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.
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.