Almond Mozzarella Cheese

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If you think you can’t give up dairy because you love cheese, try our 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; blanched almonds with the skins already removed may also be used to save time)
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 ounce agar powder or flakes. (The volume will vary based on the kind of agar you use. This is about 3 1/2 Tablespoons powder or 1/2 cup flakes. It is best to weigh the agar to be sure.)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, add more for a tarter cheese. Vinegar may be substituted. Depending on the kind of vinegar used will affect the flavor – some are more bitter, some are sweeter.

1. After almonds have soaked, remove the skins by gently pressing the nut causing the skin to slip off.  Drain the water. 
2. In a blender, put the almonds, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder.  Pulse a few times, stirring to mix when off and then pulsing again.
3. Add a cup of nondairy milk and blend.  Slowly add the remaining nondairy milk, a cup at a time.  Then add in the oil, lemon juice and water. 
4. Pour mixture in a large saucepan and mix in agar.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium or medium low to simmer.
5. Cook, whisking regularly for at least 15 minutes to dissolve the agar and thicken. 
 

 

 
6. Pour into lightly oiled bowls, loaf pans or other containers for cheese to harden in. 
7. Let cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 
8. 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.

Flavor your Almond Mozzarella Cheese to create a perfect party cheese platter! Once the agar has dissolved in the almond mixture divide the mix into three parts. Pour one part into an oiled bowl as above. With another third add 2 Tablespoons of marinated sundried tomatoes and pour this into an oiled bowl to firm. To the last third add 2 Tablespoons of seeded, chopped jalapeño peppers.

cheese-platter

 
 

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  83 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.

          • Laura
            August 2, 2014 at 8:52 am

            I just pulled my xanthan gum cheese out of the fridge after 9 hours and found it hadn’t set up. I found an online substitution guide that indicated using 1/2 the amount of xanthan gum as agar flakes so I tried using 1/2 oz in my recipe this time. It is nice and thick and creamy – will make an excellent alfredo sauce – but I will have to try again to see if I can get it to a consistency that is able to be grated. I’ll keep you posted!

          • January 27, 2016 at 12:20 am

            I noticed that some of the comments ask about xanthan. While it is often touted as a safe food additive, please check out The Truth about Xanthan before you use it to make up your own mind. http://www.drmichellecook.com/tags/entries/xanthan

          • Caryn Hartglass
            January 27, 2016 at 12:37 am

            Thank you for the link to your article. There is no xanthan is this almond mozzarella cheese recipe, although we do use xanthan in some of our gluten-free baked goods. We always use Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum because this company has a commitment to using only non GMO ingredients in their products.

        • Zhuzhu
          April 30, 2016 at 8:56 am

          Xantham gum will thicken but it will never form a gel. No matter how much you add you won’t get a solid gratable cheese.

  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.

    • Carol
      February 1, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Agar Agar POWDER vs. FLAKES is NOT a 1:1 ratio. If a recipe calls for 1 tsp powder, 3 tsp flakes would be the equivalent. And of course the reverse as well. In this case, 1/2 C of flakes is equal to 8 teaspoons of powder. Or about 2 3/4 TB of powder.

  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.

  18. Nikki
    June 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Can I use unflavored gelatin instead of agar flakes?

    • realworldwide
      June 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Hi Nikki,

      We advocate using plant ingredients rather than animal based ingredients. Gelatin comes from the collagen of animal by-products so we don’t recommend using it, but will work in the recipe.

      • Margareth
        February 23, 2016 at 10:03 am

        The ratio of gelatin can be 1:1? On the other hand, gelatin couldn’t be boiled like agar, so cheese could be hard enough?

        • Caryn Hartglass
          February 29, 2016 at 9:35 pm

          We do not recommend using gelatin because it is not plant-based. It is made from collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, horses, and fish.

  19. Brittani
    July 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I am super excited to try this recipe since I slowly trying to work out all animal based products but I have two questions.

    1. Is the lemon necessary I prefer a more nutty cheese and am afraid the lemon will cause too much tang?

    2. Would the nut amounts change if I tried different types of nuts?

    • realworldwide
      July 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

      1. Lemon is not necessary, it’s just to give the tang. Normally, cheeses made with enzymes and probiotics grow the tangy flavor.

