i have tried! And i am not normally a bad cook!

    • realworldwide
      December 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      I am so sorry to hear that you are having problems. No it should not taste bad at all. Are you using nutritional yeast? There are other kinds of yeast, like Brewer’s yeast, which are not the same, and they taste awful. Perhaps you got the wrong kind?

  15. Kat
    January 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Is there an alternative to the agar that would firm up the mixture? How about xantham gum which I use in baking to improve the texture of bread and cakes?? Thanks for your opinion!

    • realworldwide
      January 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      You can try xanthan gum. It will give the cheese a different texture, but it will firm up. I don’t know the amount to recommend however.

  16. Erica
    January 18, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Could I use Psylium husk istead of the agar flakes, I just don’t want to spend anymore money than I already have lol.

    • realworldwide
      January 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      I have never tried Psylium husk but you can. It will thicken the mixture but will have a different texture, probably more like a spread than a hard slicing cheese. It’s worth a try.

  17. Jennifer
    February 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I was wondering the calorie difference in this cheese vs chase made of cows milk like mozzarella

    • realworldwide
      February 21, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      You can easily figure out calorie differences at fitday.com or estimate based on the calories of plain almonds you use in the recipe. I do not worry about calories when I am eating plant foods and primarily whole foods or minimally processed.

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