      2. No the nut amounts should not change. You may find that the cheese is not as firm as you like it or too firm and you can adjust the amount of agar used to get the texture you like best. You can use seeds too, like sunflower seeds.

  20. Jennifer
    December 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    This turned out horribly. I’m no stranger to the kitchen and I used a kitchen scale for all the measurements. I do not have any agar, but I was ok with a spreadable cheese as my final product. But it’s almost as if there is way too much nutritional yeast. My cheese is tinted orange, smells terrible, and is essentially inedible. I have no idea what I could have done wrong.

    • realworldwide
      January 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      Jennifer, I am so sorry to hear you did not have a good experience. I have no idea what you wrong either. Have you used nutritional yeast before? Are you sure you used nutritional yeast and not another kind of yeast, like Brewer’s Yeast, which really smells and tastes awful? – Caryn

  21. Teresa
    February 2, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    How smooth will the texture of this cheese be? How did yours look so white? My cheese looks yellowish and the agar after 15 min the agar was not dissolve but the mixture was getting very thick.

    • realworldwide
      February 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      If you soak the almonds as directed it should be smooth. I have a basic blender, nothing fancy or high powered and it worked fine. Did you remove the skins from the almonds? That would make it yellow. Using agar takes practice. Powder works faster and better than flakes or strips. I have used big strips some times and it took a long time to dissolve, more than 20 minutes and never completely dissolved, there were some small agar pieces remaining.

  22. Jennifer
    March 4, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for this recipe ! I would love to try it ! I have trouble finding raw almonds in my area, but I found some raw almond flour … I was wondering if it could work with it. What do you think?

    Thanks again :)
    Jenn

    • Caryn Hartglass
      March 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      This is an interesting question. I prefer to start with whole raw almonds because I know they will be fresher, more nutritious and have less of a chance of being stale or rancid. I would look at ordering raw almonds online from Thrive Market or other online distributor of food. If you want to try it, I would soak the almond meal in the nondairy milk for a few hours so that when you blend it all together the meal will be soft enough to blend and get creamy. The almond meal I have seen typically has brown specs in it from the skin so that will transfer to the cheese as well.

  23. Jason
    April 19, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Is it possible to make this just using unsweetened almond milk and skipping the raw almonds completely?

    • Caryn Hartglass
      April 19, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Hi Jason, I wouldn’t recommend it. Almond milk is lacking the fiber and extra fat in whole almonds that give the cheese its texture and flavor. If you used almond milk instead it would be more like a savory almond jello or aspic. – Caryn

  24. james
    June 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Can i use arrow root instead of agar flakes?

    • Caryn Hartglass
      June 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      Yes, James you may. It will thicken it but it won’t get hard to be sliced but it will be a nice spread.

  25. Eymi
    July 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you for the recipe, I have agar strips how much of them should I use??

    • Caryn Hartglass
      July 5, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      The recipe calls for one ounce. It’s important to go by weight because everyone seems to find agar in different forms – powder, flakes, strips. If you can weigh an ounce with a food scale that should work. Otherwise you might estimate how much an ounce would be based on how many ounces you have in your package of agar strips.

  26. mary
    July 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I traveled 13miles to whole foodS andover ma, no agar at all. So I bought agar gum. Will that work

  27. mary
    July 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I ment I bought gar gum

    • Caryn Hartglass
      July 30, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Hi Mary, Guar gum will thicken it to be like a spread, but I don’t think it will get hard so that you can slice it. You can order agar powder online if you can’t find it in the store. – Caryn

  28. Christina
    August 24, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Just wondering .. I rescue parrots and I order Organic sprouted almonds for their daily dose of Nutty goodness .. Do you supposed the sprouted almond would work in your recipe ?

    • Caryn Hartglass
      August 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Yes, they should be fine.

  29. Brandee
    October 18, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I just made this as per the recipe and it has not solidified it’s not even spreadable if there any way to fix it?

    • Caryn Hartglass
      October 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Brandee, You likely did not use enough agar. You may reheat the mixture and add more agar to it. Make sure the agar dissolves well. Then you can chill it. – Caryn

  30. Kimberly
    October 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Is there something that can be substituted for the lemon juice? I am seriously intolerant to dairy and citrus fruits. No lemon, lime or orange.

    • Caryn Hartglass
      October 29, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Kimberly, The lemon is for flavor only to give the cheese a tart flavor. You may replace it with 3 Tablespoons of water or try a rice vinegar or white vinegar. I’d start with a mix of both: 1 1/2 Tablespoons of water mixed with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of vinegar. Both vinegars are neutral in color. It depends on how strong or mild the vinegar is, to your taste, as to how much you should add. – Caryn

  31. January 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Those cheeses look so good! I am just recently finding all these vegan cheese recipes. It is really a whole new world ! Thank you for the recipe :)

  32. Margareth
    February 19, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Hello!! I made this recipe today and I have a couple of questions:
    1. I weighted 1 oz of agar, because I found it powdered not flakes. But I couldn’t find the point of thickness that you show in the video. Could be the amount of agar?
    2. How can you have yellow cheese like cheddar?
    Thanks!!!

    • Caryn Hartglass
      February 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      If it doesn’t thicken, yes, add more agar. But if you weighed it, I am not sure why it didn’t work. To make it yellow, add a little turmeric powder. Carrot juice can work too.

  33. Debbi
    March 14, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I can’t do nutritional yeast. Can you recommend a substitute ingredient?

    • Caryn Hartglass
      March 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      The nutritional yeast is just for flavor. You can leave it out. You can add other seasonings like onion powder (1 teaspoon) to add more flavor.

  34. babyboby
    May 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Without real dairy cheese there will be no vegan cheese, that’s pretty sure ;)

    Those animal based products you guys are feeling sick of is your source of inspiration.

    Please vegans, do come up with your own food. Stop copying our things. Have a nice day.

    • Caryn Hartglass
      May 25, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Welcome to the 21st Century! Plant ingredients are replacing animal ingredients in many food products, deliciously. And not only are they tasty, they are better for you, kinder to animals and gentler on the environment. By using milks from plant foods, like nuts, seeds and coconut, we can now make cheese, in the same way dairy cheeses have been made, aging them with cultures, creating many different luscious varieties. And there’s no need to rape a cow, make her pregnant, steal and murder her calf for meat, or slaughter her for hamburger meat when she doesn’t yield enough milk for profit. Using plants for milk does not create the enormous amount of pollution or greenhouse gases that threaten our environment. Vegans are a talented, creative bunch. Not only do we make foods with plants that traditionally use exploited animal products, like mayonnaise, hamburger, chicken, fish, eggs, etc but with vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, our delicious and nutritious food choices are infinite.

  35. Simon Neale
    September 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Hi made this cheese as my wife has a dairy allergy. Went well however I used it on a pizza but the cheese did not melt, any ideas where I went wrong?
    Thanks

    • Caryn Hartglass
      September 20, 2016 at 8:51 am

      It will never look exactly like stringy dairy cheese. It should soften with the heat. The oil in the recipe is what does that since the oil is liquid when heated. Slicing thinly or grating should help it heat up and soften faster.

  36. Terrylischka@yahoo.com
    November 28, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Can I use almond flour instead of soaked almonds? If so how much flour?

    • Caryn Hartglass
      November 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      I’ve received this question before and here is my response: This is an interesting question. I prefer to start with whole raw almonds because I know they will be fresher, more nutritious and have less of a chance of being stale or rancid. I would look at ordering raw almonds online from Vitacost, Thrive Market or other online distributor of food. If you want to try it, I would soak the almond meal in the nondairy milk for a few hours so that when you blend it all together the meal will be soft enough to blend and get creamy. The almond meal I have seen typically has brown specs in it from the skin so that will transfer to the cheese as well.

  37. mindy vickery
    July 30, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    is there a way i could use almond milk im allergic to soy.. and rice so rice milk wouldn’t work either

    • Caryn Hartglass
      July 30, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Yes, the recipe says soymilk or any other nondairy milk.

  38. Donna Gootee
    September 9, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Hello! We are vegan newbies! Can’t find a non-dairy cheese we love. Going to try this one, first time making any. Can’t find any agave power or flakes. We tried Meijer, harvest market. Do you know who carries the flake?

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